Simple Baked Rigatoni Recipe for Easy Pasta Dinners

This Baked Rigatoni recipe is a simple pasta dish that layers rigatoni, herbed ricotta cheese, spinach, and mozzarella. Baked until golden, it’s a super easy pasta dinner everyone loves.

Bowl of Baked Rigatoni with Shredded Mozzarella

When the family gets to choose the dinner option, pasta is always a top pick. This pasta dish is simple but incredibly delicious. As any cheesy pasta dish will be.

What I Love About Baked Rigatoni

Three favorites with this baked rigatoni:

  • An easy vegetarian pasta dish requiring minimal prep work.
  • Perfect to make ahead and bake when ready.
  • A filling and hearty dish that’s delicious as is… or adaptable to what’s in my refrigerator.

 

 

Closeup view of Baked Rigatoni with melted mozzarella

The Best Baked Rigatoni Recipe

Much like lasagne, this Baked Rigatoni is made up of layers of pasta, herbed ricotta cheese, spinach, and marinara sauce. And topped with everyone’s favorite… mozzarella. It’s cheesy, easy, and a favorite simple pasta dinner. 

Can You Substitute Rigatoni for Another Pasta? 

Absolutely. Rigatoni is a large, tube-shaped pasta with ridges that help delicious sauces adhere to it. Which makes it perfect for baked pasta or for using with thick sauces like cream and chunky tomato sauces.

If you want to substitute rigatoni for another pasta, look for short, tube shapes. Ziti, penne, mostaccioli, or fusilli are great options. 

Baked Rigatoni Ingredients: 

All you need for this baked rigatoni pasta recipe are a handful of family-friendly ingredients: 

  • Rigatoni pasta (or other tube-shaped pasta)
  • Marinara sauce
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Large egg
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh parsley (or other herbs like chives, basil, etc)
  • Seasoning: salt, Italian seasoning, and optional red pepper flakes

Ingredient Notes:

  • Shred your own mozzarella. I know it’s incredibly easy to buy a package of pre-shredded cheese. My hand is raised as I often reach for it too. But in this dish, it makes a huge difference. You want the cheese to melt and be stringy and delicious. For those reasons… shred your own this time. 
  • As there are so few ingredients in this recipe, a quality marinara sauce is essential. I love using a basil, garlic marinara sauce here. 

How do you Make Baked Rigatoni? 

This is a summary of how to make this pasta recipe. More details are in the recipe card below.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Bowl of cooked rigatoni with marinara sauce

1. Cook the pasta:

Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente; drain. Stir red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning into a jar of marinara sauce; toss with the pasta.

Layered rigatoni pasta with spinach and ricotta cheese layers

2. Make the Ricotta layer:

Stir together ricotta cheese, beaten egg, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, and chopped fresh parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Unbaked rigatoni ready for the oven.

3. Assemble the Baked Rigatoni

Layer half of the pasta mixture in the baking dish. Top with spinach. Then spread the ricotta mixture over the top. Finally, spoon the remaining pasta over the top and sprinkle it with shredded mozzarella cheese. 

Bake for 30 minutes (or until hot and bubbly).

Variations on Baked Rigatoni

While this recipe is perfectly wonderful as is, it’s easy to modify and add ingredients as you wish. Here are some suggestions: 

  • Meat ideas: Ground turkey, ground beef, Italian sausage, or shredded cooked chicken are delicious options. 
  • Vegetables: While I always love to add spinach, you might also like to add mushrooms, spinach, or shredded zucchini to the sauce. 

More Pasta Recipes You Will Like

Bowl of Baked Rigatoni on a Brown and White Transferware Plate

Bowl of Baked Rigatoni with Shredded Mozzarella

Baked Rigatoni Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This Baked Rigatoni recipe is a simple pasta dish that layers rigatoni, herbed ricotta cheese, spinach, and mozzarella. Baked until golden, it's a super easy pasta dinner everyone loves.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz box rigatoni pasta
  • 1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced garilc
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions until just al dente and drain. Add the red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning to a jar of marinara sauce; toss with cooked pasta. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, egg, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper; stir to combine.
  4. Layer half of the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with fresh spinach leaves followed by the ricotta. Then spoon the remaining pasta over the top and sprinkle with mozzarella.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes (or until hot and bubbly).

Notes

Making Ahead:

  • This baked rigatoni can be assembled up to half a day before you plan to bake it. Store it in the refrigerator and add a few minutes to the baking time.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 552mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 16g

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