Baked Rigatoni Pasta

5 from 8 votes

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This Baked Rigatoni Pasta Recipe is a spin on classic lasagna. It’s SO much easier, healthier for you and just as, if not more, delicious!

Wanting lasagna but not all the work that comes with it? I got you covered with this dreamy, cheesy and relatively simple to throw together Rigatoni Pasta Recipe. It’s somewhat healthy too! Take a peek and the recipe and you’ll see what I mean (I’m talkin’ bout you, zucchini and low fat cottage cheese.)

Baked Rigatoni Pasta

Baked Rigatoni Pasta

I’m not gonna lie, I’m sort of in love with this new way to make lasagna. It’s so much easier to just throw everything together sloppily and not care too much about the layering. I mean, there are layers don’t get me wrong, but this is so much more forgiving than traditional lasagna is.

Plus, it’s sort of supposed to look like a hot mess, so if you’re not the best cook in the world, this is the recipe for you. If people start asking questions, you can just respond with “it’s supposed to look like that” or “stop asking questions”.

I say these two phrases a lot more than the average person, I’m 98% sure.

What is Rigatoni?

Rigatoni is a type of pasta that is larger than Penne or Ziti pasta. It is tube shaped with lines going down the sides and cut straight across. These characteristics make rigatoni the perfect noodle for this recipe. Those lines I mentioned earlier make the perfect ridges to scoop up the sauce and cheese. Plus they are relatively quick to make!

Baked Rigatoni Pasta

Rigatoni Ingredients

This sauce is made up of a bunch of ingredients, but don’t worry, it’s not difficult to throw together at all.

  • Jarred Marinara – to make this recipe a little easier. If you rather make your own marinara, go for it!
  • Seasonings – for flavor! Seasonings include basil, oregano, bay leaf, and Italian seasoning.
  • Zucchini and Diced Tomatoes –to make this recipe a little healthier! My kids gobbled this stuff up making it a winner to me. Sneaking vegetables into dinner is just one of my many skills…
  • Ground Turkey – also to make this recipe healthier! If you prefer ground beef, go ahead and substitute away. Or if you want some spice, try adding Italian Sausage.
  • Parmesan, Low-Fat Cottage Cheese and Fresh Mozzarella – I used three types of cheese for this rigatoni recipe because is there anything better than a cheesy pasta? I don’t think so. And this recipe just proves my point even more.

What to Serve with Rigatoni

Side dishes that go super well with Rigatoni are the traditional things you have with other pasta dishes. So that includes salads, slices of bread or an antipasto platter.

For salads try Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad or this Caprese Salad with Garlic Balsamic Dressing

These are my favorite breadsticks but there’s also Hasselback Homemade Garlic Bread Recipe.

This $25 Cheese Board is super great for a platter to snack on before the main dish is ready. But you can also try this kid-friendly Snack Board.

Baked Rigatoni Pasta

How to Make Baked Rigatoni

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta 1-2 minutes shy of al dente and drain. Set aside.
  2. Place the hot pot over medium heat and sauté onions, garlic, and zucchini in olive oil until they start to get tender. Add in ground turkey and break apart to brown. Once turkey meat is completely cooked, add in remaining sauce ingredients, adjusting seasonings as you like. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook 15 minutes. *Add in splashes of water as needed. You don’t want this to get too terribly thick.
  3. While sauce is cooking, stir all ingredients for the cheese layer together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Remove bay leaf from sauce. Stir in pasta and toss to coat. Spoon half pasta and sauce into the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 glass baking dish. Spread entire cheese layer over hot pasta and top with half the sliced mozzarella. Pour over remaining pasta and top with last few slices of mozzarella.
  5. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sit 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead

This is a great recipe to make ahead and then bake later! Simply follow the directions and stop before baking. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days. To bake, follow the last step of the directions.

Rigatoni

Can you Freeze this Rigatoni Recipe?

Short answer yes! Long answer: Store in an airtight container. This can either be the cover to a casserole dish or plastic wrap and tin foil. This can last in the freezer for up to 3 months. To bake, preheat the over to 350 degrees F, covered with foil bake until heated all the way through. This can be anywhere from twice to three times as long as the original baking time (60-90 minutes).

Make sure your baking dish is freezer-to-oven safe! If it’s not you could end up with a shattered dish. To avoid shattered glass, thaw in the refrigerator or on your counter for a couple of hours before baking. In this case, baking time is closer to the 30-minute mark, but watch it just to be safe.

other pasta recipes you might like:

Printable recipe below. Enjoy, friends! xoxo

5 from 8 votes

Baked Rigatoni Pasta

This Baked Rigatoni Pasta Recipe is a spin on classic lasagna. It's SO much easier, healthier for you and just as, if not more, delicious!
servings 6 servings
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. rigatoni pasta or ziti

for the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small zucchini diced
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey I used 99% fat free
  • 28 oz. jarred marinara + 1 cup water to wash out jar
  • 15- oz. diced tomatoes 1 can
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper to taste

for the cheese layer:

  • 2 cups low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic seasoning salt such as Lawry's
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella sliced thin

Instructions

  • Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta 1-2 minutes shy of al dente and drain. Set aside.
  • Place hot pot over medium heat and sauté onions, garlic and zucchini in olive oil for 3 minutes or until they start to get tender. Add in ground turkey and break apart to brown. Once turkey meat is completely cooked, add in remaining sauce ingredients, adjusting seasonings as you like. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook 15 minutes. *Add in splashes of water as needed. You don't want this to get too terribly thick.
  • While sauce is cooking, stir all ingredients for the cheese layer together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Remove bay leaf from sauce. Stir in pasta and toss to coat. Spoon half pasta and sauce into the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 glass baking dish. Spread entire cheese layer over hot pasta and top with half the sliced mozzarella. Pour over remaining pasta and top with last few slices of mozzarella.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sit 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 644kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 1796mg | Potassium: 1077mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1130IU | Vitamin C: 23.2mg | Calcium: 406mg | Iron: 4.1mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Baked Rigatoni, Rigatoni, Rigatoni Pasta, Rigatoni Recipe

 

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28 Responses
  1. Baked Rigatoni Lasagna | Lauren's Latest - S. Dionne Moore

    […] See on Scoop.it – Happy NibblerSee on www.laurenslatest.com […]

  2. Matt Robinson

    Well this “hot mess” of a lasagna looks incredibly good and it will be made here soon without a doubt. Love it!

  3. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

    Yummmm, this looks incredible Lauren! You really can’t beat cheesy pasta 🙂 And I definitely agree that this looks much easier than faffing around with layers of lasagne!

  4. Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen

    I love adding zucchini and summer squash into my lasagna dishes. It’s SO good. I am SO craving Italian now!

  5. Emily @ Life on Food

    5 stars
    Yes, I love pasta bakes like this. So much easier. I love that you added zucchini and turkey. So healthy too.

  6. SA Matthews

    5 stars
    Making tonight, smells great! Did not have zucchini so used a bunch of fresh mushrooms. Bet would be great with Spinach in it too!

  7. Lindsay Havens

    5 stars
    I made this recipe just the other night and it was awesome, as are all the recipes here! 🙂 Definitely try this one out!

  8. Meanie Kramar

    5 stars
    Excellent. But I think I’ll stick to my own homemade marinara sauce, complete with red wine starting with my mirepoix.

  9. Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti Recipe | Lauren's Latest

    […] you’re not in the mood for a slightly spicy ride, try these other pasta recipes: Baked Rigatoni Pasta Recipe, Browned Butter Alfredo Pasta, Gluten Free Pasta with Spaghetti Meat Sauce or Broccoli Pesto […]

  10. Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Recipe | Lauren's Latest

    […] you’re not in the mood for a slightly spicy ride, try these other pasta recipes: Baked Rigatoni Pasta Recipe, Browned Butter Alfredo Pasta, Gluten Free Pasta with Spaghetti Meat Sauce or Broccoli Pesto […]

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