Baked Rigatoni

5 from 1 vote

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Baked Rigatoni is a pasta dish that will be in your regular rotation because it is quick, full of flavor and your family will devour it.

Rigatoni is a type of tube pasta that is short, wide and cut straight giving it a cylindrical shape. It is similar to penne, however penne is cut at a diagonal to give it a pointy shape. The tube shape is great for encapsulating cheese and sauce to the max!

rigatoni pasta in a casserole style bake
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I love the smell of baked rigatoni filling my home and enjoying the fact that it was so easy to put together.

Baked rigatoni is a pasta dish that is covered in a meat sauce, lathered in cheese and then baked in the oven to perfection. This is a top choice to make when you are hosting guests because it makes plenty of pasta and is yummy to boot. 

Table of Contents

baking dish with cheese and rigatoni pasta

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Family-Friendly: This dish is sure to be a hit with the whole family, including picky eaters. The familiar flavors of pasta, sauce, and cheese are universally loved, making it a great option for family dinners or gatherings with kids.
  • Comfort Food: Baked rigatoni is the epitome of comfort food—warm, hearty, and satisfying. It’s perfect for cozy family dinners or comforting meals on chilly evenings.
  • Simple Ingredients: This recipe calls for basic, pantry-staple ingredients like pasta, marinara sauce, cheese, and Italian seasoning. You likely have most, if not all, of these ingredients on hand, making it convenient to whip up whenever a craving strikes.


  • Sausage: I think using sausage is so much better than just using ground beef. It adds SO much flavor. That being said you can use ground beef or half ground beef and half sausage.
  • Onion and Garlic
  • Tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • Petite diced tomatoes
  • Italian seasoning
  • Rigatoni pasta: these are a medium sized tube pasta and perfect for this dish, not too big and not too small
  • Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese

See recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities

rigatoni pasta in a casserole style bake

How to Make Baked Rigatoni

Step #1. Brown the sausage and diced onion in a large pan. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, then add both cans of tomatoes and stir in the Italian seasoning. Remove from the heat.

Step #3. Pour the mixture into a prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan and mozzarella evenly over the top.

Step #2. Stir the pasta into the sausage and pasta sauce mixture and stir to combine.

Step #4. Baked, uncovered, for 25-35 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is a bit browned.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use penne instead of rigatoni?

You can use penne or ziti if that is want you have on hand but I will tell you that rigatoni is the premier choice here. It holds the chunky sauce and cheese better than other pastas do.

How long should I cook my pasta for this recipe?

Since the pasta will be baked in the oven, I suggest cooking the pasta al dente which means it will have just a little bite left to it. You don’t want it to be overcooked and mushy.

What should I serve with baked rigatoni?

I like to serve pasta dishes with a fresh, green salad and a loaf of bread (like baguettes!). You can never go wrong with adding a vegetable as a side dish in my opinion. 

rigatoni pasta bake in a dish with cheese

Expert Tips

  • To freeze this pasta dish: prepare the dish but don’t bake it, wrap it tightly, and freeze. If it is covered properly, it will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months. To cook, thaw in the fridge overnight and then bake as directed.
  • You can use sausage, or ground beef. Or if you want to, use both!
  • Rigatoni pasta is best, but penne and ziti also work well.

More Pasta Recipes to Consider

baking dish with cheese and rigatoni pasta
5 from 1 vote

Baked Rigatoni

Baked rigatoni is a family favorite dinner that's so easy to make. You simply cook up some sausage and onion, add some canned tomatoes and seasoning, and stir all of that in with cooked rigatoni. Add that to a dish and top with cheese and then bake to perfection. We make this recipe often!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 2 pound ground sausage
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, (29 ounces)
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes with the juice, (15 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta, cooked according to the package directions and drained
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella, (8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, optional
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  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large skillet or pan add the sausage and the diced onion and cook, breaking up the sausage as you go, until the sausage is cooked through and the onion tender, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add both cans of tomatoes and Italian seasoning and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
  • Add the cooked rigatoni pasta to the pan and stir to combine.
  • Add the pasta and sausage mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top of the dish.
  • Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top of the dish.
  • Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is a bit browned. Sometimes if the sauce is done and everything is hot but the cheese isn’t quite browned enough to my liking, I’ll put it under the broil setting on my oven for 30 second to a minute to crisp up the cheese just a little.
  • Let the dish rest 5 minutes and then serve hot.



  • You have lots of options when it comes to sausage. You can get ground sausage like Jimmy Dean’s or sausage with casing (just remove the casing). You can use Italian sausage, normal breakfast sausage, hot or spicy sausage or just about anything that you like or have on hand.
  • You can use any similar sized pasta in this recipe if you prefer. 
  • You can make this dish ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator to bake later in the day.
  • Store in leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. You can reheat individual portions or cover the whole dish with foil and reheat it in the oven.


Serving: 1 of 8 servings, Calories: 708kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 16g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 108mg, Sodium: 1562mg, Potassium: 881mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 892IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 294mg, Iron: 4mg
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