Try this recipe for a hearty, no-boil broccoli sausage pasta bake that will make you rethink your weekly dinner routine! It’s made with crunchy broccoli and Italian sausage mixed into a marinara sauce sauce and perfectly cooked pasta, topped with a cheesy crust. Enjoy it with a hunk of homemade garlic bread!
The best pasta bake you’ll ever make!
Have you ever been in a dinner rut, unsure of what to make for the family that’s easy and tasty?
That was me! I just made a batch of my broccoli cheddar soup, but I wanted to use up the rest of my broccoli for dinner.
So, I decided to meal prep another recipe we could eat during the week for dinner because I knew we were going to be super busy!
That’s when I decided to try and make another simple pasta bake after I remembered how much my husband loved my pesto pasta bake.
My favorite part of this recipe (besides how amazing it tastes) is that there’s no need to boil the pasta separately. That’s right, no more waiting for a pot of water to boil! The pasta will cook perfectly in the oven, soaking up all the flavors from the sauce and broccoli.
It also saves you time and dishes – a win-win situation.
This sausage pasta bake recipe is perfect for a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner.
Here’s a bit more about what I used:
- Ground Sausage: I used mild Italian sausage to give this pasta bake some extra flavor. You can also use spicy Italian sausage if you prefer a little kick!
- Pasta: I used a box of my favorite shortcut pasta for this recipe. I love using penne or rigatoni, but any short pasta shape will work. This type of pasta holds up well and doesn’t get too mushy when baked. Plus, you get some cheese and sauce in between the crevices, making each bite extra tasty.
- Broccoli: This pasta bake is a delicious way to sneak in some extra veggies. You can use fresh or frozen broccoli – just chop it into small pieces before adding it to the dish.
- Garlic: Because garlic makes everything better, am I right? You’ll need 3 cloves. You can also buy and use preminced glaric from the store but try to use fresh garlic if you can because it tastes much better.
- Shallot: I love using shallots in this recipe because they add a slightly sweet and mild onion flavor. But if you don’t have any on hand, you can use half of a small onion instead.
- Red Sauce: I used a jar of my favorite marinara sauce, but feel free to use your preferred brand or make your own. If you want to add some extra flavor, try using a roasted garlic or tomato basil pasta sauce. You’ll need a 24-ounce jar.
- Cheese: To get that cheesy, gooey goodness on top of this pasta bake, I used a blend of shredded mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan. Feel free to use any combination of cheese that you like. I also highly recommend grating or shredding your own cheese for this recipe – it will melt much better than pre-shredded bagged cheese.
- Milk: To create a creamy, cheesy sauce for this pasta bake, I used milk. You can use any type of milk you prefer – whole, 2%, or even almond milk. But, whole milk works best!
- Chicken Stock: To add some extra flavor and creaminess to this pasta bake, I used chicken stock. You can also use vegetable stock if you prefer.
- Salt and Pepper: To taste!
- Basil: For some extra fresh flavor, I like to add basil on top of the finished pasta bake. You can also use parsley or any other herb you prefer.
Kitchen tools required
Here’s a bit more information about what I used to make this no boil pasta bake:
- Large saucepan
- 9×13 baking pan
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- Aluminum foil
For measuring, you will need 1/2 cup, a cup, and a tablespoon.
How to make broccoli and sausage pasta bake
Making this cheesy pasta bake recipe is super easy! Here’s how to do it…
Start by preheating the oven to 400°F.
While the oven is heating up, cook the ground sausage in a large pan over medium heat until it’s browned and cooked through.
Once the sausage is fully cooked, remove it from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess grease.
Grab a 9×13 baking dish and add some olive oil, diced shallot, diced garlic, and chopped broccoli. Next, layer on the sausage, uncooked pasta noodles, red sauce, chicken stock, and milk.
Don’t forget to sprinkle on 1 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Yum!
Mix everything until it’s well combined. Then, press down on the noodles until they’re mostly covered and coated in the mixture.
Next, cover the dish with foil and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes. After that, take off the foil, add the remaining cheese on top, and bake it for an extra ten minutes.
Tip: If you want some extra crispiness, give it a quick broil for 5 minutes at the end.
Finally, sprinkle some fresh basil on top and let it cool for about 15 minutes before digging in. Enjoy!
Below are some common pasta bake questions. Don’t see the answer you’re looking for? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post!
What’s the best kind of pasta to use for baked pasta?
For this recipe, it’s best to use short cut pasta. It cooks evenly and soaks up the liquid nicely. Rigatoni, ziti, or penne are all great choices!
Do I need to boil the pasta before baking?
Nope! That’s one of the great things about this sausage pasta bake. You can use uncooked noodles, and they will cook in the oven with all the other ingredients. Just make sure to mix everything together well before baking.
What other types of proteins can I use?
Absolutely! Ground beef, turkey, or even chicken would work well in this pasta bake. You can also leave out the meat altogether for a vegetarian option. Just add in some extra veggies or a plant-based protein substitute if desired.
Can I add more vegetables to this pasta bake?
Definitely! You can add in any of your favorite vegetables, like mushrooms or spinach. Just make sure to chop them into small pieces so they cook evenly with the rest of the ingredients.
Can I make this ahead of time and freeze it?
Yes, you can assemble the pasta bake up to 24 hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, just add an extra 10-15 minutes to the baking time since the ingredients will be cold. You can also freeze leftovers for a quick and easy meal later on.
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze individual portions in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months!
To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge or heat from frozen in a microwave or oven (covered with foil) until heated through.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
Here are some of my favorite pasta recipes you should make next. Enjoy
- Healthy Penne Alla Vodka With Chicken
- One Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta
- Lemon Cauliflower Pasta With Grilled Chicken
- Healthy Taco Pasta
- Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 1lb ground sausage
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chopped broccoli
- 16oz box short cut pasta (rigatoni, ziti, penne)
- 24oz jar red sauce
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups milk (whole milk works best, creamy almond also does)
- 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt + pepper
- chopped fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cook sausage according to package directions until no longer pink, crumble into small pieces. Drain and set aside.
- In a 9×13 or larger, add olive oil, diced shallot, diced garlic, and chopped broccoli. Layer on sausage, uncooked pasta noodles, red sauce, chicken stock, and milk. Sprinkle on 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
- Mix until all combined very well. Pressing down on noodles until mostly covered and coated in mixture.
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Take off foil, add remaining cheese to the top, and bake an additional ten minutes. Optional, but for extra crispy, broil for an extra 5 minutes at the end.
- Sprinkle with fresh basil and let cool 15 minutes before serving.
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