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6 Hearty Baked Pasta Recipes to Warm the Heart

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Truly, there’s nothing much better than baked pasta. With sauce intertwined throughout every noodle and melted cheesy goodness on top, who can resist baked pasta recipes? This comfort food soothes the soul and warms the heart—something most foods can only dream of doing. Customize your pasta dish by adding more of your favorite ingredients and make it the ultimate comfort meal. From cheesy classics like baked ziti to new twists like Enchilada Pasta Bake, the following six baked pasta recipes are family-friendly, crowd-pleasing and kid-approved dishes.

 

Creamy Baked Ziti

If you’re a total cheese lover, this baked ziti is right up your alley. The cream cheese and sour cream provide extra creaminess, setting it apart from ordinary baked ziti recipes. Perfect for a potluck dinner or a weeknight when you need something quick and easy.

Servings: 8

Ingredients

4 cups ziti pasta, uncooked

1 jar (26 oz.) marinara sauce

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

6 oz. (3/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) cream cheese, cubed

3/4 cup sour cream

1 pkg. (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

Heat oven to 375ºF.

Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt. Remove from pan; drain. Meanwhile, add marinara sauce, tomatoes and cream cheese to same pan; cook on medium heat 5 minutes or until cream cheese is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently. Return pasta to pan; mix well.

Layer half the pasta mixture in 13×9-inch baking dish; cover with layers of sour cream, 1 cup mozzarella and remaining pasta mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.

 

 

Cheesy & Beefy Tomato Corkscrew Pasta Bake

When you have an undeniable craving for baked pasta, this is one of those baked pasta recipes that always delivers and never disappoints. You don’t have to be a kid to love Velveeta cheese—you can be a kid at heart! Garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes really give this dish a boost of flavor.

Servings: 10

Ingredients

1 pkg. (16 oz.) cavatappi

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 lb. lean ground beef

1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 cup marinara sauce

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 tsp. dried oregano leaves

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

8 oz. Velveeta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

 

Directions

Heat oven to 350ºF.

Cook pasta as directed on package.

Heat oil in large skillet. Add onions, peppers and garlic; saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add beef and brown it. Add diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, 2 Tbsp. Parmesan and seasonings. Simmer 10 minutes; combine with pasta.

Spoon half the pasta mixture into greased 3-qt. casserole dish; cover with half the Velveeta. Repeat layers. Bake, covered, 15 minutes. Remove cover; stir. Bake 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.

 

 

Enchilada Pasta Bake

Looking for a new and unique baked pasta recipe? This dish puts a flavorful spin on traditional pasta meals. Completely filling and oh-so-delicious, Enchilada Pasta Bake can feed a crowd (just be sure to make enough for second helpings!).

Servings: 8

Ingredients

4-1/2 cups medium pasta shells, uncooked

2 tsp. oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 pkg. (1.25 oz.) taco seasoning mix

1 can (14.5 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

2 cups deli chicken breast

1 can (15 oz.) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed

3 green onions, thinly sliced, divided

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

1 pkg. (8 oz.) Mexican-style shredded cheese

 

Directions

Heat oven to 375°F.

Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt. Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add yellow onions and peppers; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Stir in seasoning mix and tomatoes; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add chicken, beans and half each of the green onions and cilantro; mix well. Remove from heat.

Drain pasta. Add to chicken mixture; mix lightly. Pour into 13×9-inch baking dish; top with cheese.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until pasta mixture is heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with remaining green onions and cilantro.

 

 

Creamy Chicken and Pasta Bake

Good things come to those who bake this baked pasta dish. If you have a difficult time convincing your children that broccoli is yummy, this recipe might just do the trick. Plus, Neufchatel cheese is the reduced-fat version of cream cheese, so you get a much lower-calorie version of baked pasta.

Servings: 4

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups multigrain rotini pasta, uncooked

3 cups small broccoli florets

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) Philadelphia Neufchatel Cheese, cubed

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

Heat oven to 375ºF.

Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt and adding broccoli to the boiling water for the last 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until no longer pink, stirring frequently. Stir in broth; simmer 3 minutes or until chicken is done. Add Neufchatel; cook and stir on low heat 1 minute or until melted. Stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella.

Drain pasta and broccoli. Add to chicken mixture; mix lightly. Spoon into 8-inch square baking dish; cover.

Bake 15 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake, uncovered, 3 minutes or until melted. Let stand 5 minutes.

 

 

Vegetable Pasta Bake

Who needs meat when you can pair pasta with delicious veggies? If you are a veggie lover, you will surely love this vegetarian dish. Fill up on the good stuff so you can take pleasure in the “bad” stuff (think: dessert) later!

Servings: 6

Ingredients

3 cups rotini pasta, cooked, drained

1 jar (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce

1 bag (16 oz.) frozen vegetable blend, thawed

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 pkg. (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

 

Directions

Heat oven to 375°F.

Combine pasta, sauce, vegetables and 2 Tbsp. Parmesan.

Spoon into 13×9-inch baking dish; top with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan.

Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.

 

 

Chicken and Penne Pasta Bake

The best of the baked pasta recipes was intentionally saved for last! This chicken pasta dish is a real crowd-pleaser—great if you’re hosting a dinner party. The Italian Parmesan cheese breadcrumbs provide added seasoning and the spinach and chicken make it nutritious and satisfying. Simple to make and delicious to eat—it’s a winner!

Servings: 6

Ingredients

2-3/4 cups penne pasta (12 oz.), uncooked

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

1 jar (24 oz.) marinara sauce

2 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves

1 pkg. (6 oz.) Fresh Take Italian Parmesan Recipe Cheese Breadcrumb Mix, mixed together

 

Directions

Heat oven to 400ºF.

Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt. Meanwhile, heat oil in large ovenproof skillet on medium heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 5 to 6 minutes or until evenly browned. Stir in marinara sauce.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Add to ingredients in skillet; mix lightly. Stir in spinach; top with cheese mixture.

Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.

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