If you’re looking for a simple yet delicious one tray recipe, this easy sausage pasta bake is hard to beat!
Rich sausage meat in a delicious tomato sauce, topped with bubbling melted cheese, this pasta bake is a truly sensational one tray wonder!
Why You’ll Love This Sausage Pasta Bake Recipe
- The Mediterranean ingredients work so well to create a combination of flavours that is absolutely wonderful
- It’s perfect as a midweek meal or as a comforting Sunday lunch
- It’s all cooked in one pot, making it really easy to make and even easier to wash up afterwards
- Ready from start to finish in less than 40 minutes
Equipment Needed To Make This Recipe
There are a few essential items you’ll need for this sausage pasta bake:
- Large frying pan – you’ll need this frying pan to fry up your sausage pieces and onion, before adding the sauce and transferring everything into the casserole dish
- Casserole dish – invest in a high quality casserole dish to make your favourite pasta bakes
How To Make Sausage Pasta Bake
If you don’t fancy the carb overload and prefer a lighter side, serve it with a salad. My recipe for Mediterranean salad would be the perfect accompaniment. You could also try something like a pumpkin and beetroot salad.
You could omit the onions from the dish and serve them on the side instead. These tobacco onions will bring a wonderful smoky flavour and make for a great alternative side dish.
I highly recommend pairing a good wine with this dish! Especially if you’re serving it as a hearty weekend lunch – a good red wine will take your dining experience to the next level!
An ideal wine pairing for sausage pasta bake would be a Zinfandel, Chianti Classico, Barbera, Valpolicella or a Pinot Noir.
The acidity of these wines helps to cut through the creamy richness of the dish, while the fruitiness pairs perfectly with the savoury flavours.
Variations To This Recipe
Make it meat-free
This delicious one-dish wonder doesn’t need meat to be delicious – vegetarians can easily adapt it by replacing the sausage meat with mushrooms, aubergine, artichokes or a different chunky vegetable with a ‘meaty’ flavour.
You can also replace the pork sausages with vegan sausages.
Make it lighter
Bubbling cheese is a big part of the charm of this recipe. However, you can make a it lighter and healthier by leaving out the mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
Make it creamier
Stir through two tablespoons of creme fraiche into the mixture before it goes into the oven to give this dish even more creaminess.
Make it more tomatoey
Add some chopped sun dried tomatoes to bring an extra rich tomato taste to the dish. You could also scatter some chopped cherry tomatoes on top for an extra burst of flavour.
- Swap the sausage meat for a different kind of meat if you prefer. Chicken wings, thighs or legs would work.
- If you’re not a fan of mozzarella cheese or parmesan, you can swap them for a cheese of your choice. Feta would work in place of mozzarella, or any other type of sheep or goats’ milk. Cheddar would be a good replacement for parmesan.
Cook your pasta ‘al dente’ to prevent it from going mushy when baked in the oven.
What’s the best pasta to use for sausage pasta casserole?
My pasta pick for this casserole is fusilli, but any type of short pasta such as rigatoni or penne will do.
How do you store sausage pasta bake leftovers?
Pasta bake leftovers will last 2-3 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
What kind of sausages should I use for this pasta bake?
You can use any type of sausage for this pasta casserole. I recommend using the best quality pork sausages you can get – at least 75% pork in the sausage mixture. Maybe Italian sausages with Italian seasoning if you can get them. You’ll certainly taste the difference!
What do they call sausage pasta bake in Italy?
In Italy, pasta bake is known as ‘pasta al forno.’ A sausage pasta bake is very popular in Naples and is known as ‘baked ziti’, made using ziti pasta, which is very similar to penne.
Can you freeze sausage pasta bake leftovers?
Yes. First, allow it to cool completely, then place it in a suitable airtight freezable container. Don’t forget to label the container with the contents and data of freezing. You can freeze sausage pasta bake for up to three months.
When you’re ready to eat the leftovers, allow them to defrost in the fridge, preferably overnight. You can reheat sausage pasta bake leftovers by popping it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes (stirring halfway through) or in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.
More pasta bake recipes
For speed, simplicity and out and out flavour, you just can’t beat a one tray wonder! Once you’ve mastered this wonderful sausage pasta bake recipe, try out one of these:
- Chicken and leek pasta bake – another super simple pasta bake that’s ideal as a healthy, easy meal during a busy week. The flavours are simple yet work so well together
- Baked seafood pasta – one for the seafood lovers! Prawns and crab combine for a succulent traybake that’s as comforting as it is simple to make
- Bolognese pasta bake – a classic pasta bake with an incredibly rich taste. All the traditional flavours are here, from the tender beef to the melted cheese. Anyone can master it, yet nobody can resist it!
Sausage Pasta Bake Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6 servings 1x
Diet: Low Salt
This sausage pasta bake is a tasty comfort food loaded with savoury sausage, tender pasta, and melty cheese. It’s easy to make and perfect for busy weeknights.
- 500g (2.2lbs) fusilli pasta
- 12 pork sausages
- 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
- 2 medium red onions, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 15ml (1 tbsp) balsamic vinegar
- 400g (1 tin) chopped tomatoes
- 500g (1 carton) passata
- 2g (2 tsp) chili flakes
- 150g (5oz) mozzarella
- 50g (2oz) parmesan
- 50g (2oz) panko bread crumbs
- fresh basil, to decorate
- Cook your pasta in another saucepan according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Save a bit of pasta water for later.
- Skin your sausages by scoring down the side and peeling the skin off.
- Cut each sausage into small chunks. I cut each sausage into 5 pieces but feel free to cut into more if you would like smaller chunks
- Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large frying pan.
- Brown the sausage pieces in batches, then set aside.
- Cook the red onions and garlic in the same pan over a medium-low heat for around 5 minutes or until softened, stirring regularly.
- Pour in your balsamic vinegar and stir well to get all of the goodness off the bottom of the pan and then add your chopped tomatoes, passata and chili flakes. Leave over a low heat to bubble away and thicken slightly.
- Preheat your oven to 240°C / 220°C fan / 460°F / gas mark 9.
- Add 30ml (2 tbsp) of pasta water to your sauce, then add the sausage and the pasta and stir well until all is incorporated.
- Tip everything into a large casserole dish and top with the cheeses and panko.
- Transfer to the oven and cook for around 10 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
- Sprinkle some basil over the top and serve immediately. Enjoy!
- You can use any type of sausage but I prefer the flavour of pork sausages.
- Modify the amount of chili and balsamic vinegar to taste.
- Feel free to use any pasta you have in the cupboard.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian
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