Here is a super easy and delicious one-pot pasta recipe you're going to love! It's moreish, flavoursome and best of all, requires minimal effort. One thing to note, you'll need a Dutch oven (worthwhile investment) to make this weeknight-friendly sausage pasta bake.
Can't resist a good pasta bake? Check out my Chicken and Chorizo Pasta Bake! It's not a one-pot wonder (like this recipe!) but it's gooood. 😉
Unlike many of my recipes, this recipe is not one I'd classify as healthy. Rather, this is definitely under the comfort food, occasional dinner category.
One serving of this sausage pasta bake is about 820 calories, give or take, depending on the sausages you use. Worth all the calories? Hell yeh! It is just downright YUM!
- Italian pork sausages is a top choice for this recipe, can use other sausages meats such as beef and chicken. For my Aussie readers, I just used Coles Finest Italian Style Pork Sausages.
- Dried Pasta highly recommend the fusilli (spiral) pasta as they're the perfect type to pick up all of the lovely, flavoursome sauce. Otherwise, penne works too.
- Mozzarella cheese I'm a huge fan of buying block cheeses and grate/slice at home. Pre-grated ones you get from the shops always include anti-caking agents to stop the cheese from sticking together. However, this also means they don't melt as well and can have a slightly grainy texture. Plus! buying blocks of cheeses is always more economical!
Step by step instructions
To start, preheat the oven to 180°C/360°F.
Get your trusty Dutch oven out and soften finely diced onions with some olive oil on low heat. The key here is to soften the onions without browning or burning as they get bitter real quick. Low heat is important as such.
After about 5 minutes, add finely diced capsicum and minced garlic. Increase the heat up to medium-low and cook for a further 3 or so minutes.
Whilst cooking the onions, chop up the sausages into small, bite-sized pieces.
Now add chopped up sausages and dried oregano (if you've got fresh ones, go for it!). Cook on high heat for about 3 minutes, turning/mixing every minute. This will allow enough time for the sausages to brown and caramelise which means flavour!
Next, drizzle a little worcestershire sauce, cook it out, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds. Then, add dried pasta, passata, hot stock, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Stir through and bring up to boil.
Make sure to go easy on the salt as the stock will reduce and the finished result will be saltier than it would at this stage.
Bake for 15 minutes. Whilst baking, slice up 1 cup worth of mozzarella cheese.
Cheese is added after 15 minutes of baking. If added at the very beginning, the cheese will disappear into the pasta. It'll still taste good, you just won't get that beloved lightly blistered golden, stretchy layer of cheese on top.
To serve, sprinkle with a little fresh basil leaves. Dig in whilst the cheese is hot and stretchy. Just be careful not to burn your mouth!
Don't have a Dutch oven (cast iron pot)? No worries!
This is a one-pot pasta bake that starts on the stove then finished off in the oven.To do this, you'll need a Dutch oven (aka enamelled cast iron pot). These pots are a great kitchen essential and totally worth getting. Don't have a big budget for a Le Creuset? Me neither. I got mine (as pictured) from Kmart for just $29AUD!
If you don't have a Dutch oven right now, all good! You can still make this delicious sausage pasta. Here are your options:
- Stove-top only method. Simply follow the cooking instructions steps using a pot then instead of baking in the oven, just leave the pot on the stove and cook on medium-low heat until the pasta is cooked and stock mostly evaporated. This will take about 15 minutes. Top with mozzarella cheese and once melted and stretchy, serve.
- Transfer into a large casserole dish then bake. Follow cooking instructions per the recipe card below and at step 6, carefully transfer the (hot!) contents of the pot into a large baking casserole dish then bake.
Look at that stretchy golden cheese! This is what comfort foods are all about!
Also, as you can see, most of the stock has been absorbed and the pasta is not dry at all!
Tips for making this one-pot pasta perfect every time
This is a very easy and pretty much fool-proof recipe however, below are a few handy pointers to keep in mind:
- Bake uncovered. This will allow the stock to reduce and cheese blister. No soupy pasta bake here!
- Take the time to soften the onions on low heat before adding passata. Acidity in tomatoes stops onions from softening. This is why you'll find many tomato-based recipes (including my Lasagna and Spaghetti Bolognese recipes) that requires the onions to soften first BEFORE any acidic/tomatoes are added. Crunchy onions? No thanks!
- If you're eyeballing the stock measurements (ie, you don't have measuring cups), beware. Be mindful of not adding more stock than stated in the recipe as the pasta bake can come out too soupy. If it does, just let it bake a little longer to draw out excess liquids.
Good to know (FAQs)
Lasts up to 4 days in the fridge, stored in an airtight container. These goodies can be frozen for up to 3 months before the quality (and thus taste) starts dropping.
To reheat on the stove, add a splash of water and warm up on medium heat stirring occasionally. I have not tried reheating in the oven as it's just so much faster reheating on the stove. Otherwise, the microwave will do too!
Made this recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below! I'd love to hear from you 🙂
Happy cooking! - Gen
Sausage Pasta Bake (Easy One-Pot Meal)
- Dutch oven
- 300 g /10 ounce dried fusilli pasta penne works too!
- 500 g /1 pound Italian pork sausage substitute: beef and chicken sausages
- 1 red capsicum finely diced
- 1 onion finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups passata
- 2½ cups chicken or veg stock hot
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese ~150g/5oz, freshly sliced/grated (note 1)
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
To serve (optional)
- fresh basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F (160°C/320°F fan-forced).
- Soften onions with olive oil in a Dutch oven on low heat, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut sausages up into small, bite-size pieces.
- Add capsicum and garlic, bring heat up to medium-low. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add sausages and dried oregano, cook on high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring every minute to allow browning and caramelisation. Stir in worcestershire sauce, let it reduce for about 30 seconds.
- Add passata, stock, dried pasta, sugar, salt and pepper. (note 2) Give it a mix and once the pot is boiling, transfer to the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, no lid.
- Crank the oven up to 210°C/410°F (190°C/370°F fan-forced) then take the pot out of the oven, scatter with mozzarella cheese. Bake lidless for a further 10 minutes.
- To serve, sprinkle fresh basil leaves (optional but highly recommended).
- Stove-top only method. Simply follow the cooking instructions steps using a pot then instead of baking in the oven, just leave the pot on the stove and cook on medium-low heat until the pasta is cooked and stock mostly evaporated. This will take about 15 minutes. No stirring required. Top with mozzarella cheese and once melted and stretchy, serve. The downside: no blistered, golden cheese.
- Transfer into a large casserole dish then bake. Follow cooking instructions per the recipe and at step 6, carefully transfer the (hot!) contents of the pot into a large baking casserole dish then continue with instructions.