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One Pot Pasta Bake with Sausage + Cheese

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
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Why we love it:

Ok, I call this one pot pasta but it goes faster if you use two pots. One for the pasta while you’re sautéing the filling in the wider Dutch oven style pot. If you don’t have a wide, shallow pot use a regular pot and bake this off in a casserole dish. It takes a bit of time in the oven but it’s really light on prep. I’m tagging this as “Teenager’s first meal cooked alone”.


  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (possibly more depending on your sausage, plus salt for pasta water)
  • 1 pound Rotelli Pasta (or pasta of your choice)
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 pound Sausage (Italian or your preference but look for the soft, uncooked kind)
  • 1 pound Button Mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 12 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can Crushed Tomatoes (or tomato puree, or diced if you like it chunky)
  • 12 ounces Mozzarella (shredded) (or block, divided)
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 4 ounces Fresh Chevre (crumbled, or cream cheese or crème fraîche can be used instead)

Cooking Instructions


    Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain. If using 1 pot, wait and get started when pasta is done. Or use 2 pots and start on the sauce now.


    In a shallow heavy pot, melt the butter. Slice the onion into half-moon rings and add that. Crumble in the sausage and break it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Slice the mushrooms and add them in. Sauté everything over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic powder, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Cook for another 5 - 8 minutes or until the sausage is cooked and browned and the mushrooms have given up their liquid and are browning. Cook longer if you prefer these things even more well done.

    Add the tomatoes. Fill about ¼ of the can with water and make sure to get out all of the tomato, then add that back into the pot as well. Simmer for about 5 minutes or while the pasta finishes.

  • 4. CHEESE

    Dice about ⅔ of the total mozzarella into small cubes, about ⅓” or so. Grate the rest (if you bought shredded, do nothing else)

    Toss together the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.

  • 5. COMBINE

    Add the pasta to the tomato sauce and veggies. Add the diced mozzarella cubes (or ⅔ of the total shredded mozz), and the fresh chevre. Stir well.

    Taste it. Depending on the sausage and tomatoes you used, you may prefer more salt.

  • 6. BAKE

    Press back into the Dutch oven or into the casserole dish. Top with remaining mozzarella and all of the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 minutes or until melted and hot.

  • 7. SERVE

    Let cool a little bit and scoop onto plates.

    Stores and reheats amazingly. I love having a pot in the fridge and digging in all week!

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    use GF pasta and omit breadcrumbs
    omit dairy as listed. Consider adding either 1 cup of coconut milk, cashew cream, or tofutti to the tomato sauce and stir in to give a creamy feel. Top with breadcrumbs and a few Tablespoons of nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor. OR puree 1 bag of frozen butternut squash cubes with ½ cup of the pasta cooking water and stir into the tomato sauce. Makes it interesting and surprisingly creamy!
    use buffalo mozzarella on top if you can eat that, or use 2x the chevre. Use sheep’s pecorino instead of parmesan
    so easy to stir in a few handfuls of baby spinach or kale, frozen peas, green beans, diced broccoli or cauliflower stems/florets, quartered brussels sprouts, etc.
    use chicken sausage if you don’t eat pork. Use ground turkey, chicken, beef, or pork if you don’t prefer sausage. If using ground meat you’ll definitely need more salt. Chopped bacon is delicious here, too
    if your kids won’t do the bake, you can serve buttered pasta, try a mushroom, bites of sausage, and some cheese on the side. Just pull out the bits as you cook and assemble

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Make it and put in the fridge before the final bake – but, it will take 45 – 60 minutes to fully heat from the fridge, it’s just all hands off time
  2. Make it and bake it, then to reheat portions, just put in the toaster oven or oven on smaller plates to reheat quickly
  3. Also freezes perfectly and reheats easily
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