This pasta bake is done in one pan and doesn’t require you to even boil the pasta first. Yes, that means the pasta is cooked in the oven! 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!
NOTE: This recipe was retested and updated in Nov. 2021 because some commenters noted that it sometimes curdled. We changed the 2 cups whole milk to 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup stock. We’ve had amazing results with this change (no curdling!), but wanted to share in case you loved the previous version! The sauce is a pretty pink like a vodka sauce and clings to the pasta beautifully without curdling. We also increased the salt from 1/2 teaspoon to 3/4 teaspoon. Enjoy! – Christine xo
Here’s a tool that I find helpful for making this recipe:
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this No-Boil Pasta Bake, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:[sc name="noboilpastabakerotd"][/sc]
- 8 oz. uncooked dried pasta shells
- 12 oz. (4 links) fully-cooked chicken sausages, sliced ¼-inch thick
- 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with the juice
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- Heavy duty aluminum foil
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a casserole dish add the pasta, sausage, diced tomatoes with juice, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir.
- Pour the heavy cream and chicken stock over top and make sure that all of the pasta is submerged.
- 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, about 50 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella and the Parmesan.
- Return to oven uncovered just until cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let the pasta bake rest uncovered for 15 minutes before serving. This is important as the sauce really thickens up in this time.
*To ensure the pasta fully cooks, crimp the aluminum foil tightly around the edges of the pan so that no steam can escape.
- If you don’t have heavy cream, half-and-half or milk can be substituted. The sauce will be noticeably thinner, and some cheese curds may naturally form from the acid in the tomatoes mixing with the milk. If it curdles, don’t worry about it. It’s still completely safe to eat and is still completely delicious, it just looks like you added some ricotta to the dish before baking it! Note that a commenter used chicken broth in place of the cream/milk and had good results, so that is worth trying if you don’t have cream, half-and-half, or milk.
- If shell pasta isn’t available, farfalle (bowtie) or rotini (corkscrews) can be used instead.