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Easy Baked Pasta Recipes

Updated on September 16, 2009

Life is busy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have tasty, home cooked meals. Pasta dishes are both hearty and comforting. These three recipes take a bit of preparation at first, but once you put them in the oven, you have time to do other things around the house before dinnertime.

You can easily add extra, seasonal vegetables to any of these dishes, but you don’t have to. Serve any of these with a simple green salad.

Stuffed Shells


  • 1 lb. spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 1 lb. large pasta shells
  • 2 tbs., plus 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 -28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 lb. ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
  • 4 oz. shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Boil the spinach until it turns bright green (about 30 seconds). Remove and drain.

3. Add shells to the boiling water, and cook according to package directions. Once cooked, drain the shells and toss with 1 tsp. of oil. Set aside.

4. Heat 2 tbs. oil and garlic together for about 30 seconds, and then add the tomatoes. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes.

5. Squeeze any excess water out of the spinach, and then coarsely chop it.

6. In a large bowl, stir the spinach together with the cheeses and egg. Salt and pepper to taste.

7. Stuff the shells with 2 tbs. of the cheese mixture each.

8. Spread 1 ½ cups of the tomato sauce along the bottom of a 9x13” baking dish. Arrange the stuffed shells on the sauce, and then pour the remaining sauce over the shells.

9. Bake for 25 minutes.

Baked Rigatoni Cake


  • 1 lb. rigatoni
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 -28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 lb. ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz. grated mozzarella


1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Boil the pasta until it is slightly underdone. Drain and rinse with cold water. Toss the pasta with 1 tbs. of oil, and then set aside.

3. Heat 1 tbs. of oil in a pan, and sauté the onions, garlic, pepper, and salt for about 2 minutes.

4. Add tomatoes to the onion mixture and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.

5. Spray a 9” springform pan.

6. Toss the pasta with the Parmesan cheese, and stir in the ricotta. Pack the pasta tightly into the pan.

7. Spread the sauce over the pasta, pushing the sauce down into the rigatoni holes. Bake for 15 minutes.

8. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top of the cake, and then bake for another 15 minutes.

9. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Cheesy Lasagna


  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 3 small zucchini, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 30 oz. ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 -26 oz. jar tomato sauce
  • 16 oz. no-cook lasagna noodles
  • 16 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare a 13x9” baking dish.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

3. In a medium bowl, combine vegetable mixture with the ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.

4. In another bowl, combine the tomatoes and pasta sauce.

5. Spread ¾ cup of the tomato mixture into the prepared dish. Place a layer of noodles over the tomato mixture, overlapping the noodles. Spread half of the vegetable mixture over the noodles. Next, spread half of the ricotta mixture as the next layer, and then sprinkle about 1 cup of mozzarella over it.

6. Place the second layer of noodles over the mozzarella. Spread about 1 cup of the tomato mixture over the noodles. Top with the remaining ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella. Top with third layer of noodles, remaining tomato mixtures, and remaining mozzarella.

7. Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 1 hour. (Stick toothpicks at each end of lasagna to keep foil from sticking to cheese.) Uncover, and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

8. Remove from oven. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Don't worry. What's attractive chegnas. My tummy turned to mush, and my husband says he likes it. I used to think What, in a sci-fi kinda way?, until he took a photo of my stomach he snapped it when I was laying down and had my eyes closed thought he was taking a picture of something else then he showed me. I just stared at that picture thinking, Wow, that's actually beautiful. and Wow, this is how he sees me. You will still totally be attractive to your husband. Even if he doesn't like what pregnancy does to your tummy, he'll be too happily distracted by what it does to your breasts.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Awww, so sorry it freaked you out. This post and our wesibte are supposed to take the steam out of the freak outs of becoming a parent.I think that telling you not to be terrified won't really do anything, but I'll give it a shot anyways. Don't be afraid. Read the comments here in the post. The vast majority of people barely experienced any drama. The drama depicted in the chart was just an extreme for laughs.You're right about to embark on an amazing experience and journey. Nerves are expected. Maybe look at them as the nerves you get before meeting someone you really admire, getting married, or the excitement of going to a place you've always wanted to visit.Or go look at the other posts on our wesibte, I'm pretty sure they'll melt away some of the fear or worry you may have.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm a birth doula (so I help support moms and dads durnig labor as a profession) and I absolutely love this! I've shown it to a couple of my clients and we have a good laugh but in reality, it kind of HAS acted as a real-life tool, to get dad to relax and to get the converstaion flowing about what the he expects and what the reality of birth is. I seriously need a poster of this up in my office. I still LOL everytime I see it. When my 2nd son was born, it was my husband's first experience with birth (due to deployment, he met our first son when he was a month old). I tried pretty hard to help him know what to expect, and he did great until the placenta was born. Then he loudly said oh my god! and went to a good 8-9. I'm not sure what he was expecting, but he actually made me laugh out loud right then and there (not an easy task considering I had just given birth). To this day, he gets very animated with his side of the story. I never expected it to be that BIG and gross, I thought she was birthing an alien twin! haha, poor guy. Well at least he knows for next time.

    • Tatara profile image


      7 years ago from Asia


    • Jennifer Burss profile image

      Jennifer Burss 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      I love lasagna! Thank you for the recipe!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      e muy bueno y apestoso jejeje

    • myawn profile image


      8 years ago from Florida

      Nice hub cheesey lasagna looks good and yummy

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 

      8 years ago from Central Oregon

      Who doesn't love pasta - It's the number one comfort food, isn't it. I can't wait to try the stuffed shells. I've been wanting to make these. You've given me the perfect excuse.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Stacie, thank you for the quick update! Just wasn't sure if the ricotta was to be used as a "filling", or mixed in.

      Looking forward to trying it.

      Thanks again for the clarification.........Tom

    • LiamBean profile image


      9 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

      Mmmm. These all look so good. I'm certainly going to try the shells (just how big are they supposed to be) and the lasagna.

      Oh, and what the heck, I'll have to try the baked Rigatoni too.

      You might mention in the hub that these are all "vegetarian" versions.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      9 years ago from Seattle

      Tom, I've updated that. Thanks for catching it!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Can someone advise as to how the ricotta cheese is incorporated into the "Baked Rigatoni Cake"?


    • Whitney05 profile image


      10 years ago from Georgia

      I'll be printing this one too. ;-) I'm a sucker for pastas.

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 

      10 years ago

      Omigod you have no idea how much I love stuffed shells. I could never find them the entire time years I lived in Texas, if you can believe that. Havent had them since I left Bklyn!! Thanks for the recipe!


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