This Bolognese Pasta Bake is rich and delicious comfort food dish and it is a great way to use leftovers. Pasta mixed with leftover bolognese and topped with cheese. Simple! An easy dish to make to feed a hungry crowd, it also freezes well too, making it perfect for batch cooking.
It doesn't get much more comforting than this Bolognese Pasta Bake. A dish full of your favourite pasta, mixed with leftover bolognese and then loaded with cheese. Rich, gooey and delicious comfort food that your whole family will love. It's kind of like a lazy lasagna.
We love a pasta bake. They are a great way to save some money on your food shopping, as you can pretty much put anything in them, making them great for a fridge raid, or to use up leftovers.
If you are looking for some other pasta bake recipes to try, then why not try our Vegetable Pasta Bake, Sausage Pasta Bake, Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Bake or Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Bake.
Why you will love it
- Easy comfort food - Just mix everything together in a big baking dish and put it in the oven. So easy.
- Freezes well - This is great for batch cooking as it freezes and reheats well.
- Adaptable - Feel free to adapt it with different vegetables, pasta and cheese.
- Uses up leftover bolognese - Don't waste leftover bolognese. Re-purpose it for another meal.
- Bolognese - We have used leftover bolognese, however you could cook it fresh to use in this if you wanted to.
- Pasta - We used fusilli, as that is what we have in the cupboard to use up. But you could use penne, macaroni or conchiglie. I prefer fusilli, because it is bigger and the twists allow the bolognese to cling to it - but that is just a preference thing.
- Cheese - I think a mix of cheese is good here. I really love the strong flavour of a mature cheddar, as it means that you can use less of it but still have an intense flavour. But, I also like how melty mozzarella goes, so we have used a mixture of the two. Gouda, Parmesan and Emmental all melt well too.
- Basil - A little bit of fresh basil adds lots of flavour.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make bolognese pasta bake - Step by step
One: Put the pasta in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 12 minutes.
Two: Get a bowl of your favourite bolognese ready.
Three: Drain the pasta, add it back to the pan with the bolognese and fresh basil and stir well.
Four: Pour in to a baking dish and top with cheese.
Five: Cook in a preheated oven at 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 for 20 minutes, until heated through.
How to make bolognese
Everyone should know how to make a classic bolognese (or a vegetarian version if that's your thing). I would imagine that bolognese is something that every family likes, so it's worth learning to make a really good one, as it will become a regular on your meal plan.
A good bolognese is all about the slow and low cooking, which is why we use a slow cooker to make a low effort, but delicious bolognese. Our Slow Cooker Bolognese is something you will make time and time again, and any leftovers are perfect for this pasta bake.
If you have your own favourite bolognese recipe, then feel free to use that. Just save 2 generous portions to be used in this recipe.
I always think that pasta bakes are a great opportunity to hide a load of vegetables in a dish - so this is perfect for fussy eaters. You could pack the bolognese full of veggies like mushrooms, carrot, peppers and aubergine and then when it is all mixed in with the pasta, add some grate courgette (zucchini) and some spinach too. All the greens!
We have loaded this with cheese, because, well, cheese. But you could save yourself some calories and halve the cheese.
What to serve with Bolognese Pasta Bake
It is a pretty epic and filling dish as it is, but if you are making this to feed and crowd then we suggest serving it with garlic bread. Either buy some ready made, or make your own easy garlic bread by cutting up some French stick and spreading it with a mix of butter, crushed garlic and dried herbs. Then pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. Why not try our Cheesy Garlic Bread recipe or our Air Fryer Garlic Bread?
As well as garlic bread, you can bulk the meal out with a big green salad. The key to an epic green salad is to use a variety of greens, like romaine, spinach, kale and rocket. You want leafy greens, but crunch too. Then you need the perfect dressing. Why not try our Lemon Vinaigrette, Honey and Mustard Dressing& or Tomato and Basil Vinaigrette. You could also try our Grilled Little Gem Salad.
Looking for some other sides to go with it, then of course we have some suggestions for you.
Store: You can keep leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Freeze: This is a great batch cooking meal, so make extras and then portion it out to put in the freezer. Make sure you let it cool down completely before freezing.
Defrost: Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: To reheat, make sure it is fully defrosted and then put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Always make sure that it is heated all the way through before serving.
Frequently asked questions
You need to cook the pasta before it gets mixed in with everything else, because there is not enough liquid and there is not enough cooking time to cook the pasta.
There are 461 calories per portion. You can lower the calories by using less pasta and bulking it out with mushrooms and using less cheese on top.
To make this recipe gluten free, use your favourite brand of gluten free pasta. You also need to make sure that there isn't any cross contamination.
You can easily double this recipe and it doesn't change the cooking time. Just make sure that you have a big enough baking dish to hold double the ingredients.
Yes, you can assemble it in advance and then keep in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.
• Make this a little bit more indulgent by mixing some breadcrumbs with the cheese before crumbling it on top.
• Give this dish a green veggie boost my mixing in some grated courgette (zucchini) and spinach when mixing it all together.
• Like a kick of spice to your meals? Add some red chilli flakes in to the mix.
• Add a can of kidney beans too and you have yourself a chili con carne pasta bake.
• You can make a vegan version of this my making a lentil or mushroom bolognese and mixing it in to pasta and topping with your favourite vegan cheese.
• You can make this dish creamier by mixing some cream cheese in to the cooked pasta.
• This dish is a great opportunity to use leftover cheese or any vegetables you have that need using. So feel free to swap ingredients around.
• If you want the top of this pasta bake to go really crispy, then you can put it under the grill (broiler) for a couple of minutes.
• Reserve a little of the pasta water to add to the sauce to make it nice and silky.
• Make sure you don't fully cook the pasta, as it will cook a bit more in the oven and you don't want it going mushy.
• Feel free to use different types of pasta if you already have some in your cupboard.
More pasta recipes
If you’ve tried this bolognese pasta bake recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Bolognese Pasta Bake
- 500 g (1.1 lb) Fusilli pasta
- 2 portion Slow cooker bolognese - or your favourite bolognese
- 50 g (0.5 cups) Mature cheddar - grated
- 50 g (0.5 cups) Mozzarella - grated
- 5 g (1 teaspoon) Fresh basil - chopped
- Preheat your oven to 190°C/170°C(fan)/375°F/Gas 5.
- Put 500 g Fusilli pasta into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 12 minutes.
- Drain the pasta, add it back to the pan with 2 portion Slow cooker bolognese and 5 g Fresh basil and stir well.
- Pour into a baking dish and top with 50 g Mature cheddar and 50 g Mozzarella.
- Cook into the oven for 20 minutes, until heated through and the cheese has melted.
- Make this a little bit more indulgent by mixing some breadcrumbs with the cheese before crumbling it on top.
- Give this dish a green veggie boost my mixing in some grated courgette (zucchini) and spinach when mixing it all together.
- Like a kick of spice to your meals? Add some red chilli flakes in to the mix.
- Add a can of kidney beans too and you have yourself a chili con carne pasta bake.
- You can make a vegan version of this my making a lentil or mushroom bolognese and mixing it in to pasta and topping with your favourite vegan cheese.
- You can make this dish creamier by mixing some cream cheese in to the cooked pasta.
What a great idea, turning this popular meal into a bake!
Bolognese and a pasta bake. It's the best of both worlds.
Thank you for adding a vegan option. I tried it with the mushroom bolognese and it was delicious! I love meals that are easily adapted to my specific needs.
My mouth just INSTANTLY watered. What an amazing and simple recipe for a homey meal! Thanks for sharing!
Such a great idea, especially with leftover bolognaise sauce! I'll definitely be trying this over the weekend. Looks amazing!
hearty pasta dishes are some of my family's favorites, and this dish was a real winner! The cheddar cheese gave it a lovely flavor, too!
Loved your idea about hiding veggies in this! So genius!! Even my pickiest eater was cleaning their plate. Thanks!
Love a good pasta bake, and this one looks great. Can't wait to try it.
Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
Such a tasty comfort meal for the whole family! This would go down a treat with my husband and kids!
this is such a nice recipe , i m going to try this
I just can't get enough of the amazing Bolognese taste in so many of my favorite dishes. And when it comes to pasta, there is just nothing better!
Perfect meal prep dish. Easy to make and feeds the whole fam!
I need a meal to take to a friend's family and this will be just right. Thanks!
When I think of Bolognese pasta bake, I think of childhood. This is such a dear dish of mine, and I am excited to try your version!
Would this work without the cheese? Can't stand the stuff!
Yes, it will still work, you just won't get a crispy topping.
Bolognese pasta bake is one of those dishes that I really like but rarely cook at home, if you know what I mean. Fantastic recipe though!
We are always searching for new recipes to try! I made this with my kids and they loved it. It was super easy to make and so delicious!