No matter the time of year or what type of weather is brewing outside, sometimes nothing sounds better than sitting down with a warm and filling meal. Yes, we're talking about good old-fashioned comfort food, and pasta tends to check all the boxes. Whether it’s decadent mac and cheese or classic lasagna, these soothing meals are always popular thanks to the warmth and comfort they provide. Chief among these cozy creations is baked pasta. From lasagna and stuffed pasta to baked rigatoni and spaghetti, when you need to warm your soul, turn to any of these Italian-inspired culinary feats.
Read on for our favorite baked pasta recipes to whip up tonight.
Butternut Squash and Sun-Dried Tomato White Lasagna
For an elevated twist on traditional lasagna, try this butternut squash and sun-dried tomato white lasagna from Half Baked Harvest. Instead of marinara sauce and sausage, this vegetarian dish is made with butternut squash, ricotta cheese, and a homemade white sauce prepared with garlic, sage, basil, milk, and cheese.
You can make this recipe in advance and then bake just before serving. Recipe creator Tieghan Gerard loves making it the day before, keeping it in the fridge, and baking the next night for dinner.
Stuffed Giant Pasta Shells
These cheesy stuffed giant pasta shells from Stuck In The Kitchen are perfect for a cozy night in. The shells are called conchiglie and are perfect for holding the cheesy mixture of ricotta, parmesan, and egg that this recipe calls for. Serve with a green bitter salad to complete the meal.
Baked Turkey Sausage and Mascarpone Stuffed Shells
Warm up with a bowl of this baked turkey sausage and mascarpone stuffed shell pasta from Spoon Fork Bacon. Instead of a traditional ricotta cheese filling, the large shell pasta is stuffed with mascarpone (a kind of Italian cream cheese). Marinara sauce, basil, oregano, and parmesan cheese bring traditional Italian flavors together in this hearty and satisfying dish.
Baked Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese
A collection of baked pasta recipes wouldn’t be complete without a decadent baked mac and cheese, like this one from Spoon Fork Bacon. A twist on a classic, this dish calls for spinach and artichoke to mix into the cheesy layers of pasta. It’s basically spinach and artichoke dip meets mac and cheese.
Vegetarian Chickpea Lasagna Bolognese
You’d never know just by looking at the finished product, but this lasagna bolognese from Sugar Salted is completely vegetarian. Instead of a traditional bolognese, this recipe features a chickpea tomato sauce that looks and tastes similar to the classic dish.
It might sound strange, but this baked spaghetti recipe from I Am a Food Blog is worth trying. A play on both lasagna and spaghetti bolognese, this cheesy baked pasta creation lets you enjoy all of your favorite Italian flavors.
Be sure to cook the pasta a little less than usual on the stove, as the noodles will continue cooking in the oven.
Baked Sausage and Cheese Rigatoni
This baked sausage and cheese rigatoni dish from Foodie Crush will become a weeknight staple in your house. Think sweet Italian sausage, roasted bell peppers, and so much cheese. After baking, you’ll be left with a crusty outer layer to hold together a perfectly melted center.
Pasta Bake With Awesome Sauce
The name alone should convince you to try out this A Couple Cooks recipe. Cavatappi (or any other short pasta) is baked in the oven and topped with an "awesome sauce" containing olives, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, butter, honey, basil, and spices. Everything is topped off with fresh mozzarella and parmesan.
The Cheesiest Spinach and Cheese Lasagna
If your mantra is the more cheese, the better, you'll love this Foodie Crush recipe. Layer lasagna noodles with a mixture of spinach, marinara, and three kinds of cheeses (ricotta, mozzarella, and provolone). Bake everything in the oven and sprinkle with parmesan when you're done. It's cheesy, melty madness in the best way possible.
Lobster Mac and Cheese
You don't have to go to a restaurant to get a killer lobster mac and cheese—Foodie Crush's recipe is bringing the indulgent dish straight to your kitchen. Lobster meat is mixed into the cheesy pasta, topped with a breadcrumb mixture, and baked in the oven. This dish is ready in less than an hour, so you have no excuse not to try it out.
Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake
Take advantage of summer tomato sauce and make Half Baked Harvest's tomato basil pasta. The creamy, spicy tomato basil pesto sauce coats fettuccine, which is then mixed with goat and fontina cheese and baked in the oven. The secret ingredient? A little red enchilada sauce!
Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups
Switch up your standard lasagna with these lasagna roll-ups from Foodie Crush. They're an easy way to make lasagna a little more elegant if you're serving them for date night or a dinner party, and they also give you automatic portion control (though we can't promise you'll stop after one roll!). These rolls are also vegetarian, so they're perfect for Meatless Monday.
Spicy Pesto Cheese Baked Rigatoni
Spice it up tonight with this Half Baked Harvest recipe. Not only is the dish incredibly flavorful, but it's also super easy to prepare. The secret to the recipe is Italian chicken sausage and (lots) of cheese on top. It can be on your table in under 45 minutes, with just 15 minutes of prep time.
Harvest Squash and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Craving a white sauce tonight? Try out this Foodie Crush recipe, which stuffs pasta shells with ricotta, zucchini, butternut, and yellow squash and bakes everything in a creamy alfredo sauce. It's super easy to prep, making this dish even more enticing.
Creamy French Onion Pasta Bake
When you're craving comfort food, try out this Half Baked Harvest recipe. It combines the best of both worlds in one—French onion soup and cheesy pasta. It's indulgent, but it's definitely worth the splurge. This elegant pasta is also ideal for your next at-home date night.
Caprese Pesto Pasta Bake
Skip the salad—this Half Baked Harvest Caprese pasta recipe is so much better! Pasta is tossed with roasted tomatoes, pesto, burrata, and prosciutto and then baked until the cheese melts. Warning: You may never go back to salad after this.
Zucchini Baked Ziti
This How Sweet Eats recipe sneaks in veggies and makes getting your daily dose that much easier. Zucchini combines with ziti, garlic, ricotta, and mozzarella, and it's all baked in an olive oil zucchini sauce. It's the ideal summer dinner—and even better when enjoyed with a glass of white wine!
Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie Stuffed Shells
You've never had comfort food quite like this before. I Am A Food Blog's recipe merges the ultimate comfort food classic, chicken pot pie, with stuffed shells, and the result is nothing short of decadent. Expect plenty of cheesy, creamy goodness.