No-Boil Pasta Bake (Yes, it really works! And it uses only one pan!)

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This pasta bake is done in one pan and doesn’t require you to even boil the pasta first. It’s amazing how delicious it is when you literally only need to spend 5 minutes prepping it. This one is going to save your weeknights for sure!

Delicious No-Boil Pasta Bake Done in One Pan

OK, you know that day when your daughter told you she had no clean underwear left and your son told you that he needs to make a leaf collage by tomorrow but he forgot until right now? You were flinging laundry into the washer while yelling something about needing to find the glue. Yes, that day. I knew you’d remember. It sucked.

On that day you didn’t have time to stand at the stove stirring and cooking. You were seriously tempted to order pizza. Again. But then you remembered this brilliant thing that you’d read on a brilliant blog about how you can stir together uncooked pasta and liquid in a casserole dish and bake it and it turns out delicious. Yeah. It really was a brilliant thing to read about. Does it really work? Heck yeah!

You’re going to preheat the oven and lightly grease a casserole dish. Then add uncooked pasta shells, fully cooked sliced sausage (I buy this roasted pepper and Asiago chicken sausage that is sold fully-cooked in either the organic lunch meat area or with the wieners, depending on your store), some canned diced tomato, seasonings and mozzarella. Stir. Top with milk. Cover very tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil and bake for an hour.

Delicious No-Boil Pasta Bake Done in One Pan

Then go find the glue and help with that leaf collage, while folding underwear of course.

The pasta bake is going to come out seeming liquidy. Don’t don’t don’t worry. Uncover it and let it sit for 15 minutes. It thickens up a lot. Surprisingly a lot. And then you have it: Delicious baked pasta all done in one pan with virtually zero work. I told you it was brilliant!

Delicious No Boil Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. uncooked dried pasta shells
  • 12 oz. (4 links) fully cooked sausages (I use the Al fresco roasted pepper and Asiago sausages), sliced thinly
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with the juice
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk*
  • heavy duty aluminum foil
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 2 aqnd 1/2 to 3 quart shallow casserole dish with olive oil.
  2. To the casserole dish add the pasta, sausage, diced tomatoes with juice, 1 cup of of the mozzarella cheese, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Stir. Pour the milk over top and make sure that all of the pasta is submerged.
  3. Cover with two layers of aluminum foil and make sure it is very well sealed. Put it in the oven until the pasta is tender, 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and the Parmesan. Return to oven uncovered just until cheese has melted, 5 minutes.
  4. Let the pasta bake rest for 15 minutes uncovered before serving. This is important as the sauce really thickens up in this time.

 

*When you mix together milk with something acidic like tomatoes and heat it up, sometimes it can curdle. I've found that the higher content of whole milk makes this less likely here. If it does curdle though, don't worry about it. It is still completely safe to eat and is still completely delicious, it just looks like you added some ricotta to the dish before baking it.

15 Responses to “No-Boil Pasta Bake (Yes, it really works! And it uses only one pan!)”

  1. Jessica Roberts — February 25, 2019 @ 11:48 am (#)

    Ok, so I tried it with chicken broth and it turned out great. We doubled everything in the recipe for our big family, used ground Italian sausage instead because it’s what I had on hand and rotini pasta because I didn’t have shells. We left out the milk but added a can of chicken broth instead. Worked beautifully and everyone loved it.

  2. Jessica Roberts — February 19, 2019 @ 10:44 am (#)

    I wonder if I could substitute chicken broth for the milk. I read the note about curdled milk and just the thought of it (however delicious it may still taste) is a total deal breaker but the recipe sounds easy and yummy otherwise.

    • Christine Pittman — February 19, 2019 @ 11:49 am (#)

      It might work. I’m not really sure. If you try it, let us know how it goes!

  3. Cheryl — April 9, 2018 @ 9:14 pm (#)

    I LOVE your site. I read through some comments for the baked pasta and I’m one of those who can no longer be on my feet. Just had a partial amputation due to contracting MRSA through a callus and am still wobbly on my feet even wearing orthotics. Please, as many receipes as you can think of where it is quickly put in the oven (more flavor than crockpot IMO) I’d greatly appreciate!

    • Christine Pittman — April 12, 2018 @ 1:28 pm (#)

      Cheryl, I just got an Instant Pot. I thought I wouldn’t like it as much as other people do because I don’t always love food cooked in the slow cooker. But it’s pretty amazing. I’m really loving it! Stay tuned on my other site, The Cookful, where we’ll be doing a whole series on Instant Pot Weeknight Dinners soon. In the meantime, here is one of my favorite “throw it in the oven” meals.

  4. Jennifer MacKenzie — January 23, 2018 @ 1:42 pm (#)

    Just made this as we’d run out of gas for our stove. Delicious – used what we had – so pork sausages, ‘easy garlic’ , spiral pasta, tin tomatoes, skimmed milk and a little double cream. Plus seasoning and grated mozzarella and cheddar!
    Really good dinner!

    • Christine Pittman — January 24, 2018 @ 10:43 am (#)

      Jennifer, So glad you liked it. It’s a staple dinner around here for sure!

  5. Maria Stone — September 10, 2017 @ 11:59 am (#)

    We baked this in Turku, Finland and it turned out delicious. We used what we had – magnetic/induction oven. Heavy Cream+Water instead of milk. We used Finnish whole milk cheese from Aland islands instead of mozarella, and a bit of Greek Feta cheese. We used canned crushed tomatoes from Italy. We diced one tomato and three garlic cloves. Thank you so much for this recipe. We did not have a pot to use in our AirBNB and this no-boil pasta recipe was not only easy-to-make, but also so tasty that we finished it all in one dinner! Grazie :)

    • Christine Pittman — September 10, 2017 @ 1:46 pm (#)

      Maria, You’re welcome. I’m so happy you liked it!

  6. Linda Hay — January 5, 2017 @ 4:53 pm (#)

    This is a great casserole and easy but I found that the temp of 400 for 50 to 60 minutes is way too long.  I do mine at 350 for 60 minutes and it’s perfect.

    • Christine Pittman — January 6, 2017 @ 7:41 am (#)

      Thanks Linda. Glad you like the recipe! I’ll try it at the lower temperature next time and see how it goes.

  7. Margaret Clegg — January 3, 2017 @ 7:05 pm (#)

    Have you tried this with other types of pasta? Have you ever tried it with spaghetti?

    • Christine Pittman — January 6, 2017 @ 7:50 am (#)

      Margaret, I’ve tried it with a few different types and they work to varying degrees. For spaghetti, I broke it into 2-3 inch pieces and it worked well.

  8. E — September 21, 2016 @ 1:03 pm (#)

    This is a great recipe not only for busy moms but for people, like me, with disabilities. There are times I just can’t spend more than a few minutes standing up and even sitting on my “cooking stool” is too painful. Thank you for this recipe. It’s going to be something of a life saver!

    • Christine Pittman — September 22, 2016 @ 9:46 am (#)

      That is such a great point! Thank you for letting me know. I have a lot of recipes on this site that are of this type (get it in the oven quickly and forget it). It might be interesting to package them together in some way for people like you and me who really appreciate this style of cooking for whatever reason.

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