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Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

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Cheesy baked pasta made with Italian chicken sausage, mozzarella, ricotta, Pecorino Romano and spinach. Perfect to feed a hungry family!

Cheesy baked pasta made with Italian chicken sausage, mozzarella, ricotta, Pecorino Romano and spinach (but don't worry, no one will care about the green stuff). Perfect to feed a hungry family!
Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

If you don’t want to make such a large amount, you can easily halve this recipe. Italian turkey or chicken sausage works great, use whichever is available near you. For a meatless version, try this Baked Ziti with Spinach recipe.

Pasta in a bowl with Sausage and Spinach

This is also easy to make ahead, then pop it in the oven when you are ready to eat. If you like to freeze meals ahead for the month, this freezes well after baking. To freeze, I like to cut it in portions when it’s cold, then wrap them in plastic and freeze individually. When frozen you can put them in large freezer bags and label them so you can take out as many or few pieces as you want at a time.

sauce with sausage and spinachbaked ziti

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Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

5 from 27 votes
Cheesy baked pasta made with Italian chicken sausage, mozzarella, ricotta, Pecorino Romano and spinach (but don't worry, no one will care about the green stuff). Perfect to feed a hungry family!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Cheesy baked pasta made with Italian chicken sausage, mozzarella, ricotta, Pecorino Romano and spinach (but don't worry, no one will care about the green stuff). Perfect to feed a hungry family!
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Yield: 8 servings
Serving Size: 1 3/4 cups


  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 8 oz fat-free ricotta
  • 8 oz part-skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 14 oz uncooked sweet Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing
  • 12 oz rigatoni pasta, wheat or gluten-free
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves smashed garlic, roughly chopped
  • 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 4 cups Quick Marinara Sauce, or jarred


  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray a 9- x13-inch baking dish with olive oil spray.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, 6 tablespoons of the Pecorino Romano cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese.
  • Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet, brown the sausage breaking up into small bits until cooked through; set aside.
  • Add the oil to the skillet and sauté garlic about a minute, careful not to burn. Add spinach and season with a little salt and pepper and cook another minute.
  • Return the sausage to the skillet and add the marinara sauce; cook on low about 2-3 minutes.
  • When the pasta water comes to a boil, cook pasta according to instructions for al dente, but undercook them by 4 minutes less; drain and return to pot.
  • Put half of the cooked pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with half of the meat sauce. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the sauce in an even layer. Cover with the remaining pasta and the remaining sauce. Top with the remaining mozzarella and Pecorino Romano cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake for an additional 6-7 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and the edges are lightly browned.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 3/4 cups, Calories: 398 kcal, Carbohydrates: 44 g, Protein: 27.5 g, Fat: 12.5 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 47 mg, Sodium: 636 mg, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 1.5 g




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218 comments on “Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach”

  1. Avatar photo
    Ruth Abadilla

    Easy to make. Definitely a fave for our house, i will be making it again. I served it with garlic bread.

  2. Outstanding – I mixed the first layer all in one and put in the bottom of the dish and then layered with remaining pasta, sauce and cheese – I think mixing the ricotta in with the sauce and 1/2 the pasta evened it all out – Kids raved about it –

    1. Too many ads & pop ups! I usually screenprint your ingredient list to take shopping but now it’s covered with too much nonsense.

  3. My adult niece wants a baked vegetable pasta dinner for her b-day dinner, She much prefers pesto, what do people think, who’ve made this, sub pesto for marinara, or 1/2? Any thoughts? Thank you!!!!!!11

  4. Made this last night – eyeballed ingredients (vegan sausage from lightlife cooked with onions and garlic separately, TRader Joe’s garlic pasta sauce and frozen spinach with some cream and shredded parm, plus fresh mozz and some white cheddar on top) but kept the times you mentioned for baking. Honestly, great idea and great hit at home! My fiance loved it. Plus it made tons of leftovers.

  5. Definitely a hit at our place. Used fresh spinach instead of frozen and deglazed with a bit of white wine before adding the marinara sauce. A keeper!

  6. My husband and I both loved this! The only change I’ll make next time is to use fresh spinach instead of frozen. I won’t precook it as it will wilt enough in the oven.

  7. Love this – this meal quickly became a family favorite! I start the quick marinara first and let that simmer while I get everything else going and it takes almost no extra time at all. It’s easy and so delicious!

  8. Wow! This turned out so much better than I expected and my husband and two teen sons loved it. This is a keeper!

  9. I made this last night and it was outstanding! I added baby bella mushrooms and used fresh baby spinach. Delicious!

  10. A really delicious main dish! I made the recipe using the last harvest of malabar spinach. I accidentally bought a 15 ounce jar of ricotta and used it all. I added chopped parsley to the marinara sauce too. I made the dish a week in advance and put it in the freezer. Everyone loved it!

  11. my family doesn’t love ricotta cheese – what could I substitute? increase Mozzarella, or ?? Thank  you
    I would like to sub., fresh baby spinach – should I use the same amount – 10 oz.

  12. Avatar photo
    Samantha Chenoweth

    Made this for dinner one night for a house full of men folk (hehe) and they couldn’t even tell the difference! Love your recipes! Who says healthy food can’t be delicious! 

  13. I prepared this into three dishes took one to my daughter and son in law and one to my mother the last one my husband and I shared it was so easy to quickly prepare and so delicious everyone raved about it.

  14. Avatar photo
    Jennifer Hardy

    Easy and delicious. I made the tomato sauce linked in the recipe, but added a 14 oz can of tomatoes to the 28 oz can since it only made 3 cups and the recipe called for 4.

  15. This was so good!! I didn’t layer it as the cheese wasn’t spreadable so I mixed it all together put it in the pan and topped with cheese! Delish!