Make Ahead Italian Sausage and Pasta Bake

"This wonderful hearty, make ahead casserole really hits the spot. full of flavor, easy to make (and freeze) for those hectic or lazy days ahead."
photo by French Tart photo by French Tart
photo by French Tart
photo by KendraleighB photo by KendraleighB
photo by Jessica Em photo by Jessica Em
photo by CHILI SPICE photo by CHILI SPICE
photo by CHILI SPICE photo by CHILI SPICE
Ready In:




  • Cut sausage into 1/2 inch chunks. I large skillet, brown sausage over medium-high heat, in batches and adding oil if necessary. Transfer sausage to a bowl.
  • Pour off any fat from pan. Add onions, garlic and red pepper, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in pasta sauce, tomato sauce, basil, oregano and fennel seeds; bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Return sausage and any accumulated juices to pan; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until sausage is firm throughout.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for 6 minutes, add spinach;cook for 1 minute. Drain well and return to pot. Add sausage mixture and provolone/mozzarella cheese; stir to combine well.
  • Transfer to 2 greased 8-inch square baking dishes or 1 13x9-inch dish. Sprinkle with Asiago/parmesan cheese. Cover dish with greased foil, greased side down.
  • To serve: Bake, covered with foil, in in 375 degree F. oven for 30 minutes or for 1 hour if from the refrigerator. This freezes beautifully (thaw in refrigerator before baking).

Questions & Replies

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  1. marciamburns
    How long can I freeze the unbaked casserole?
  2. Adelaide C.
    Hi! Can someone please clarify if it's supposed to be 5 cups of dry or cooked pasta?


  1. tonya.sutter1966
    Tastes great! :). Why haven't I been adding fennel to pasta dishes my whole life!?!!
  2. brittany_0706
    OH MY GOSH! Not only was this dish beautiful, it was sooo delicious! As soon as I was putting it all together I knew this dish was going to be great and it was!
  3. invictus
    This is very tasty! I misread the instructions and cooked an entire bag (16 oz.) of pasta so I had a lot! What I ended up doing was making a 13x9 pan for dinner and 8x8 pan for the freezer which was actually rather nice. There is plenty of the larger pan leftover for lunches this week.
  4. Food4Thought
    Delicious recipe! Easy to make and VERY flavourful. Great dish to make-ahead giving you free time to focus on appetizers and drinks! I added 4 tbs of Ricotta and omitted the tomato paste in order to make it creamier with less acidity. Easily serves 4 hungry men, or 6 with salad and garlic bread. This recipe is a KEEPER!
  5. chef313633
    my family loved this I used 1 8 oz 4cheese pizza and 1 8 oz moozarella.Was very tasty.


  1. Food4Thought
    Omitted tomato paste. Added 4 tbs of ricotta. Used Rigatoni instead of Penne.
  2. UpNorthChef
    Wow, so simply yet a fabulous meal! I used what I had on hand so I replaced the can of tomato sauce for a can of diced garlic/onion/basil tomatoes, and replaced the sausage with frozen meatballs (was out of sausage). Really great tasting and so quick to pull together. Thanks so much for posting.



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