Pesto Pasta Bake is the perfect easy pasta dish! Creamy pesto sauce, pasta, smoked sausage and Italian cheese make this the perfect meal.
Pesto Pasta Bake has become one of favorite one dish recipes that the whole family enjoys! It comes together in s snap, can be made ahead of time and easily freezes, what is not to love?
Even better, Pesto 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!
No one can complain about the delicious flavors in my Pesto 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. 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. Since it only bakes for 20 minutes, the onion tends to stay on the al dente side.
Other ingredients I like to add to my Pesto Pasta Bake are sun dried tomatoes, additional garlic, diced bell pepper or zucchini or even artichokes. 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. 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.
Tools you’ll need for your Pesto Pasta Bake:
- Deep Casserole Dish– You will use this giant casserole dish for everything from one-dish recipes to lasagna and marinating large amounts of meat.
- Wood cutting board – wood won’t dull your knives like plastic and if treated properly, has natural antimicrobial properties.
- Good knife – Global is my favorite! They are worth the price, I promise. I am kind of obsessed with them and store them tucked away so no one else can use them. Including hubby. Hands off my good stuff!
- Plastic Storage Containers – you can never have too many!
If you like my Pesto Pasta Bake, chances are you’ll also enjoy these other easy dinner recipes!
- Crispy Pork Tacos
- Garlic Parmesan Chicken
- Spaghetti and Peas
- Beef Bowls
- Grilled Turkey Zucchini Boats
- 1 pound tubed pasta cooked according to package directions for "al dente" and drained
- 1 cup Pesto Sauce
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 6 smoked sausage links sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)*
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 medium white onion cut into eighths
- 2 cups Italian cheese blend shredded
- Cooking Spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix together Pesto Sauce with 1/2 cup heavy cream, tomatoes, onion, shredded cheese and sausage. Set aside.
Prepare a large baking dish (9x13 or larger) with cooking spray. Add cooked pasta. Top with vegetable and cheese mix.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving Pesto Pasta Bake!
You can substitute other types of meat for cooked chicken or shrimp, or add extra vegetables to make it a vegetarian dish.