Recipes

Sausage Pasta Bake

Sausage pasta bake is a way to pack veggies into comfort food!

Sausage pasta bake is a way to pack veggies into comfort food!
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You know those times that you know you should eat something healthy, but you’re craving comfort food? When you know that what you need is some veggies, but what you want is cheesiness?

This dish is made for those days. It’s cheesy pasta goodness, but with a ton of vegetables thrown in, and sausage for good measure.

Sausage pasta bake is a way to pack veggies into comfort food!
Sausage pasta bake is a way to pack veggies into comfort food!

This is probably one of our favorite meals. We make it at least once a month, and whenever I ask Logan what he wants for dinner next week, this nearly always tops his list. This is all the more impressive when you know that he doesn’t love broccoli to begin with.

You can easily substitute turkey or chicken sausage for traditional sausage. I’ve also used precooked sausage on nights I’m in a hurry, and it works great. If you use precooked, still give it a few minutes in a sauté pan to brown it up a bit.

Sausage pasta bake is a way to pack veggies into comfort food!
Sausage pasta bake is a way to pack veggies into comfort food!

Feel free to play with the ratios of veggies and beans to meat and pasta – the more often I make it, the more I load it up with more broccoli or whatever’s on hand.

Another bonus is that one tray of this makes enough for 6-8 people, meaning you’ve got leftovers for days! Perfect for a busy week when you can’t be bothered to make dinner every night or come up with something new for lunches.

Sausage pasta bake is a way to pack veggies into comfort food!
Sausage pasta bake is a way to pack veggies into comfort food!
Sausage pasta bake is a way to pack veggies into comfort food!

Tools you’ll need: 9×13 pan, stockpot and sauté pan.

Sausage Pasta Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 large head broccoli about 1 ½ lbs
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¾ lb rotini or other short pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb sausage
  • 1 can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
  • lb mozzarella
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup romano cheese
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • other veggies as desired

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Cut the broccoli into small florets. Grate the parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Rinse and drain the cannellini beans, and mince the garlic.
  • In a large pot, boil water with 1/2 tsp salt, the add peeled garlic cloves and broccoli. Simmer broccoli for about 5 minutes, then remove with slotted spoon. Discard the garlic and put the broccoli in a large mixing bowl. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook two minutes shorter than the box says (we’re aiming for al dente, it’ll cook a bit more while baking).
  • If you want any other veggies (peppers were a hit this most recent time!) Go ahead and brown them in a pan. Once those finished, slice the sausage and brown them too. When browned (3-4 minutes) add to the broccoli.
  • When each of those are done, add to the mixture. Then add the cannellini beans, chicken broth, pasta, 3/4 c of the mozzarella, ricotta, salt and pepper. Toss to combine – make sure the ricotta gets spread evenly over everything! I also added a couple handfuls of raw spinach here too – just one more way to incorporate veggies!
  • Put in the baking dish, and sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs, remaining mozarella, and romano over the top. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil.
  • Bake for 25 minutes until heated a the tips are turning brown on top.

Notes

If you want to make this and freeze it, stop after step 5. Let it return to room temperature before covering and freezing!
Sausage pasta bake is a way to pack veggies into comfort food!
Sausage pasta bake is a way to pack veggies into comfort food!

Want more great weeknight meal options when you have no idea what to make? Try pesto chicken quinoa, hummus-crusted chicken, crockpot BBQ pulled pork, or check out all my main dish options!

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