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Cheesy Sausage and Peppers Pasta Bake

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Walking into the New Year with cheesy sausage and peppers pasta bake like, “resolutions, who?”

Or hey, maybe your resolution is to have better, less complicated, totally comforting food on the table with no stress. Well that resolution is right here for you. Right here in its sausage and pepper, cheesy pasta glory.

cheesy sausage and pepper pasta bake

Pasta Bake or Baked Pasta?

I’m not really sure which one it’s supposed to be called. The term is interchangeable to me. Google seems to favor ‘pasta bake’ so here we are. All that really matters is saucy pasta goes in the oven and comes out melty delicious right? Right?!

Pasta is and will always be one of the best food groups. So even when you lighten it up with zoodles or black bean pasta, it’s just so comforting no matter the season.

a forkful of sausage and peppers pasta bake

For all my Mama’s in the crowd, this baby right here is going to save dinnertime. Or maybe it’s potluck time. Girls get together time. Whatever time that you need something tasty in a pinch, this cheesy sausage and peppers pasta bake is here to be your knight in shining armor.

Cheesy Sausage and Peppers Pasta Bake

Here’s what you have to look forward to:

  • Easy to prep veggies (yay for veggies!)
  • Uses your favorite jarred (or homemade!) pasta sauce for low maintenance bonus points
  • Sweet Italian sausage adds richness and cooks up quick
  • Everything minus the ‘bake’ part can be done before hand, even refrigerated overnight and baked to melty goodness when needed
  • There’s a pound of whole milk mozzarella in there. Need I say more?

cubed whole milk mozzarella

overhead photo of baked susage and pepper pasta

Also, on a side note where are my pasta-with-lines on it lovers? Sorry to sound like pasta snobs, but give us that penne, rigatoni, cavatappi, what have you. We want that red sauce goodness hanging on to those pasta ridges.

Okay okay let’s be real, we wouldn’t turn down a scoop of this goodness no matter the pasta shape.

An easy cooking tip, when it comes time to add the sausage go for already out of the casing, just plain loose sweet Italian sausage. Once it starts cooking, you can use a potato masher to help break apart the sausage into small pieces so each bite of rigatoni is accompanied by sausage and creamy mozzarella.

using a potato masher to finely saute sausage

cheese rigatoni pasta being scooped

Just trust me, it makes a difference.

If you’re ready, let’s fire up the stove top and pre heat the oven and get ready to dish out some easy eats.

 

cheesy sausage and pepper pasta bake

Cheesy Sausage and Peppers Pasta Bake

Simple, quick and delicious. This Cheesy Sausage and Pepper Pasta Bake is perfect for quick dinners, can be made ahead and bakes in 20 minutes.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: baked ziti, dishes with sausage and peppers, easy dinners, make ahead pasta, pasta bake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Calories: 837kcal
Author: Lauren

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large green peppers large dice (about 1" x 1")
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage loose
  • cup dry white wine
  • 1 24-ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 1 pound whole milk mozzarella cut in small cubes
  • 1 box rigatoni pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste plus extra salt for pasta water
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Set a large pot of water to boil,  Be sure to salt the water, about 1/2 tablespoon of salt.  While the water comes to a boil, prepare the sauce.
  • In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over high heat until shimmering.  Season with salt and pepper, then sauté the peppers and onions until softened but not mushy, 4 to 5 minutes.  Once cooked, transfer the peppers and onions to a separate bowl then add the loose Italian sausage to the sauté pan.
  • Cook the Italian sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it into small pieces.  (Using a potato masher is my favorite way to do this).  Once the sausage is browned, add the peppers and onions back to the pan.
  • Deglaze the pan with half the amount of white wine, scraping the bottom of the pan for any browned bits of sausage.  Stir in the pasta sauce.  Add the remaining white wine to the jar of pasta sauce, cover and shake, then stir in the liquid to the sauce.  Turn off heat on the sauce and preheat the oven to 375°F while waiting for the pasta to cook.
  • Once the pasta water reaches a roiling boil, add the pasta.  Stir so the pasta doesn't clump.  Cook until just al dente according the box directions.  Drain and stir the pasta into the sauce.
  • Add half the mozzarella into the sauce, stirring to evenly distribute.
  • Transfer the pasta into a buttered 9x13 baking dish and top with the remaining mozzarella pieces.  Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling.  Serve right away or reheat later and enjoy!

Notes

  • If making ahead, prepare all the steps except for baking the pasta.
  • This dish reheats well and is great as leftovers.
  • The red pepper adds a little spice, but can be omitted without loosing much flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 837kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 1035mg | Potassium: 548mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 714IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 422mg | Iron: 2mg

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Recipe Rating




Lauren

Thursday 10th of June 2021

This is one of my top 3 pasta recipes! It’s soooooooo good. I make it at least once a month!

Nicole

Monday 7th of January 2019

I'm going to come back and let you know how this turns out because I am definitely making this for dinner! It looks delicious!

Sam | Ahead of Thyme

Sunday 6th of January 2019

Now this is what I call comfort food. Look at this cheese! So perfect for cold nights like tonight. Can't wait to try this pasta.

Donna

Sunday 6th of January 2019

Your photos are gorgeous, and really make me want to dig into this big pot of deliciousness with a spoon. Perfect dinner for a cold night, and something the kids will gobble up every time!

Lauren

Friday 11th of January 2019

Thank you so much Donna!

Claire | The Simple, Sweet Life

Sunday 6th of January 2019

This sounds so delicious and perfect for the cold, dark winter days we've been having lately. Can't wait to try this!