One Pan 4 Cheese Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta Bake.
One Pan 4 Cheese Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta Bake…for nights when you’re craving Italian, but also need something simple and easy to prepare. Rigatoni pasta baked in a sun-dried tomato sauce that’s cheesy and so delicious! The secret to this one-pan pasta? Cooking the pasta in red wine. No boiling water, no extra pans! This is the perfect fall and winter dish to serve any night of the week. But is equally awesome for your next Saturday night dinner. It’s delicious and looks pretty on any table…not to mention that everyone LOVES a GOOD baked pasta. This pasta dish will be your new go-to!
It’s about this time every year, that I really lean into those recipes that I know my family will love most. The week before Thanksgiving is usually when family members begin to slowly arrive…my brothers, cousins, all the girlfriends, and a few other strays that always seem to trickle in.
This year, things are looking pretty different, just my siblings and cousins (who kind of became siblings when my aunt passed). Even though our gathering will be smaller, I still wanted to keep some of my same traditions alive. Enter this pasta. It’s one of those recipes that feeds a crowd, and definitely one of those dinners that makes everyone happy.
I love serving a simple baked pasta on everyone’s first night back home for Thanksgiving and or Christmas. I usually add a side salad and some beer bread. It’s always the perfect dinner to welcome everyone back home during the days leading up to Thanksgiving. It’s easy for me to prepare, and the perfect simple but delicious dinner. It pretty much says, “welcome home for the holidays, cozy up, and stay awhile”.
Such a cheesy line, but I’m all about cheesy these days.
Since so many of our holiday plans are different, I wanted to share a recipe that would give everyone that same feeling of comfort. Nothing really beats a home-cooked meal, but I figure if you can’t go home, why not bring a little of “home” to your kitchen.
I mean, right? Yes, yes. Of course. Thankfully this is easy to prepare, so whether you love cooking or are just a beginner in the kitchen, this is easy enough that we can all recreate it…
Hello to one pan and done.
Here are the details.
This is a pasta I’ve been making for a while now. It’s the recipe I fall back on when I’m busy and have zero time to put in any effort for dinner. Kind of what I call the effortless dinner.
You ready for this? Add every single ingredient to a large baking dish. Add water, then cover the dish and bake. No boiling water, no pots, nothing fancy at all.
Once everything is mixed up in the baking dish, simply add the water right into the dish. I know it may seem odd, but trust me, it works. Just cover with foil and bake until that cheese is bubbly. Cooking the pasta together with the sauce saves you from additional prep work and having to break out another pot. Not sure about you guys, but I am all about fewer dishes.
Easy, right? YES. But yet the outcome is DELICIOUS.
Here are some keys for success.
First, you want to use a short cut pasta for this. Since we’re cooking the pasta all together in the baking dish, the short cut is able to more evenly cook. I love using rigatoni, but you can use any short cut pasta you love!
Second, the red wine. Of course, if you don’t drink wine you can omit this and swap for chicken or vegetable broth. Make this work for you. But if you do enjoy wine, use the wine. It adds a richness that really compliments the sun-dried tomatoes within the sauce.
And that brings me to the tomatoes. I like to use a mix of crushed tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes. The sun-dried tomatoes are KEY for adding flavor to this. You’re going to use both the tomatoes and that oil left behind in the jar. Between the herbed oil and the sweet tomatoes, you’ll get so much flavor from just one ingredient.
And lastly, the cheeses! Four types of cheese are better than one…right? Of course. I used a combination of melty fontina cheese, asiago, parmesan, and sharp provolone. ‘Tis a delicious combination, but feel free to use whatever cheese you have on hand. All cheese is good cheese.
And that is it. This takes only about an hour to prepare. Then you’ll have cheesy baked pasta ready for eating….and your kitchen will still be semi-clean! But even more importantly, it’s going to smell like an Italian grandma’s kitchen. It’s an amazing aroma, and trust me, this rigatoni tastes even better. Think saucy, but still heavy on the pasta, with a good amount of seasonings and herbs. The wine and tomatoes add a hearty richness, and all that cheese on top…well that’s the best part!
You see, you can’t go wrong with a baked pasta like this. My one tip? To make this dish fancy…ish, serve it topped with fried oregano and a bottle of red wine. Perfect for these long November and December nights.
Looking for other easy pasta bakes? Here are my favorites:
Lastly, if you make this One Pan 4 Cheese Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta Bake, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
One Pan 4 Cheese Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta Bake
For nights when you’re craving Italian, but need something simple and easy to prepare!
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed san marzano tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes oil drained, but reserved
- 1 (10 ounce) pkg frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- kosher salt and black pepper
- crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup red wine or chicken broth
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 1 cup cubed fontina cheese
- 1 1/2 cups grated asiago cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded provolone
- fresh basil, parsley, or oregano, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Oil a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2. To the baking dish, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes...plus 3 tablespoons of the oil left in the jar, the spinach, garlic, basil, oregano, red wine, and 1 1/2 cups water. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the dry pasta, fontina cheese, asiago, and parmesan, tossing to coat. Push down gently on the pasta to submerge it. Sprinkle the provolone evenly over top.
3. Rub the underside of a piece of foil with oil. Tightly cover the baking dish with the foil, oiled side facing down. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15- 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and top with fresh herbs.
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