Baked Penne Pasta With Mozzarella

5 from 11 votes
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Baked Penne Pasta requires only one dish, no boiling your pasta. Everything is baked together for the most divine, flavorful pasta casserole you’ve ever had. The bubbly cheese makes it creamy and perfectly cheesy. Pair with garlic bread and enjoy.

Baked Penne Pasta up close in a baking dish.
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Why Make This Recipe

For starters, this Baked Penne Pasta With Mozzarella is so easy to make. You basically dump everything in a baking dish, set it and forget it for 45 minutes to an hour. This is a great dish for the family or for entertaining. If you are looking for something a little quicker try my Veggie Ragu next!

It’s so savory and perfectly cheesy it will be your new favorite weeknight dish. No boiling water for pasta and you can use any noodle and veggie of choice to bake into this casserole. Pair it with my Garlic Rolls for the ultimate dinner. Looking for something with more spice? My Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Pasta will cure all the spicy cravings.

Ingredients Needed

Baked Penne Pasta With Mozzarella ingredients on a counter in bowls.

Pasta. Any noodle of choice will work, but this is called Penne Baked Pasta so I use Penne.

Pasta Sauce. Any red sauce of choice will work great. 1 jar (24 oz)

Mozzarella. High quality fresh mozzarella works best and melts great.

Seasoning. Garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes.

All other ingredients and measurements can be found in the recipe card below. 

Steps To Make Baked Penne Pasta

Baked Penne Pasta With Mozzarella in steps.

Step One. Preheat oven to 375º. In an 8 x 11 or 9×9 baking dish, add dry pasta, red sauce, water (I fill the empty sauce jar with the water and shake it to get more sauce out). Add in seasoning, mushrooms, spinach. Carefully, gently mix together in the dish. Cover the dish tightly with tin foil.

Step Two. Bake covered for 40 minutes. Pull it out after baking for 30 minutes, add the fresh mozzarella over the top of the pasta casserole and bake for another 30 minutes, then take tin foil off and cook for another 10 minutes or until cheese is browned, bubbling and the pasta is al dente.

Step Three. Let the pasta sit for about 5 minutes before serving. I like to enjoy mine with garlic bread.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can freeze these for up to 2 months.   

Recipe FAQ’s

Can I use a different pasta?

Yes, you can use a different pasta shape if you’d like.

How long will this last?

Keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container.

Can I use another cheese?

Yes, use any cheese you prefer, but I enjoy the fresh mozzarella best as it melts into the noodles throughout the dish giving it a cheesy texture.

Other Pasta Recipes To Make

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

Baked Penne Pasta With Mozzarella
5 from 11 votes

Baked Penne Pasta With Mozzarella

Baked Penne Pasta requires only one dish, no boiling your pasta. Everything is baked together for the most divine, flavorful pasta casserole you've ever had. The bubbly cheese makes it creamy and perfectly cheesy. pair with garlic bread and enjoy.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Servings: 5

Ingredients 

  • 1 24 oz jar of pasta sauce, any kind will work.
  • 1 lb dry penne pasta, *see notes
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tbsp dried, crushed, oregano
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms, optional
  • 2 cups spinach, *see notes
  • cup fresh mozzarella , *see notes

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375º. In an 8 x 11 or 9×9 baking dish, add dry pasta, red sauce, water (I fill the empty sauce jar with the water and shake it to get more sauce out). Add in seasoning, mushrooms, spinach. Carefully, gently mix together in the dish. Cover the dish tightly with tin foil.
  • Bake covered for 30 minutes. After baking for 30 minutes, pull it out, add the fresh mozzarella over the top of the pasta casserole, cover again and bake for another 30 minutes.
    Take tin foil off and cook for another 10 minutes or until cheese is browned, bubbling and the pasta is al dente. Total time baking is about an hour and ten minutes (give or take some time depending on oven temps and pasta size).
  • Let the pasta sit for about 5 minutes before serving. I like to enjoy mine with garlic bread. Enjoy! 

Notes

*you can use a different shape of pasta. Cooking times will vary slightly.
*fresh spinach will be best, frozen will be too wet.
*high quality mozzarella works best but any cheese will do.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 235mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1472IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5
Calories: 257
Keyword: dinner, easy dinner
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Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. Can I use basil instead of spinach?

    1. Yes absolutely! But just chop a little and add to the top before serving, I wouldn’t sauté it like the spinach. I hope you enjoy!

  2. 5 stars
    Did this today and it was really easy and perfect as I was too tired to do anything complex. Didn’t have onion powder, but it was really delicious even without it. (I added a bit of black pepper) Thanks for the great recipe! Would probably be perfect with other veggies too, whatever one might have in the fridge 🙂

    1. Hi Anu! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe, and glad it was easy so you could relax a bit the first day of 2023.

      1. Hiya, was wondering how much fresh mozzarella this is in grams? Or how many balls of fresh mozzarella did you use? Thank you!

        1. Hi Love, I used about 6 oz of mozzarella. I think one large ball would be plenty since it spreads so much while baking.

  3. 5 stars
    This was delicious!! My husband and I loved it. I would double the mushrooms next time though, easily. We’re big veggie people.

    1. Hi Kathryn, I am delighted to hear that it was a Husband approved🤩 and love the idea of doubling the mushrooms. I’m a big mushroom gal myself.. thanks so much for making and happy eating.

  4. I had all the ingredients on hand so I searched around and found your recipe. It looked interesting. I’m making it right now! I also added some dried basil that I had and some ground beef.
    Could you provide some clarification on step 2 for the cooking times. Says to bake covered for 40 minutes but then remove after 30 minutes, add mozzarella and bake another 30 minutes (covered). Then bake 10 minutes uncovered. So I will watch the doneness of the pasta and adjust accordingly.
    Thanks, I will watch your posts for other recipes.

    1. Hi Brian! Thank you so much for pointing that out. I went ahead and made it more clear for others. Total cooking time should be about an hour and 10 minutes, but do you keep an eye on it as oven temperatures will vary. Enjoy my friend!

  5. 5 stars
    I left out the mushrooms and just used shredded mozzarella, but otherwise followed the recipe. It was delicious and easy! Thanks for a great recipe. I love recipes that don’t require too many dishes or time.

  6. I have yet to try it, but used rigatoni noodles, adjusted first cook time by 10 minutes (also my oven is on the fritz and it went wayyy below the suggested cooking temp). I didn’t add mushrooms or spinach *didn’t have on hand*, but did add fresh basil from the garden at the first 30 min mark. I stirred the past at the 30 min and 40 min time (30 is when I added the basil- but again my oven is slowly dying and was below 120F at that point..I would worried about it burning otherwise!). After the cooktime (on my weirdo oven I’ve been able to *sliightly* figure out), I also added shredded parmesean cheese because my husband lives cheese. The noodles were perfect when I pulled it put and the whole house smells amazing! Thank you for the recipe friend!

    1. Sorry to hear about your oven sending you new oven vibes! Really happy to hear you enjoy this recipe. It is absolutely one of my favorites and you are spot on with the yummy smells. Xo 😘

  7. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! I come back to it time and time again. Highly recommend it to anyone looking for an easy weeknight meal – you can use other types of pasta, whatever veggies you’ve got, shredded mozzarella if you don’t have sliced mozzarella, and any kind of red sauce (I’ve used rigatoni and arrabbiata sauce). Baking this dish really elevates it’s flavor – it tastes delish out of the oven. Thank you Bailey!!

  8. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe and incredibly easy to make. I doubled the mushrooms and tripled the spinach. Also added some extra shredded cheese before finishing it with 10 minutes uncovered. Turned out great!

    1. Love to hear this! WE enjoy this recipe monthly 🙂 thanks for the feedback, xoxo