This Creamy Pasta Bake is a cinch to throw together on a busy weeknight. With two different kinds of sauce and plenty of cheese, your family will be begging for seconds and thirds.
I first had this pasta bake when we lived with my parents while our current home was being built.
My mom had never made the recipe before and I was blown away by how tasty it was.
Come to find out, it’s about the easiest recipe in the world because it only has 6 ingredients and uses bottled pasta sauce.
The secret behind the amazing taste comes from using both marinara and alfredo sauce.
Who knew we should have been mixing those together all along?!
COOK 1 box pasta (penne or rigatoni) according to package directions and DRAIN.
POUR a little bit of the sauce from 1 bottle alfredo sauce and 1 bottle marinara sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish and then SCATTER half of the noodles on top.
SPRINKLE the noodles with Italian seasoning and 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese.
ADD another layer of the same ingredients (sauce, noodles, seasoning, cheese) and finish with both sauces on top.
BAKE at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, until bubbly. SPRINKLE with 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese and serve.
Most pasta bakes and casserole dishes call for pre-cooked pasta. Pre-cooking the noodles cuts down on the cook time and ensures your dish bakes evenly.
This dish doesn’t need to be covered. There is a short cooking time and few ingredients.
If you find that your dish turns out dry, you can cover with foil for the first 15 minutes of cooking.
If your pasta bake turns out dry, just add more sauce or a little bit of water, stir, cover tightly with foil and return to the oven for a few minutes. This should steam the dry pasta and make it tender.
If you notice that your pasta bake comes out dry every time, try lowering your oven rack or covering the dish before putting it in the oven.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
There aren’t specific box or bottle sizes, because you get to choose which ones you include in the dish. If you have a small family and don’t need to make as much, you can use half the box of pasta. You could also buy smaller sauce bottles.
The opposite is true for a large family; you’ll want to buy large bottles and possibly use 2 boxes of pasta.
If you don’t have penne pasta on hand, or would prefer another shape, just choose your favorite! I always tell my husband that pasta tastes the same no matter the shape 😉
When you add the sauce to the bottom of the pan, do so sparingly. The jars I buy are fairly small, and the sauce goes quickly, so make sure you save enough to cover the noodles.
This recipe is completely customizable. You can choose whatever sauce you prefer, or make your own! You can also change the cheese and add a little more on top at the end like I did.
More Like This
Want more pasta dishes? You’ll love these!
- Cheesy Chicken Macaroni Casserole
- Easy Spaghetti with Chili Sauce (aka Cincinnati Chili)
- Cheesy Chicken and Linguine Recipe
- The Perfect Lemon Basil Pasta
- Lasagna made with Cottage Cheese
I hope your family loves this creamy pasta bake as much as mine! If you make it, be sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram with @ashcroftfamilytable and use the hashtag #ashcroftfamilytable!
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Creamy Pasta Bake
- 1 16 ounce box pasta, penne or rigatoni
- 1 15 ounce bottle alfredo sauce
- 1 24 ounce bottle marinara sauce
- 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Cook noodles according to package directions and drain.
- Pour a little of each of the sauces into the bottom of a casserole dish and put half of the noodles on top.
- Sprinkle the noodles with 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
- Add another layer of the same ingredients (sauce, noodles, seasoning, cheese) and finish with both sauces on top. Sprinkle the last teaspoon of seasoning on the sauces.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until bubbly. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.