Pesto Sausage Pasta Bake

This delicious Pesto Sausage Pasta Bake recipe is great for a weeknight meal with the whole family! This pasta bake is loaded with amazing ingredients that will leave you satisfied!

overhead shot of plate of sausage pasta bake with text overlay for facebook


 

Pasta Casserole

Pesto Sausage Pasta Bake has become one of the favorite one dish recipes that the whole family enjoys! It comes together in a snap, can be made ahead of time and easily freezes, what is not to love?

Even better, Pesto Sausage Pasta Bake is a budget friendly meal that can feed large families or groups. I sometimes make the whole recipe and divide it up into plastic containers to take for lunches.

Anything I don’t use, I freeze!

What Does it Taste Like?

No one can complain about the delicious flavors in my Pesto Sausage Pasta Bake; pesto sauce blended with cream, cheese, onions and of course, tomatoes! You can either buy a bottle of jarred pesto at the store or easily make your own homemade pesto sauce.

The add-ins I use vary depending on what is leftover from the week before, but I tend to always throw in tomatoes and onion.

Since it only bakes for 20 minutes, the onion tends to stay on the al dente side.

They just allow for so many more places for the pesto to hide and hold onto the cheesy sauce better since they have grooves. You can also substitute cooked diced chicken, shrimp or pork for smoked sausage.

Why You’ll Love This Pesto Sausage Pasta Bake

This simple pasta recipe is sure to become one of your family’s favorite recipes in no time.

  • Easy meal – With just a handful of ingredients and 35 minutes, you’ll have this hearty dish ready for a busy weeknight.
  • Super versatile – Although I laid out a list of ingredients, you can totally switch up the veggies and meat that go into this dish.
  • Loved by all – This baked ziti is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters in your family. Easy to change up to your family’s taste.

Ingredients

These simple ingredients can easily be found at your local grocery store.

  • Pasta – Make sure this is cooked according to package directions for “al dente” and drained. I like to use tube shaped pasta like penne pasta with lots of room for that cheesy sauce to hide.
  • Pesto sauce – You can certainly buy your own jarred version from the grocery store, or you could make your own with fresh basil.
  • Heavy cream – In order to thin out the sauce and make it a little more creamy, I like to use heavy cream rather than pasta water.
  • Smoked sausage – Slice and cook sausage ahead of time. 
  • Cherry tomatoes – I like the ease of using cherry tomatoes. I do like to cut them in half for easier eating.
  • White onion – If your family isn’t a huge fan of crunchy onion, either omit it or cook it down a little in the microwave before adding. 
  • Italian cheese blend – I like to shred my own cheese because it tends to melt better that way. Use a blend of parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, provolone, asiago and romano.
sausage pasta bake ingredients in a bowl

How to Make Sausage Pasta Bake

You are going to love how easy it is to make this cheesy sausage pasta bake! 

  1. Prepare oven and casserole dish. Preheat oven and spray a large baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine ingredients. In a small bowl, mix together Pesto Sauce with 1/2 cup heavy cream, tomatoes, onion, shredded cheese and sausage. Set aside.
  3. Add pasta and top with pasta sauce. Add cooked pasta. Top with vegetable and cheese mix.
  4. Bake. Bake uncovered. Remove and allow to sit before serving!

What to Serve with Pesto Sausage Pasta Bake

As with any pasta, a nice leafy green side salad would be perfect alongside this delicious pasta bake. You could also serve with another green vegetable like green beans or broccoli.

A couple slices of crusty bread, garlic bread or a nice warm bowl of soup like minestrone would also be great with this easy pasta recipe.

Variations

While we love this easy sausage pasta bake recipe exactly as written, there are plenty of ways to make it your own.

  • Add ins – Other ingredients I like to add to my Pasta Bake are sun dried tomatoes, additional garlic, diced bell pepper or zucchini or even artichokes.
  • Pasta – You can also change up what type of pasta you use, although I tend to prefer a thicker, tube shape like ziti, penne or rigatoni.
  • Sausage – You could use spicy italian sausages, chicken sausage, hot italian sausage or any other sausage meat you can think of.
  • Heat – Try adding something like red pepper flakes or spicy italian sausages to take this baked pasta up a notch.

Storage and Freezing

Storage: Store any leftover pasta sausage bake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay for up to 3-5 days.

Freezing: This pasta also freezes well in a freezer-safe container. Perfect for meal prep or making freezer meals for friends.

collage of pesto pasta bake for pinterest

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overhead shot of sausage pasta bake in dish with text overlay for pinterest
overhead shot of plate of sausage pasta bake

Pesto Sausage Pasta Bake

4.91 from 40 votes
Pesto Pasta Bake is the perfect easy pasta dish for busy weeknights. Creamy pesto sauce, pasta, smoked sausage and Italian cheese make this the perfect meal.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and boat a 9×13 baking dish (or larger) with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the sausage, cheese, pesto, cream, tomatoes and onion.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the casserole dish and evenly top it with the sausage mixture..
  • Bake the casserole uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings!

Video

Notes

You can substitute other types of meat for cooked chicken or shrimp, or add extra vegetables to make it a vegetarian dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 632 kcal, Carbohydrates: 50 g, Protein: 23 g, Fat: 38 g, Saturated Fat: 11 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8 g, Cholesterol: 60 mg, Sodium: 775 mg, Potassium: 335 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 4 g, Vitamin A: 1026 IU, Vitamin C: 10 mg, Calcium: 138 mg, Iron: 2 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 632
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: pasta bake, pesto pasta recipe
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    So yummy and versatile! Substituted Alfredo for pesto because my partner doesn’t like pesto and added spinach and artichokes to get more veggies in! Will make this again!

    1. Kielbasa is one form of smoked sausage, yes! Just look for the precooked rope sausage, any of them and any flavor will do. You can use turkey, pork or even chicken!