Easiest Ever Bolognese Pasta Bake

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This bolognese pasta bake is cheesy, super tasty, and extremely easy to make. It’s creamy, flavourful, and perfect for those busy weeknights when you want a cheesy treat with little effort.

Plate with serving of pasta bake and fork

At one point in my life, I used to make this bolognese pasta bake three times a week. It is THAT good. I rarely cook with meat now, but I remembered how much I liked this pasta dish, so I had to make it.

This is the kind of comfort food that makes me feel at home, even if I’m not actually at home. Years ago, I experimented with being a digital nomad for a while, and I remember how I used to scramble through various AirBnB kitchens to find the pots and pans needed to make this pasta bake. 

Over the years, I became increasingly less of a meat-eater, but this dish is one of the reasons flexitarianism suits me better than vegetarianism. (OK, and prosciutto from time to time). 

I like this quick and easy bolognese bake recipe because you can make it in bulk and have dinner for two or three nights in a row. You can also make a large batch and freeze it to have it ready for those nights you really don’t feel like cooking.

Bolognese pasta bake in oven dish

What kind of pasta works with this pasta bake?

Unlike in the case of spaghetti al ragu, you need a form of short pasta to make this bolognese pasta bake. I prefer fusilli, but it also works well with rigatoni, penne, and even farfalle. 

In a pinch, you could also use short macaroni — basically, any short type of pasta will do a great job at absorbing the ragu and bake beautifully.

What about the meat?

Beef mince works best for this bolognese pasta bake, but I’ve also made it with turkey mince, which gives it a different taste and is also a healthier option. Use mince turkey thigh instead of breast if possible because you’ll get so much more flavour from that.

Minced pork also works well, and you can also use a mix of beef and pork. It ultimately depends on your preferences, but whatever you choose, try to get some quality meat if possible because you’ll be able to feel its flavor with every bite. 

Close up of Bolognese pasta bake in oven dish

How do you make it?

  1. To make this creamy bolognese pasta bake, start by heating some olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Fry the onion for a couple of minutes until slightly golden.
  2. Add the beef mince and cook until brown.
  3. Stir in the crushed garlic, chopped tomatoes, and stock, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, boil the pasta in salted water, two minutes less than recommended on the package. Reserve a cup of pasta water and drain. Heat the oven at 350F/180C.
  5. Add the pasta to a baking dish, stir in the mascarpone cheese, 100 g grated cheddar cheese, and one ladle of reserved pasta water. Mix everything well. 
  6. Pour the meat sauce over the pasta and mix everything with a wooden spoon.
  7. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheddar cheese and parmesan.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top gets golden.

This pasta bake uses a simple ragu sauce and plenty of cheese, as well as a rather unexpected ingredient in the form of mascarpone.

Its purpose is to coat the pasta into a layer of creamy goodness, and the taste of mascarpone + ragu is incredible.

Whatever you do, don’t skip the mascarpone or replace it with anything else. Trust me; you’ll love it.

Close up of plate with pasta bake

If you liked this bolognese pasta bake recipe, check out some of my other pasta recipes:

Tagliatelle ai Funghi (Pasta with Mushrooms)

Creamy Mushroom Alfredo Pasta Bake

Carbonara di Mare 

Easiest Ever Creamy Prawn Linguine (Linguine con Gamberi)

Looking for more delicious inspiration? Follow Skinny Spatula on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest! 

Yield: 8

Easiest Ever Bolognese Pasta Bake

Plate with serving of pasta bake and fork

This bolognese pasta bake is cheesy, super tasty, and extremely easy to make. It’s creamy, flavourful, and perfect for those busy weeknights when you want a cheesy treat with little work.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 450 g (1lb)beef mince, lean
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 250 ml (1 1/4 cup) beef stock
  • 500 g (17 oz) fusilli (or other short pasta)
  • 250 g (8.8 oz) mascarpone
  • 125 g (4.5 oz) grated cheddar
  • 25 g (1/4 cup) grated Parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

    1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Fry the onion for a couple of minutes until slightly golden.
    2. Add the beef mince and cook until brown.
    3. Stir in the crushed garlic, chopped tomatoes, and stock, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.
    4. In the meantime, boil the pasta in salted water, two minutes less than recommended on the package. Reserve a cup of pasta water and drain. Heat the oven at 350F/180C.
    5. Add the pasta to a baking dish, stir in the mascarpone cheese, 100 g grated cheddar cheese, and 1 ladle of reserved pasta water. Mix everything well.
    6. Pour the meat sauce over the pasta and mix everything together with a wooden spoon.
    7. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheddar cheese and parmesan.
    8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top gets golden.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 528Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 452mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 27g

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.

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