This wholesome vegetable pasta bake is brimming with hearty vegetables, creamy tomato sauce, and a generous two-cheese topping. Whether you're a vegetarian craving a satisfying meal or a meat lover exploring new flavours, this oven-baked pasta is perfect for you. With a cooking time of just under an hour, this pasta bake offers ease and convenience without compromising on taste. The two best features? It's customizable with your choice of veggies, and the cheesy goodness that brings it all together!
⭐️ Why You'll Love This Easy Pasta Bake
- Seasonal and Affordable Ingredients: Utilizes garden-fresh vegetables and pantry staples.
- Satisfying Meal: Even meat lovers will be pleased with this hearty dish.
- Perfect Make-Ahead Meal: Prepare it in advance for convenient family dinners.
- Versatility: Adaptable for various dietary needs, including vegan and gluten-free options.
🧾 Key Ingredients
- Pasta: Rigatoni or other large shapes - essential for holding the rich tomato sauce.
- Tinned or fresh tomatoes: Forms the base of the sauce *Use passata for a smoother texture sauce.
- Veggies: A mix of red onion, red and yellow peppers, courgette (zucchini), baby spinach, and tinned tomatoes - each adding unique flavour and texture.
- Cream: Creates a sumptuous and rich tomato sauce.
- Cheese: Strong cheddar and mozzarella blend for the perfect flavour and melt-in-your-mouth texture.
See the recipe card for quantities.
📖 Substitutions & Variations
- Vegan Adaptation: Swap the cream for a vegan alternative and use nutritional yeast instead of cheese.
- Gluten-Free Option: Choose gluten-free pasta.
- Meat Lovers: Add grilled chicken or sausage if desired.
👩🏻🍳 Making Vegetable Pasta Bake In 4 Steps
- According to package directions, drain and set aside.
- Tip: Drizzle the pasta with some olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
- Fry red onion, add peppers, courgette, salt, pepper, garlic, tomato puree, oregano, and thyme. The vegetables should have a bite to them still because they will continue to cook in the sauce while the pasta bake is in the oven.
- Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 375°F (190°C).
Make the sauce
- Add tinned tomatoes and cream, followed by cooked pasta and spinach.
- Make sure to simmer the sauce until slightly thickened.
Assemble and Bake:
- Transfer to a baking dish, top with cheese, and bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and golden.
- Special Tip: Add some Parmesan in the last 5 minutes for extra flavor.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Freeze for up to 3 months; thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- Reheat in the oven or microwave until hot.
💡 Top Tips
- Use an oven-safe skillet for easy transfer to the oven.
- Don't overcook the pasta; it will continue to cook in the oven.
Feel free to substitute with seasonal veggies or your favourites. This recipe is quite forgiving.
Absolutely! Just use a larger baking dish and adjust the cooking time as needed.
Prepare the dish up to the baking step, cover, and refrigerate or freeze. Then bake as directed.
More Vegetarian Pasta Recipes
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
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The Best Easy Vegetable Pasta Bake
- 300 g (5 cups) rigatoni or other large pasta shapes
- 1 (1) red onion, chopped
- 1 (1) red pepper, chopped
- 1 (1) yellow pepper, chopped
- 1 (1) courgette, zucchini, sliced
- 100 g (3 cups) baby spinach
- 400 g (14 floz) tinned tomatoes
- 200 ml (1 cups) cream
- 100 g (¼ cups) strong cheddar, grated
- 100 g (1 cups) mozzarella, grated
- 2 cloves (2 cloves) garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) dried thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat Oven & Cook Pasta:
- Preheat your oven to 190°C.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions, then drain and set aside.
Prepare Vegetables & Sauce:
- In a large pan, fry red onion in a little oil until soft.
- Add peppers, courgette, salt, pepper, garlic, tomato puree, oregano, and thyme.
- Stir in the tinned tomatoes and cream, then simmer until slightly thickened.
- Add the cooked pasta and baby spinach to the pan.
- Mix well, ensuring everything is evenly coated.
Assemble and Bake:
- Transfer the mixture to a baking dish.
- Top with cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and golden.
- Enjoy hot with a side of garlic bread or fresh salad.
- Oven-safe skillet: Using an oven-safe skillet will ease the transition from stove to oven.
- Don't overcook pasta: Since the pasta will continue to cook in the oven, it's better to leave it slightly undercooked on the stovetop.
- Vegan Adaptation: Replace the cream with a vegan alternative and use nutritional yeast instead of cheese.
- Gluten-Free Option: Utilize gluten-free pasta.
- Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.