This hearty and delicious baked pasta with sausage and ricotta is a wonderful meal, with tons of flavour and just enough cheese to satisfy!

baked pasta with sausage and ricotta in cast iron skillet

I never tire of baked pasta with sausage and ricotta is a favourite. With browned sausage and dollops of ricotta, all cooked in a quick tomato sauce. Add some crusty bread and a salad and you have a great dinner!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Sausage – you can buy loose sausage meat or sausage links (and remove the sausage from the casing yourself at home). Use mild Italian sausage or hot Italian sausage or a bit of both, as you like. To really change up the flavour profile, try chorizo sausage instead!

Ricotta – you only need a cup of ricotta, which can be expensive, so grab the smaller, half container unless you have more uses for the ricotta.

baked pasta with sausage and ricotta in cast iron skillet

Cook’s Notes

  • 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. Salt really brings out the flavours here!
  • 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 pasta with sausage and ricotta in cast iron skillet

Get the Recipe: Baked Pasta with Sausage and Ricotta

Hearty and delicious, this baked pasta with sausage and ricotta is easy to put together and is ready in less than an hour!
4.90 stars from 19 ratings
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Yield: 6 servings


  • 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. canned whole tomatoes , (San Marzano recommended), hand crushed
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried basil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon 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 cheese, shredded
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded, for topping


  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add rigatoni and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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. Taste the sauce and add additional salt and pepper, as needed. (If the flavours seem flat, it needs more salt!). Turn off heat and let stand until pasta is ready.
  • 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.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.


Be sure to read the “Ingredient and Cook's Notes" (above the recipe card!), where I share more detailed  tips, variations and substitution suggestions for this recipe!
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Main Course
Author: Jennifer
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 445kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 35g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 954mg, Potassium: 529mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 740IU, Vitamin C: 17.2mg, Calcium: 286mg, Iron: 2.6mg
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