As the weather gradually cools off, it’s high time to reacquaint yourself with your old friend the oven and serve up some baked pasta. It’s comfort food at its finest that can also fit the bill of make-ahead and big batch, certainly welcome features in this day and age.
But the main reason to go al forno is because it tastes so good. A blast of heat coaxes even more flavor out of the sauce while the pasta gets delightfully crispy at the edges. Then there’s the bubbly browned cheese that streeeeeches and ooooozes, seemingly unable to decide whether it wants to stay in the baking dish, go on your plate, or split the difference.
So, get a pot of water boiling, and fire up the oven for some of our favorite baked pasta recipes.
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Italian sausage, peppers, and onions is a perennial sandwich filling, but the combo is equally satisfying when baked with spaghetti. A simple marinara, melty mozzarella, and dollops of sweet ricotta help seal the deal. Get our Baked Spaghetti with Sausage, Peppers, and Onions recipe.
Want a change of pace from the classic spaghetti and meatballs? Try switching up your noodle’s shape with tubular ziti and craft your meaty spheres with sausage. The addition of milky ricotta prevents the ingredients from drying out in the hot heat. Get our Baked Ziti with Meatballs recipe.
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Here’s an adult spin on kid-friendly mac & cheese that will have the whole family clamoring for seconds. The little ones may scarf it down so fast that they won’t even notice the presence of broccoli florets. (Peas, kale, or spinach are equally tasty veggie sneak attacks). Toss in rotisserie chicken for a boost of protein. Get our Baked Ziti Alfredo recipe.
Radicchio and pasta, who knew? A trip to the oven tones down the chicory’s bitterness while amping up the sweetness which complements the justifiably copious top coat of salty mozzarella and parmesan. Get our Baked Radicchio and Mozzarella Pasta recipe.
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There’s plenty to love about this vegetarian crowd pleaser that fuses flavors of Italy and Greece. Crème fraîche and yogurt keep things extra creamy—think the pasta version of spinach dip. Get our Baked Penne with Spinach and Feta recipe.
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Earthy creminis and gobs of Gruyère make this pasta bake an absolute fall classic. Incorporating Cream of Mushroom Soup amps up the indulgence, and making it from scratch is worth the extra effort. Get our Creamy Mushroom Pasta Bake recipe.
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There are plenty of worthy mac & cheese variations, but it’s hard to top this simple, straightforward rendition. Cheddar, gouda, and parmesan offer some elbow grease while a sprinkle of panko bread crumbs provides that signature crunch. Get our Easy Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe.
Decadent béchamel sauce and a meaty Bolognese ragu offer layer after layer of hearty pleasure in this upscale lasagna. Make ahead and then enjoy leftovers for days. Get our Lasagna alla Bolognese recipe.
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Making gnocchi from scratch is a cinch, but you will need a ricer or a food mill to process the baked potatoes. Sharp, pungent blue cheese is an exceptional pairing for these delightfully chewy potato dumplings, especially with a sprinkling of parmesan on top before heading into the oven. Get our Creamy Blue Cheese Gnocchi recipe.
Whether it’s a Passover seder or a special Shabbat feast, heed Bubbe’s recipe for creamy, eggy, gently sweetened kugel. It’s just as good hot from the oven as it is made-ahead and served at room temperature. Serve as a side, main, or even dessert. Get Bubbe’s Luchen Kugel recipe.