This sausage pasta bake is a delicious comforting dish that is perfect for batch cooking and freezing. Easy to adapt and add lots of vegetables to, it's a simple weeknight dinner that the whole family will love. Use any kind of pasta, any kind of sausage (even meat free), and any veg you have that needs using up. Less than 500 calories for a filling portion and ready in 30 minutes.
If your kids love sausages and pasta, then this is a nice new way to serve it, and you can easily add loads of different vegetables to it too. Cheesy and comforting, this is kind of like a lasagna, but without all of the effort!
Budge friendly and filling, this is a family favourite and our go-to when we want something easy but comforting.
For a different kind of pasta bake, why not try our Vegetable Pasta Bake, Meatball Pasta Bake, Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Bake, Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Bake, Bolognese Pasta Bake or Tomato and Chicken Pasta Bake?
Why you will love it
- Hearty comfort food - This is a meal that your whole family will love - a great easy midweek meal.
- Low in calories - There are under 500 calories for a big filling portion.
- Adaptable - It is easy to add lots of different vegetables to this and you can adapt it to use what you have.
- Freezes really well - Make extra of this as it freezes really well. Perfect to pull out of the freezer on busy nights.
- Veggie option - This can be made with meat sausages or vegetarian sausages.
- Pasta - You can use any pasta shapes for this, so it's a great way to use what you have. We used rigatoni, because all the sauce gets inside the pasta.
- Oil - We used olive oil.
- Onion - You can use frozen onion to save yourself some time. You can also swap it for shallots, which have a sweeter flavour.
- Bell pepper - Any colour bell pepper works, or even a mixture.
- Courgette (zucchini) - This adds lots of colour to the pasta bake. You could use aubergine, or a mixture of the two.
- Mushrooms - This adds a nice chunky texture to the pasta bake. You can use a mixture of mushrooms, like portobello and shiitake which all have different textures.
- Sausages - Use your favourite sausages here. Try to go for the best quality you can, as you really will be able to taste the difference. We have used raw sausages, however, you could use cooked sausages and chop them up and mix them in with everything before it goes in the oven.
- Passata (pureed tomatoes) - This is what the sauce is made up of. You can use a can of diced tomatoes if you prefer.
- Herbs - We used dried oregano and dried thyme.
- Balsamic vinegar - This really enhances the sauce, and adds a slight sweetness.
- Salt and pepper - Season to taste.
- Spinach - An easy way to give a green boost to the pasta. You could swap it for kale if you prefer.
- Basil - This adds a nice freshness.
- Cheese - We used mozzarella, which is what gives it that nice cheese pull. You could use a mature cheddar instead if you prefer.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
Prep: Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C(fan)/350°F/Gas 4
One: Add the pasta to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes.
Two: Heat the oil in a pan. Squeeze out the sausage meat from the sausage casings and add to the pan (a). Brown the sausage meat for 5 minutes (b). Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.
Three: Keep the pan on the heat and add the onion and garlic (a). Gently heat, continuously stirring, for 3 minutes (b).
Four: Add the courgette, red pepper and mushrooms to the pan (a) and cook for a further 4 minutes (b).
Five: Add the chopped sausages, passata, oregano, thyme, balsamic and salt and pepper (a) and stir (b).
Six: Drain the pasta and reserve 50ml of pasta water. Add the drained pasta and pasta water to the pan and mix well (a). Add the chopped basil and spinach (b). Cook until the spinach has wilted.
Seven: Transfer to a large baking dish (a) and sprinkle over the cheese (b).
Eight: Put into the oven for 20 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
We used 97% pork sausages for this, but you can use any kind of meat sausages. Use different flavour ones to add a twist to it. If you are not a fan of sausages, you could swap them for small chunks of chicken in this recipe. You could also use your favourite veggie or vegan sausages.
We like lots of chunky veg like peppers and mushrooms, but it's a good way to use up leafy greens like spinach too. You could also use courgette, sweetcorn and aubergine - try to stick to softer veg rather than root vegetables like carrots, as they will cook quicker.
For some extra freshness, add some cherry tomato halves on top at the same time as the cheese. The give little bursts of juiciness when you take a mouthful too.
Pasta dishes that are creamy are twice as comforting in my opinion. You can stir through a couple of tablespoons of crème fraiche before everything goes in the oven - it will really this dish to the next level.
This pasta bake of course had the integral layer of cheese on top. You can use pretty much any cheese you want here, and it's a good way to use up a few different types of cheese you might have leftover in the fridge. A combination of mozzarella, cheddar and goats cheese works well. Or feta! Feta always works.
What to serve with a sausage pasta bake
Everyone know that garlic bread and pasta are a match made in heaven. Carby heaven! 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?
You could also keep it simple 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.
Storage: This is an ideal batch cooking dish, so it makes a great leftovers dinner. They will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for a couple of days.
Freeze: You can portion it out in to freeze containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
Defrost: Make sure to defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Reheat: You can either reheat it in the microwave for a couple of minutes or in the oven for about 10 minutes. Make sure it is piping hot before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, we wouldn't recommend putting raw sausage in the pasta bake. Browning them in the pan first adds lots of extra flavour.
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 484 calories in a generous portion of this. You can lower the calories by using less sausages 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. Also make sure that all the other ingredients used, like the sausages, are gluten free and 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 cook the pasta and sausage and allow them both to cool down, then assemble the pasta bake but leave the cheese off it and then put it in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to cook it (make sure it is defrosted if it has been frozen). Then you can top it with cheese and cook it.
More sausage recipes
Sausage Pasta Bake
- 200 g (7 oz) Rigatoni pasta
- 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) Olive oil
- 1 Onion - diced
- 2 (2) Garlic clove - crushed
- 1 Courgette (zucchini) - diced
- 1 (1) Red bell pepper - diced
- 70 g (0.75 cups) Mushrooms - sliced
- 250 g (8.75 oz) Sausages
- 400 g (1.66 cups) Passata
- 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) Dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon Dried thyme
- 2 tablespoon (2 tablespoon) Balsamic vinegar
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 100 g (3.5 cups) Spinach
- 10g g (0.5 cups) Fresh basil - shredded
- 50 g (2 oz) Mozzarella - shredded
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C(fan)/350°F/Gas 4.
- Add 200 g Rigatoni pasta to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon Olive oil in a pan. Squeeze out the meat from 250 g Sausages and add to the pan. Brown the sausage meat for 5 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Keep the pan on the heat and add 1 Onion and 2 Garlic clove. Gently heat, continuously stirring, for 3 minutes.
- Add 1 Courgette (zucchini), 1 Red bell pepper, 70 g Mushrooms to the pan and cook for a further 4 minutes.
- Add the cooked sausages, 400 g Passata, 1 tablespoon Dried oregano, 1 tablespoon Dried thyme, 2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar and 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper and stir.
- Drain the pasta and reserve 50ml of pasta water. Add the drained pasta and pasta water to the pan and mix well. Add 10g g Fresh basil and 100 g Spinach. Cook until it has wilted.
- Transfer to a large baking dish and sprinkle over 50 g Mozzarella.50 g Mozzarella
- Put into the oven for 20 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
- You can use meat or vegetarian/vegan sausages for this. Try spicy sausages for a bit of a kick of heat.
- For some extra freshness, add cherry tomatoes halves on top with the cheese.
- 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.
- Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To make this gluten free, use gluten free pasta and sausages.
- If you want the top of this pasta bake to go really crispy, then you can put it under the grill 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.
- We have made our own pasta sauce for this recipe, as we think it is worth the effort. However, you could use your favourite jar of pasta sauce instead, and make this a super easy meal. You might need to adjust the garlic and herbs though, depending on what pasta sauce you are using.
- Feel free to use different types of pasta if you already have some in your cupboard.
- For a spicier version of this, you can add a pinch of red chilli flakes.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.