Cheesy Sausage Pasta Bake

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This cheesy sausage pasta bake is ooey gooey deliciousness for when you’re craving a low-effort comfort recipe. This cheesy baked pasta with sausage will be your new favorite mid-week meal recipe!

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A comforting cheesy sausage pasta bake is a recipe that barely needs an introduction because all the goodness is right there in the name. It has cheese, it has sausage, it has pasta. What else can I possibly tell you about this?

I can tell you that I absolutely love this for a comfort meal pick-me-up. She’s not winning any awards in the healthiness department, but sometimes it feels good to melt away into a big bowl of cheesy comfort.

Here’s what you need to make it:

  • Sausage: Use loose Italian sausage, spicy or mild, depending on your heat tolerance. If you can only find the links, simply remove the casing and crumble the sausage.
  • Aromatics and seasoning: I kept it simple with just garlic and onion. I also hit it with a tiny bit of Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper.
  • Tomatoes: This recipe uses both tomato paste and a can of diced tomatoes.
  • Pasta: A tubular pasta like rigatoni, penne, or ziti is perfect for pasta bake recipes!
  • Cheese: Parmigiano-Reggiano is grated and mixed into the sauce, and mozzarella is scattered on top.
  • Extra oomph: I used white wine to deglaze the pot and a bit of heavy cream to finish the sauce. Fresh basil is a great way to finish the baked pasta!
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How to make this cheesy sausage pasta bake:

Making this recipe is as easy as anything. Here are the basic steps:

  • Start with the sauce. This is a quick-cooking sauce, so you can prepare the pasta and other ingredients as it simmers. The sauce is just a few steps, starting with a quick sauté of sausage, onion, and garlic. Throw in a little butter, herbs, and tomato paste, and deglaze with white wine. Add the tomatoes and simmer. Finish it with heavy cream and another 10 minutes over low heat. That’s it.
  • Cook the pasta: While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta about 2 minutes shy of al dente.
  • Assemble the casserole: Add a layer of sauce to a baking dish and pile the pasta on top. Add the remaining sauce, and the parm, and toss to coat. Finish with a layer of mozzarella. I give it a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to get some crispy brown bubbles on top.
  • Bake it: Toss the whole thing in the oven for 15–20 minutes. Remove and scatter fresh basil on top.

That’s the gist of the recipe. Trust me; you’ll love how easy it is to throw this together.

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Cheesy Sausage Pasta Bake

This cheesy sausage pasta bake is ooey gooey deliciousness for when you're craving a low-effort comfort recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 744kcal


  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage, loose
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Crushed red pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 14.5- ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup finely grated parm
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 16 ounces rigatoni
  • Fresh basil, for serving
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Brown the sausage:

  • Crumble sausage into a cold skillet. Turn heat to medium-high. Cook, occasionally turning and breaking up the sausage with your spoon, for 12-15 minutes until cooked through. Drain off excess fat if needed, leaving sausage in the skillet.

Cook the aromatics:

  • Add the onion to the sausage and cook over medium heat for 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Melt the butter into the skillet and add Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper to taste. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant. (I forgot to record this part, whoops.)

Sizzle the tomato paste:

  • Add tomato paste and toss to coat everything in the paste. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the paste deepens in color and begins to stick to the skillet.

Simmer the sauce:

  • Pour in white wine and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes and boil for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes as you cook the pasta. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar (optional).
  • Taste the sauce and season. Stir in heavy cream and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.

Cook the pasta:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until 1–2 minutes shy of al dente. Drain.

Assemble and bake the casserole:

  • Spoon half of the sauce into a baking dish. Add the cooked pasta, the rest of the sauce, and the grated parm and toss to coat.
  • Arrange the mozzarella on top and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Finish with a few cracks of black pepper. Transfer to the oven for 15–20 minutes. Broil for 2–3 minutes until cheese is browned is bubbly.

To serve:

  • Remove from the oven and garnish with a few basil leaves. Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 744kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 40g | Sodium: 926mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin C: 11mg
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  1. Made this for a Sunday meal the other night. It was really simple and very very good. Hit all the spots you want in a cheesy, tomatoey pasta dish. Made excellent leftovers the following day also. Definitely will make this again.

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