Baked Pasta is a deliciously cheesy meal, perfect any night and one that the whole family will love and devour in no time!
I know a Baked Pasta isn’t always thought of, but I can promise you this dish is sure to be a hit at your home. Brussel sprout salad, Roasted broccoli. or Roasted green beans are some great veggie choices to serve this up with!
A family Staple
Happy August, friends and I hope you guys are hungry right now. Today, we are sharing a recipe that we have made at least 4 times in the last 6 weeks. We made it for the first time a few months ago but it was loved so much by all, that we’ve made it several more times for family gatherings.
It’s a Baked Pasta recipe that is so tasty and cheesy. We’ve been long-time fans of cheesy pasta bakes so you better believe everyone – kid and adult – loved this recipe!
Regular o’l Macaroni can get old and boring quick, so we went on a hunt for an easy homemade recipe that we thought the kids would like. We had already found other macaroni and cheese recipes we love like this classic Homemade Macaroni and Cheese and this other white sauce Macaroni and Cheese, but we were up for finding another great one, and we did. This recipe is simple, baked, and oh so cheesy.
Making Baked PASTA
PASTA. Cooking penne until al dente, or slightly underdone. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat milk in a small saucepan. Keep warm, but do not let it simmer.
- In a separate saucepan, melt your butter. Add flour to melted butter and stir 1-2 minutes, until butter-flour mixture is golden. Slowly whisk in your warm milk. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat, whisking often, until thickened – about 10 min. Remove from heat.
- Add heavy cream and ½ cup of your swiss and ½ cup of parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is completely melted.
BAKE. Combine pasta with cheese sauce. Pour into a large buttered baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and Parmesan. Cover dish with foil. Bake at 400 for 10 -15 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is golden brown.
ENJOY! Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Tips, Variations + Storing Info
The nutmeg may seem like an odd addition, but it really brings out the best flavor and doesn’t make the mac and cheese sweet at all!
- Add crumbled bacon
- Add veggies such as red bell pepper or broccoli
- Shred your own cheese, this will help the cheese mix in easier!
- Use elbows or bowties to mix up the pasta shape!
STORE leftover mac and cheese in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
- Baked: Let it cool completely for the best texture! Then wrap it tightly in multiple layers of foil and place it in the freezer for 1-2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat it in the oven covered until warmed through.
- Unbaked: Let it cool completely, mix everything together, wrap tightly in multiple layers of foil and freeze for 2-3 months. Baked from frozen and add a few minutes to the bake time.
To make ahead of time, assemble the pasta dish, cover it tightly, and leave it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before baking.
This is a great dish to make ahead and bake when ready. It would make an excellent meal to surprise a neighbor with too and as always, a great dinner idea any night!
For more pasta dishes check out:
- Cheesy Spaghetti Bake
- Bowtie Pasta with Italian Sausage
- Triple Cheddar Chicken Pasta
- Cheesy Ravioli Bake
- Enchilada Pasta
- Fried Mac and Cheese
- Easy Fettuccine Alfredo
Pasta Bake Recipe
- 12 ounces penne pasta about 3 cups
- 3 cups whole milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese divided
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese divided
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, or slightly underdone. Drain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, heat milk in a small saucepan over low heat to warm, but do not let it simmer.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir for 1–2 minutes, until butter-flour mixture is golden. Slowly whisk in warm milk. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook, whisking often, until thickened, about 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.
- Add heavy cream, ½ cup shredded Parmesan, and ½ cup Swiss cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
- Combine pasta with cheese sauce and pour into a buttered 9-x-13-inch baking dish. Top with remaining ½ cup shredded Parmesan and , ½ cup Swiss cheese and grated Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 10–15 minutes.
- Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5–10 minutes before serving.
Variations: Crumbled bacon, diced cooked chicken, chopped chicken sausage and
vegetables like chopped broccoli or bell peppers make great additions.
Adapted from Magical Recipes