My extra cheesy, extra delicious baked rigatoni recipe is bound to become a family favorite! This incredible pasta casserole is made with a hearty and meaty Bolognese sauce, three types of cheese and plenty of fresh basil and parsley! You’ll love how quick and easy it is to make this pasta recipe! It’s the ultimate comfort food anytime of year, but especially on cold winter nights! I love to make this easy dinner recipe with my Classic Bolognese Recipe, too!
Watch My Video!
Watch my YouTube video recipe for step-by-step instructions and watch me make this dish! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!
Making the Bolognese Sauce
This cheesy baked rigatoni recipe starts with a hearty and delicious Bolognese sauce! When I’m making this pasta casserole at home, I always use my Homemade Bolognese Sauce recipe. I have a separate video recipe for this sauce so make sure to check it out! It’s a very hearty and delicious meat sauce that’s great for so many pasta recipes! However, it does take a few hours to simmer, so today I’m sharing a super easy and convenient meat sauce recipe if you want a quick dinner!
For my quick and easy meat sauce, I simply brown 1 pound of ground beef in a large frying pan; you can also use mild or spicy Italian sausage for this dish. Next, I add in some good quality marinara sauce. I like to use one that already has onions and garlic in the sauce for maximum flavor. I used Organic Bello Marinara Sauce for my video recipe. Just simmer the sauce with the browned meat for a few minutes, add some fresh herbs to brighten the sauce and it’s ready to be used!
*While you’re making the meat sauce, it’s the perfect time to cook ½ pound of rigatoni pasta!*
All the Cheese!
You’ll love how much cheese this cheesy baked rigatoni recipe has!! I love to have lots and lots of cheese for this recipe, so I use a combination of three cheeses! I use grated mozzarella, grated parmesan and even some creamy ricotta! The ricotta cheese makes the dish more creamy and the melted mozzarella and parmesan are a must, too! Don’t forget to sprinkle more cheese on top of the casserole for even more cheesiness!
Making Baked Rigatoni
My baked rigatoni recipe is super easy to put together. I always cook the rigatoni pasta while I’m preparing the meat sauce, so it’s ready to go when the sauce is done. Drain the pasta and then place it into a large mixing bowl. Add the sauce and the cheeses and mix everything together. I like to reserve about ¾ cup mozzarella and ½ cup parmesan for the topping.
Transfer the pasta into a large casserole and bake in a preheated oven set to 400F for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden on top. For extra golden cheese, turn on the oven broiler for a few minutes! I like to garnish the top of the pasta casserole with more fresh herbs before enjoying!
Enjoyed this delicious and easy dinner recipe? Make sure to check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- Cheesy Stuffed Pasta Shells – the ultimate pasta shells with creamy ricotta filling and my homemade Bolognese sauce!
- The Best Meat & Cheese Lasagna – my all-time favorite lasagna recipe! Extra hearty, meaty, cheesy and delicious!
- Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta – one of my favorite chicken pasta recipes, made with creamy and zesty sun-dried tomato and artichoke sauce!
- Skinny Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo – all the flavor without the heavy cream! This pasta is made with juicy garlic chicken and creamy sauce!
- Chicken Pot Pie Noodles – if you love traditional pot pie, you’re going to LOVE this easy noodle version with all the flavor and none of the work!
Share it on Pinterest!
Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links):
- Large White Casserole – a simple, white casserole is so versatile and a must for any kitchen!
- Cheese Grater – I love this cheese grater because it’s extra sharp and gets the job done well!
- Zester (for Parmesan) – I use this amazing zester for grating parmesan cheese!
- Copper Frying Pans – I always get lots of questions about my copper cookware! My frying pan in the video recipe is by Mauviel.
Cheesy Baked Rigatoni Recipe (video)
- 1 recipe ‘Homemade Bolognese Sauce’
Quick Meat Sauce Recipe:
- 1 lb ground beef or Italian sausage
- 1 tbsp Cooking oil
- 1 tsp Salt/Ground pepper
- 24 oz canned marinara sauce
- 2 tbsp EACH: chopped fresh basil, fresh parsley
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
- 2 cups grated parmesan cheese, divided
- ½ lb rigatoni pasta
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400F/205C. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the rigatoni pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Drain the cooked pasta, place it into a large mixing bowl and keep the pasta warm.
- If using my Homemade Bolognese Sauce recipe, prepare it first before making the pasta since it simmers for a couple hours. It can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat before using in this recipe, if needed.
- Prepare the Quick Bolognese sauce. Preheat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of cooking oil. Once the oil is hot, add the ground beef or sausage and break the meat up using a spatula into small pieces. Season the meat with salt and ground black pepper and brown for 7 to 9 minutes, until the meat is cooked thoroughly. Add the canned marinara sauce into the pan and bring it up to simmer; simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the 2 tablespoons fresh basil and 2 tablespoons fresh parsley once the sauce is cooked.
- Pour the prepared meat sauce over the cooked pasta and add 1 ¾ cup mozzarella cheese, 1 ½ cups parmesan cheese and the ricotta cheese. Using a large spoon or spatula, mix all the ingredients together until well combined.
- Transfer the pasta into a large casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden on top. If desired, turn on the broiler for a couple minutes to get the cheese extra caramelized.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle more fresh herbs over the top. Allow the pasta to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before enjoying; it will be extremely hot straight out of the oven! Sprinkle more fresh herbs onto each serving, too.