How can you go wrong with a cheesy pasta bake casserole? Tender pasta noodles smothered with yummy tomato sauce and gooey cheese. It’s the perfect match!
There are two things that I really enjoy about a great cheesy pasta bake. The first is the overall simplicity of the meal. You only need a few ingredients and in less than an hour, you’ve made a delicious pasta casserole that everyone is bound to enjoy. You can even make it feel homemade by adding a couple of extra items to the mix. For example, while we used a jarred sauce, by combining it with fresh mushrooms and onions, we created something that feels rustic.
The second aspect of a cheesy pasta bake that I love is how easily the dinner can be modified to suit your personal tastes. Even though almost every recipe calls for the same base ingredients, pasta noodles, and sauce, you can still customize it to fit your preferences. Looking at our version, you can see we added ham. If you prefer prosciutto, then put it into the pasta.
Every now and then, Kim and I will use deli pepperonis or savory smoked bacon. It just depends on our mood at the time. Italian sausage is another great meat for a dish such as this. You get the picture, right? When it comes to creating a personalized pasta meal, then look no further than a cheesy pasta bake.
We are thinking about using penne with chicken and alfredo sauce for our next cheesy pasta bake. I think topping it with parmesan cheese will be wonderful. Given how easy and stress-free this meal is to prepare, changing it up on the fly is not a big deal.
All in all, it only took a little under an hour to have a hot meal that tasted homemade. Which means that it’s a wonderful option to have for those busy weeknight dinners. You know, the ones that usually consist of whatever you can pour out of a box. At least with this cheesy pasta bake, you can sneak in a few vegetables without anyone noticing them.
In closing, I challenge you to find an easier and more delicious meal than a cheesy pasta bake. As always, I wish everyone a long life, love everlasting, and a belly full of fantastic food.
Cheesy Pasta Bake Casserole
- 2 Cups Dried Pasta (penne, rigatoni, etc.)
- 3/4 Cups Sliced Mushrooms
- 1/2 Cup Diced Onion (Spanish or white onion)
- 1/2 Cup Diced Ham (or prosciutto)
- 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Italian Seasonings
- 10 Ounces Pasta Sauce or Marinara (your favorite brand)
- 1/3 Cup Red Wine
- 4 Ounces Mozzarella (shredded)
- First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. and cook the pasta noodles al dente per the instructions on the box. Drain the noodles of excess water and set them aside for later.
- Next, in a skillet over medium heat, saute the ham, onions, mushrooms, and for about three to five minutes. Then add the wine and let everything cook for an additional two minutes.
- Afterward, remove the pan from the heat and add the cooked noodles to the skillet. Then, pour your favorite pasta sauce over the noodles. Make to stir everything together, coating all the pasta in the sauce.
- Now, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the cheesy pasta bake and place it in the oven to cook for 20 minutes or until the cheese and sauce begin to boil.
- Last, remove the skillet from the oven and let the cheesy pasta bake cool for about 10 minutes before serving.