This Easy Layered Pasta Bake recipe will become one of your go-to casseroles for a quick dinner! It’s a classic lasagna style dish made easy with penne pasta, and ground turkey. Just 6 simple ingredients are used to make this delicious recipe. You can feel good about serving it for a fall or winter dinner party.
WHAT'S IN THIS GUIDE?
Layered Pasta Casserole
Fall and winter cooking is my favorite. It’s the time to think about warm comfort food, and delicious baked pasta dishes fit the bill nicely.
This recipe is about no-fuss, quick, and easy preparation. I have a feeling you’re going to LOVE how simple it is to make.
My layered pasta bake is a twist on a classic lasagna but even easier to put together! It’s got traditional ricotta, mozzarella, and marinara sauce. However, I’ve substituted penne for the lasagna noodles, and ground turkey for the beef. Plus, we added some mushrooms for good measure.
Make this classic casserole-style entree for weekly family dinners or for when you need dinner party ideas to entertain guests. This is great for a casual meal, especially when you’re busy!
Easy Dinner Party Recipe for 6
Let’s talk about easy entertaining and how to create a delicious well-rounded meal in a flash. All you really need is this easy pasta recipe, a side salad, and simple dessert.
Maybe you have some friends or family coming to stay the night. Or maybe you want to host a casual girls night dinner.
We know everyone is busy with work, kids, life, and they just want some quick go-to recipes in their collection.
This is it! With a few pantry items combined with some fresh ingredients you can have a satisfying and yummy meal that everyone will enjoy.
PARTY TIP: Make this a meatless pasta bake by combining all the ingredients except the ground turkey. Serve it for a vegetarian meal or as a side dish.
More Main Dish Casseroles
For more comfort casserole dishes try these recipes.
- Our Mexican pasta casserole is a crowd favorite.
- Try my baked spaghetti made healthier. No one will know it’s been lightened up.
- For something a little different but just as easy, try these mini shepherd’s pies.
Side Dishes for Pasta Bake
Add one or two of these side dish recipes to round out your pasta dinner.
- I served Veggie Muffins from Garden Lites. They were easy to heat and taste great!
- Green and Citrus Salad
- All Green Healthy Salad
- Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
- Crusty bread and olive oil for dipping
How to Make Layered Baked Pasta
This main dish gives a nod to lasagna but it’s so much easier to prepare. There aren’t multiple noodles to arrange and tend to.
The penne makes it hassle free and the ricotta cheese adds a delicious creamy layer you’ll love. This is playing on repeat at our house!
- Use a 12-ounce package of Penne pasta. The Cauliflower pasta tastes terrific and is perfect in this layered pasta bake recipe. And because it’s high in protein it also stands up well as part of a meatless meal.
- You’ll need a 24-ounce jar of marinara pasta sauce. We use Ragu regularly and I like this one because it has no added sugar.
- Cook 12-ounces of ground turkey and drain any excess fat. I usually buy leaner varieties when putting it in recipes. It eliminates the need for draining. TIP: You can use ground sausage if you want a different flavor.
- We added mushrooms to give this dish extra flavor and bite. Use fresh sliced, or from a jar or can.
- Creamy ricotta cheese makes this casserole extra good! I always choose skim or part skim when buying it.
- Mozzarella cheese combines with the ricotta for more cheesy goodness.
- Combine the cooked pasta, pasta sauce, cooked meat, and mushrooms in a large bowl.
- Layer half of the mixture into a deep casserole dish.
- Spread a layer of ricotta cheese over the pasta mixture and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella.
- Spoon remaining pasta mixture on top and cover with the rest of the mozzarella.
- Cover loosely with aluminium foil and bake.
- 12-ounce package Penne pasta, cooked and drained
- 24-ounce jar Marinara Pasta Sauce
- 12 ounces ground sausage or turkey, cooked through
- 3/4 cup mushroom pieces (fresh or from a jar, drained)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl combine cooked pasta, pasta sauce, cooked meat, and mushrooms.
- Spoon half of the mixture into a 2 1/2 quart deep casserole dish.
- Spread ricotta cheese over pasta mixture. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella.
- Spoon remaining pasta mixture on top and cover with remaining mozzarella.
- Cover loosely with aluminium foil and bake for about 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.