5 ingredients are all you need to make this Easy Baked Rotini Pasta! This Easy Pasta Bake is a cheesy, gooey, kid-friendly casserole that can feed a large crowd on a budget.
Easy Baked Rotini Pasta
If you are looking for a meal that is cheap, kid-approved, easy to make, and delicious---you can stop searching!
This simple Pasta Bake checks all those boxes!
Made with only 5 ingredients and minimal prep time, Baked Rotini is not only a meal your family will love, but it is an EASY meal to make.
From the tender rotini noodles to the creamy cottage cheese, to the marinara sauce, to the layer of melted cheese, this simple pasta dish is pure comfort!
And because it comes together within minutes with simple ingredients you probably already have on hand--this pasta bake makes you look like a rock star without a lot of effort! Making it a perfect recipe for busy weeknights or lazy weekends.
5 Ingredients for Easy Baked Pasta
- Rotini Noodles--You can use rigatoni or penne noodles if you like instead of rotini noodles, but the rotini noodles grasp the sauce perfectly and stay soft during baking. Use Gluten-Free Pasta to make this a Gluten-Free Baked Pasta.
- Spaghetti Sauce--Use your favorite jarred sauce or Homemade Tomato Sauce, just be sure it is one with really good flavor.
- Cottage Cheese--Cottage cheese makes this pasta bake creamy and hearty while adding a bit of protein to each serving. If you don't have cottage cheese, feel free to use ricotta cheese in place of the cottage cheese.
- Egg--The egg helps to bind the pasta together, but can easily be omitted for an Egg-Free Pasta Bake--just be sure your noodles are egg-free as well!
- Cheese--Cheese is the finishing touch to create a gooey, cheesy pasta dish that makes everyone beg for seconds! Use shredded mozzarella cheese or an Italian cheese blend.
How to Make Baked Rotini
Step One: Cook Rotini Noodles
- Cook pasta in heavily salted water for 1-2 minutes less than the package suggests.
- Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup cooking water.
Pro Tip: While pasta is cooking, use that time to prep a side salad or homemade garlic bread to serve with the pasta bake.
Step Two: Prepare Pasta Bake
- Mix cooked rotini noodles with tomato sauce, reserved cooking liquid, egg, cottage cheese, and sauce. The reserved cooking liquid will help bind the sauce evenly and coat the rotini noodles.
- Pour into 9x13 pan or 2 quart casserole.
- Top evenly with shredded cheese.
Step Three: Bake Rotini Dish
- Bake the pasta bake, uncovered, until the cheese melts and the pasta is warmed through about 30 minutes. If you prepped the garlic bread, pop into the oven for the last 10-15 minutes of the baking time.
- Serve baked pasta with Homemade Garlic Toast and a tossed salad with balsamic dressing for a meal everyone will sing your praises for!
Storing/Freezing Pasta Bake
This easy pasta bake is almost always found stashed in my freezer. It makes a great go-to meal for busy nights for my family, but it is also a great meal to take to a friend or family in need of a comforting home-cooked meal.
- How to Freeze Baked Rotini: To prepare pasta in advance, assemble pasta bake it up to baking, and place it in a freezer-safe baking dish. Cover well with 2 layers of foil and freeze for up to two months. To bake from frozen, bake at 350 degrees F for 60 minutes covered, then uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through and cheese is melted.
- How to Assemble Up to 3 Days in Advance: If you plan to bake this rotini casserole within 3 days of assembling, there is no need to freeze it. Simply prepare the casserole up to baking. Place the prepared rotini in a baking dish, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. When ready to bake, remove the baking dish from the fridge while the oven is preheating, remove the plastic wrap, and bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until warmed through.
More Easy Pasta Recipes
5 Ingredient Baked Rotini
- 16 ounces rotini noodles or ziti, rigatoni, etc
- ½ cup reserved pasta liquid
- 4 cups homemade or jarred spaghetti sauce
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- 1 egg whisked
- 2 cups shredded cheese mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan or a mixture
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- Cook the pasta for 1-2 minutes less than the package directions state in salted boiling water. Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid.
- Mix the cooked pasta and reserved cooking liquid together with the sauce, cottage cheese, egg, and 1 cup of shredded cheese.
- Pour into a large 9x13 pan or casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the casserole is warmed through.
- Alternatively, you can prep this dish up to baking. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days before baking. Add 20 minutes to baking time if coming from fridge.
- Whole wheat, regular, or gluten-free noodles can be used.
- Feel free to add ground beef, sausage, or even pepperoni to this baked rotini for a heartier dish.
- DO NOT USE FAT-FREE Cottage cheese--it will not bake up the same.
- In place of cottage cheese, ricotta cheese can be used.
- Omit the egg if you need this to be an egg-free pasta bake (just be sure to check your noodles for eggs as well!)
- Pasta Bake can be assembled up to baking and frozen for up to 2 months. To bake from frozen, bake covered with foil at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until warmed through.