overhead shot of easy baked pasta with fresh bail on top
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Easy Baked Pasta

Easy Baked Pasta is a healthy, vegetarian dish combining a creamy ricotta tomato sauce, penne, cheese, and fresh tomatoes. You won't believe something that only takes minutes to throw together can be so delicious!
Course gluten free main dish, main dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 350kcal
Author Melissa Erdelac

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces penne or ziti pasta, regular or gluten free
  • 15 ounces (2 cups) part-skim ricotta
  • 24 ounce jar good quality marinara (3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes**, halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Cook pasta in salted water. If using regular pasta, cook for two minute less than al dente. If using gluten free pasta, cook less than half the time for al dente. For instance, my gluten free pasta said to cook 8 minutes for al dente, so I only cooked it 3 minutes for this recipe.*
  • While the pasta is cooking combine ricotta, marinara, parmesan cheese, balsamic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add drained pasta and stir to combine. Pour into a greased 9X13" baking dish.
  • Top pasta with mozzarella then halved tomatoes. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Then broil for 2-3 minutes longer to brown cheese and roast tomatoes. Garnish with fresh basil. 

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    Notes

    * Gluten free pasta breaks down easily, so you want to make sure it doesn't get overcooked and mushy when you finish cooking it in the oven.
    ** Can substitute 4-5 sliced Roma tomatoes too
    Tips / Tricks for Making Easy Baked Penne
    • Not feeling a vegetarian meal? Add cooked chicken, ground beef, or sausage when you mix in the penne.
    • Want more veggies? Add chopped spinach, cooked eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers or onions when you mix in the pasta.
    • Have leftovers? Read "Can a Pasta Bake Be Frozen?" above for tips on freezing Easy Baked Penne
    Recipe adapted from Delish

    Nutrition

    Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 889mg | Potassium: 554mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1120IU | Vitamin C: 11.2mg | Calcium: 345mg | Iron: 1.9mg