Top 10 Baked Pasta Recipes

Just the term "baked pasta" sounds warm and comforting, doesn't it? Who wouldn't want to dig into a bubbling casserole filled with tender pasta, rich tomato sauce, melty and browned cheese, and crisp-tender vegetables? These recipes are perfect for dinner in the middle of the week or for entertaining. They can easily be made ahead of time and leftovers, believe me, are a treat.

There are just two tricks to these recipes: undercook the pasta just slightly, since it will absorb...MORE liquid from the sauce while it's baking in the oven. And let the casserole stand for five to ten minutes after you pull it out of the oven. That way it will set up and serve beautifully, and the molten sauce and cheese will cool a bit before you take the first luscious bite.

  • 01 of 10
    Meatball-Mac-and-Cheese.jpg
    Meatball Mac and Cheese. Linda Larsen

    Combine meatballs with mac and cheese for a hearty and delicious recipe that everyone will love. You can use your favorite cheeses in this easy casserole; I did!

  • 02 of 10
    Baked-Tortellini-with-Three-Sauces.jpg
    Baked Tortellini with Three Sauces. Linda Larsen

    I came up with this recipe one cold night when I wanted to use pasta sauce, pesto, and Alfredo sauce all in one recipe. It was the most comforting thing I could think of! And it's spectacular.

  • 03 of 10

    Creamy Stuffed Shells

    Creamy-Stuffed-Shells.jpg
    Creamy Stuffed Shells. Linda Larsen

    This easy vegetarian main dish recipe is satisfying and hearty. The shells are so fun to stuff; get your kids to help! Make it ahead of time and refrigerate up to two days; then just pop it in the oven and enjoy.

  • 04 of 10
    Red-and-White-Tortellini.jpg
    Red and White Tortellini. Linda Larsen

    This recipe is so easy that even my non-cooking husband can make it. It takes about five minutes to put together; then it just bakes in the oven to cheesy and creamy perfection.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs
    Linda Larsen

    Something wonderful happens to spaghetti when you bake it with a sauce. It absorbs the flavors of the sauce, and the acid in the tomatoes keeps the spaghetti at the perfect texture. You can use frozen precooked meatballs in this easy recipe, or make your own.

  • 06 of 10
    Pesto Meatballs with Orzo
    Pesto Meatballs with Orzo. Linda Larsen

    I love pesto, and meatballs, and orzo. So put them all together in a casserole with Alfredo sauce, sour cream, and cheese for a fabulous recipe everyone will love.

  • 07 of 10

    Creamy Baked Pasta

    Creamy-Baked-Pasta.jpg
    Creamy Baked Pasta. Linda Larsen

    Creamy Baked Pasta is simple to make, hearty, and comforting. Make it on a cold rainy night to warm up your family.

  • 08 of 10

    Baked Penne

    Baked Penne
    Rita Maas/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    This is my version of the classic Italian dish. Because I like pasta casseroles to be creamy, I add cream cheese and herbed goat cheese. The dish is so good and full of flavor. I use whole wheat penne too, for the extra nutrition. The sturdy pasta stands up well to the hearty sauce.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Buffalo Chicken Penne Bake

    Buffalo Chicken Penne
    Buffalo Chicken Penne. Linda Larsen

    This casserole combines the best of two worlds: a creamy pasta bake and the flavors of Buffalo chicken wings. This is a perfect dish for entertaining.

  • 10 of 10
    Italian Wedding Pasta
    Italian Wedding Pasta. Linda Larsen

    This gorgeous casserole came about as I was trying to think of a different way to make Italian Wedding Soup with the little meatballs. Chicken meatballs are perfect in this treat. It's so colorful too!