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Baked Spicy Rigatoni

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Creamy and quick to make, this Spicy Baked Rigatoni is a flavorful vegetarian pasta bake that’s guaranteed to become a family favorite! Serve it with your favorite appetizers and sides for a filling dinner and easy leftovers the next day. 

overhead image of spicy baked rigatoni

What Is Rigatoni? 

If you’re unfamiliar, rigatoni is a type of pasta. In fact, its name comes from the Italian word, “rigato,” which means ridged. Fittingly, rigatoni pasta is a short tubular pasta noodle. Furthermore, it’s easily identified by the distinct ridges it possesses on the outside and the smooth center. Most commonly, it’s paired with chunky sauces, because the ridges are great for picking up the chunks. 

What’s the Difference Between Baked Rigatoni and Baked Ziti? 

The main difference between the two is the texture and shape of each noodle. For instance, ziti is usually slightly thinner and longer than rigatoni and is completely straight while rigatoni has a slight curve. 

Spicy Rigatoni Ingredients

Completely vegetarian, this rigatoni recipe comes together with minimal ingredients and plenty of cream for an extra indulgent comfort food. Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Marinara Sauce – Because there are so few ingredients, it’s important to use a high-quality marinara sauce. We prefer chunky store-bought options. Or, you could easily make your own with a recipe like this
  • Heavy Cream – This is our secret to creating rich flavor and a satisfying texture! 
  • Frozen Peas – Feel free to add in any vegetables you have on hand for a boost of nutrients. 
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – A great source of healthy fats, olive oil helps lock in the savory flavors and coats the noodles so they hang onto the sauce. 
  • Seasonings – A dash of sea salt, crushed red pepper, and minced garlic creates an incredible savory taste and packs a punch of heat you’ll love.
  • Parmesan Cheese – You can’t have pasta without a bit of Parmesan! For the best results, use freshly grated cheese. 
  • Rigatoni – Be sure to cook your rigatoni before adding it to the dish. Otherwise, it’ll turn out hard and crunchy. 

How to Make Baked Rigatoni

Honestly, the most difficult part of making this spicy baked rigatoni is just waiting for the noodles to boil. Then, all you have to do is toss the ingredients, and throw them in the oven! Take a look at an overview of the instructions below, and scroll to the bottom for the full details. 

  1. Boil your rigatoni according to the package instructions. 
  2. In the meantime, preheat the oven
  3. Add all of the ingredients to a baking dish
  4. Stir to combine, and pop it in the oven until the cheese has melted and the noodles are soft. 
  5. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese, and serve warm

Recipe Variations

We think this spicy rigatoni is fantastic on its own, but you can easily switch up the flavors with extra ingredients! Some of the best variations include: 

  • Using lean ground beef or Italian sausage
  • Mixing in a different cheese like Mozzarella, Provolone, or Romano
  • Including sauteéd veggies like mushrooms, onions, spinach, or bell peppers

Serving Suggestions

We love to pair this dish with refreshing sides and appetizers for a healthy, filling meal! Some of our favorite options are: 

Common Questions

Should I Bake My Rigatoni Covered or Uncovered? 

Because the noodles are already cooked, we keep the dish uncovered to prevent the rigatoni from becoming soggy. This also helps the cheese melt and brown on top. 

How Do I Keep My Pasta Moist in the Oven? 

Be sure to undercook your rigatoni for just 1-2 minutes before adding it to the baking dish. This will prevent it from overcooking in the oven and drying out. 

How long does spicy rigatoni last in the fridge? 

When kept in an airtight container, leftovers will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days. 

Can I freeze baked rigatoni? 

Yes! Tightly wrap up leftovers or transfer them to a sealable container, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Then, let your pasta thaw in the fridge overnight. Or, warm it in the oven from frozen. 

More Baked Pasta Recipes

Make oven baked pasta part of your weeknight routine with these yummy recipes! 

  • So addicting, you’ll be coming back for seconds and thirds, this Crack Chicken Pasta Bake is rich, creamy, and so easy to make. 
  • Guaranteed to become a favorite, this viral Oven Baked Spaghetti is definitely here to stay! 
  • Simple and versatile, one bite of this Greek Pasta Bake will transport you to a Mediterranean restaurant next to the sea.
  • This Baked Taco Pasta is always a winning weeknight dish!
overhead image of baked rigatoni in a white dish topped with parmesan cheese with a fork spearing a noodle

Spicy Baked Rigatoni

Food Dolls
Creamy and quick to make, this Spicy Baked Rigatoni is a flavorful vegetarian pasta bake that’s guaranteed to become a family favorite! Serve it with your favorite appetizers and sides for a filling dinner and easy leftovers the next day.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 22 mins
Total Time 27 mins
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6
Calories 507 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounces rigatoni
  • 16 ounces good quality marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta to al-dente according to package instructions, and drain. *Be sure not to cook too long, because it will continue to cook in the oven!
  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • In a large baking dish, add the cooked and drained pasta, marinara sauce, heavy cream, peas, olive oil, salt, crushed red pepper, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.
  • Stir until the ingredients are well-combined, and the pasta is completely coated.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  • Serve warm!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 507kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 914mg | Potassium: 511mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1074IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword 20 minute meal, 30 minute meal, easy pasta recipe, pasta bake, quick dinner, quick pasta recipe
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Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite new recipes! My husband loves spicy food and I love pasta so this is perfect for us. We have made it a few times and it’s so simple to make. We got married a few months ago and have been working on cooking dinners at home. Thank you for making these videos we use them all the time and make cooking so much easier!

  2. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! It was super quick to put together and tasted really good, one of my faves!.

  3. Could you add sweet italian sausage to this and if yes, when would you add and would you par-cook it?

    1. Yes! You can set it on low for 2-3 hours or high for 1-2 hours. It shouldn’t need much time since the pasta is already cooked.

  4. 1 star
    I made this and I have to say that no one could eat it because of the amount of garlic. We love garlic but this amount of garlic made it almost not eatable. I’m I wrong or should I really have added 6 gloves minced garlic? I saved the dish in the fridge, hoping that someone will eat it later but now my fridge stinks so bad of garlic I don’t even know what to do. Did yours also tasted of a lot of garlic ?

  5. 5 stars
    This meal was super quick and easy to make! It was so delicious, no leftovers to be had! Food Dolls always has the best recipes🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Made this last week and it DID NOT disappoint! SO yummy, delish, flavorful, and best of all SIMPLE. Great meal to make after a long work day <3