An easy and delicious pesto ricotta pasta bake with all the flavours of lasagna, in an easy to make baked pasta. You’ll love the ricotta-filled pasta, brushed with pesto and baked on a base of marinara sauce.
Why you’ll love this ricotta pasta bake
Perfect for Meatless Monday, this baked pesto pasta with ricotta is simple easy, weeknight fare! It’s a bit like a deconstructed lasagna, with the same great flavours in a much easier form.
Egg pasta lasagna sheets are boiled, then bathed in a store-bought pesto. Simply fill with a ricotta filling and bake on some marinara sauce. Made easy by using a good-quality, store-bought marinara sauce and pesto.
Of course, if you have more time and/or energy, you can make your own marinara and/or pesto, as you like. With the availability of great store-bought marinara and pesto these days, I love being able to make this dish quickly and easily some times.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Dishes like this pasta bake with only a few ingredients really benefit from using the best ingredients you can.
Lasagna Sheets – Look for the short, ruffle-less pasta sheets in with the regular dried lasagna noodles. They are usually 6 or 7 inches long. You could use regular length and simply cut in half once boiled. Fresh lasagna noodles are another good option and feature the added benefit of a super-quick boiling time.
Pesto – a good store-bought basil pesto is just fine here, though you can certainly make your own pesto, if you like.
Ricotta – again, a good, full-fat ricotta will serve you well here. Lower fat ricotta has more water and can make for a soggy dish.
Marinara Sauce – store-bought jarred marinara sauce is what I use. I love the PC Black Label Marinara or Rao’s or a similar good quality marinara will give good results. Of course, you can use a homemade marinara sauce, if you like. (I have a great Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce, if you need a recipe!
This pasta bake is perfect for making in individual dishes, such as small au gratin dishes, but you could make it in one larger, oval baking dish (or oval skillet, as I have here), if you like.
I like to place the dish or dishes on top of a baking sheet to catch any bubble-overs. Just in case!
Making ahead, storing and freezing
You could easily assemble these dishes ahead, cover, refrigerate and bake off later, if you like.
You can freeze the baked pasta bake up to 3 months.
Get the Recipe: Pesto Ricotta Pasta Bake
- 2 cups Marinara sauce, store-bought or make your own
- 1/4 cup Pesto sauce, store-bought or make your own
- 3-4 Lasagna sheets, about 6-7 inches long(or use 2 regular length sheets and cut in half after boiling)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese, full fat recommended
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated, for topping
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Boil a large pot of salted water and cook lasagna sheets until al dente. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
- While pasta is boiling, prepare ricotta filling by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Spoon a bed of marinara sauce on to the bottom of your baking skillet or dish. Take a sheet of cooked and drained pasta and lay on a plate. Brush both sides well with pesto sauce. Spoon a generous dollop of ricotta mixture on to one half of the lasagna sheet. Fold the other half over top. Lay the packet on top of the marinara sauce. Repeat with two more lasagna sheets, over-lapping them slightly. Sprinkle top with grated Mozzarella.
- Cover skillet/dish with aluminum foil. Place baking dish on top of a baking sheet (to catch any bubble-overs) and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes (or until sauce is bubbly and ricotta is melting). Remove foil and pop dish under the broiler for a a minute to brown up the cheese. Remove and enjoy!
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Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!