Baked Penne with Ricotta is an easy five-ingredient recipe that makes the most delicious and cheesy pasta in no time! This simple pasta dish is the perfect recipe using creamy ricotta and mozzarella cheese that’s baked to perfection! 

Baked penne with ricotta on a white plate with a casserole dish in the background.

If you love cheesy pasta bakes this baked penne with ricotta is for you. Made with just a few ingredients, including store-bought marinara sauce, this recipe comes together fast and is great for any occasion. 

For another baked pasta favorite, don’t miss my Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce, Authentic Italian Mostaccioli recipe, or Cheese Beef Stuffed Shells. This pasta is also great served with my Turkey Ricotta Meatballs. For more easy dinner ideas, be sure to try this cheesy Chicken Parmesan Casserole or my Turkey Taco Pasta

You’ll Love Baked Penne with Ricotta

Baked Penne with Ricotta is a simple and comforting dish you’ll make once and want again and again! The creamy no-cook sauce is the perfect way to get dinner done fast!

This is one of those meals the whole family will love. It’s a creamy and satisfying meatless dish with a deliciously creamy texture and flavor.  

This simple pasta bake can be assembled ahead of time, covered with aluminum foil, and baked before serving. It also makes for the most amazing leftovers. 

Baked Penne with ricotta in a white casserole dish with parsley sprinkled on top.

The creaminess of this dish comes from part-skim ricotta cheese and a bit of melty mozzarella. You’ll love that this easy vegetarian pasta bake can enjoyed by everyone too. 

If you wanted to change up the flavors, you could always add cooked ground beef or ground turkey, Italian sausage, or any other cooked sausage. But I like the simplicity of the pasta served alongside a green salad and garlic bread. 

So, if you’re looking for a simple and delicious way to get dinner done fast, give this Baked Penne with Ricotta a try. You’re going to love it! 

Ingredients

Ingredients for recipe include pasta, marinara sauce, parmesan, and mozzarella.

Penne: dry penne pasta is the classic pasta shape but you can always substitute ziti pasta, rigatoni, or mostaccioli.

Ricotta Cheese: I like to keep this dish lighter and use part-skim ricotta cheese. Whole milk ricotta cheese works too. You could also substitute small curd cottage cheese if you like the texture of it. 

Marinara: use your favorite store-bought or homemade marinara sauce (spaghetti sauce) for this baked penne with ricotta. You can also make your own with my Italian Sugo recipe

Mozzarella: I like to grate my own cheese to ensure the best flavor and melty texture. 

Parmesan: you’ll need some parmesan cheese to give the pasta a bit of bite and extra flavor. 

Variations: I like to to keep this dish simple with five ingredients but you could always add cooked meat, red pepper flakes, diced fresh basil, Italian seasoning, or even roasted vegetables. 

How to Make Baked Penne with Ricotta

Baked Penne with Ricotta is a recipe you’ll make again and again. All you need is a large baking dish or casserole dish. You could even use a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. 

Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to boil. Add in the dry penne and cooked until al dente. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Process shots showing how to make recipe including mixing together the ingredients and add in cooked pasta and bake with mozzarella on top.

Step 1: make the ricotta marinara sauce

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, half of the marinara sauce, half of the mozzarella, and the parmesan cheese. Mix together well. 

Step 2: add in cooked pasta

To the ricotta mixture, add in the cooked pasta. You can always add in pasta water if the sauce is too thick. 

Step 3: layer the pasta in the baking dish 

Spread about a half a cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking sheet. Then, add the rest of the pasta mixture then spread on the remaining marinara sauce. Sprinkle on remaining mozzarella cheese. 

Step 4: bake

Place the baked penne with ricotta in a preheated oven uncovered. Let it bake until it is warmed through and bubbly, about 25-30 minutes. 

Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes before serving. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parley and serve with a big salad. 

Baked Penne with Ricotta in a white baking dish with parsley sprinkled on top.

Helpful Recipe Tips

  • If you don’t have penne, any tube-shaped pasta works. Only cook the pasta until al dente, about a minute short of the cooking time recommended on the box. 
  • Part-skim ricotta cheese will give you same cheesy flavor and texture but whole milk ricotta works too. No need to drain the ricotta ahead of time. 
  • Use your favorite homemade or store-bought marinara sauce. Make your own with my simple marinara sauce recipe
  • Store leftover baked penne with ricotta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. 
Serving of Baked Penne with Ricotta on a white plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make Baked Penne with Ricotta ahead of time? 

This is a good pasta dinner to make ahead of time. Just complete all of the steps prior to baking. Then, cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake. Add an additional 5-10 minutes to baking time. 

Can I use Cottage Cheese instead of Ricotta? 

Cottage cheese can be used instead of ricotta but you will miss out on some of the flavor and texture of ricotta. To make the cottage cheese similar in texture, just blend it in the bowl of a food processor until it is creamy in consistency. 

Baked Penne with Ricotta in a white baking dish with chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

More Baked Pasta Dishes

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Baked Penne with Ricotta recipe.

Baked Penne with Ricotta

Baked Penne with Ricotta is a simple and delicious 5-ingredient meal that you'll want to make again and again! Use your favorite store-bought or homemade marinara sauce.
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 372kcal

Equipment

  • 9 x 13 inch casserole dish

Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 28 ounces marinara sauce, divided (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (4 ounces)
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese (1.5 ounces)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position baking rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook penne according to package instructions, until just al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, half of the marinara, half of the mozzarella, and the parmesan cheese. Add in the cooked penne and stir until well combined.
  • Spread about half a cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan or casserole dish. Spoon the penne mixture on top of the sauce. Drizzle on the remaining sauce and smooth so the top of the penne is covered. Sprinkle on remaining mozzarella.
  • Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, for about 25-30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the pasta is heated through. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Top with chopped parsley or basil if desired.

Notes

  • If you don’t have penne, any tube-shaped pasta works.
  • Only cook the pasta until al dente, about a minute short of the cooking time recommended on the box. 
  • Part-skim ricotta cheese will give you same cheesy flavor and texture but whole milk ricotta works too. No need to drain the ricotta ahead of time. 
  • Use your favorite homemade or store-bought marinara sauce. Make your own with my simple marinara sauce recipe
  • Store leftover baked penne with ricotta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 722mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 776IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 289mg | Iron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this baked penne for dinner last night and it was wonderful! The ricotta made is extra creamy and delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    Love this Baked Penne with Ricotta recipe, so delicious and easy to make. Will make this for dinner soon. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    This is such a delicious baked penne dish! Not only does it taste great – I almost always have these five ingredients on hand. It’s nice to have a go-to recipe on days I can’t get to the grocery.