Baked Sausage and Ricotta Rigatoni

Baked Sausage and Ricotta Rigatoni

Hearty and delicious, this Baked Sausage and Ricotta Rigatoni pasta is a wonderful meal, with tons of flavour and just enough cheese to satisfy!

I have mentioned before that I live in a small town, so my regular grocery stores are … well, small town grocery stores :) Things take a little longer to show up here. One of the new things that has me excited lately, is the appearance of store-made loose sausage. With a variety of flavours, I can kick that removing sausage from the casing thing to the curb at last!

The other nice thing about loose sausage is that I can buy two varieties and combine them in one dish. Like this dish, where I used a combination of mild and hot Italian sausage. It satisfies both my heat-loving husband and my a-little-but-not-a-lot heat loving self.

For this dish, the sausage is browned and then combined with a super quick tomato sauce. It all gets combined with cooked rigatoni and finished with dollops of a ricotta and mozzarella cheese topping. Then 30 minutes in the oven and dinner is served. Lovely served with crusty bread and a salad.

Baked Sausage and Ricotta Rigatoni

Cook’s Notes for Baked Sausage and Ricotta Rigatoni Pasta

I think I say this a lot, but it’s worth repeating for this dish. Seasoning is everything! Be sure to add salt and pepper to the ricotta mixture and to the tomato sauce in healthy doses. It really brings out the flavours here!

You don’t have to use just one kind of sausage here. Use a mixture of mild and hot sausage, or change it up completely and use loose chorizo sausage instead!

Like most baked pasta dishes, the re-heated leftovers are almost better than when it’s freshly cooked. So make a big skillet and enjoy from the fridge.

Baked Sausage and Ricotta Rigatoni

Baked Sausage and Ricotta Rigatoni

Baked Sausage and Ricotta Rigatoni

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: baked pasta recipes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Energy: 445 kcal
Author: Jennifer

Hearty and delicious, this baked pasta is easy to put together and is ready in less than an hour. 



  • 1 lb loose mild and/or hot Italian sausage (or fresh sausage, removed from casing)
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 small onion diced
  • 28 oz can whole tomatoes (San Marzano recommended), hand crushed
  • 6 leaves fresh basil chopped (or 1 tsp. dried basil)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups dried rigatoni pasta

Ricotta Mixture:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella shredded
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded, for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add rigatoni and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. On the stove-top, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add loose sausage and cook, stirring regularly, until cooked through and browned in spots. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  4. To the same skillet, over medium heat, add the onion and cook, stirring until softened. Add garlic and cook and additional 30-45 seconds. Add the hand-crushed tomatoes, chopped basil leaves and a healthy sprinkling of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Add sausage back to the skillet and cook a few minutes, to blend the flavours and warm the sausage again. Turn off heat and let stand until pasta is ready.
  5. When pasta is cooked, add to the skillet with the tomato sauce and sausage. Stir to combine. Spoon dollops of the ricotta mixture randomly on top. Sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Baked Sausage and Ricotta Rigatoni

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  • Jennifer,
    I’m thinking of adding this to my Easter dinner menu. Can it be made in advanced and frozen?
    Thank you!

  • I live in a pretty small town too, Jennifer, so I feel your pain!! It’s wonderful your store makes it’s own loose sausage! Wahoo to that! And double wahoo to this rigatoni! Seriously, that gooey cheese is screaming my name! Love how hearty and comforting this dish is! Winter perfection, my friend! Cheers!

  • Glad you have some new varieties of sausages to choose from! I can spend hours in our local butcher shop and ya know we love food when this is one of the best days of the week. My kids love Italian food and this looks perfect, day of – and day after! I’m in. Thanks for sharing this beauty.

    • Thanks Chris! Truth be told, I could eat pasta almost any night of the week. If only I could get my husband to cooperate ;)

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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