It’s been a while since I shared a simple dinner recipe, but here we are with this insanely delicious pasta bake. I’m determined to bring back the Easy Weeknight Meal series because I’m a big advocate for home cooking. Meals don’t need to be fussy or time consuming to be nourishing. But taking some amount of time to create a home-cooked meal is incredibly beneficial to the health of our bodies, families and bank accounts. Plus making dinner at home eliminates the need to drive somewhere to pick something up and to-go containers!
From start to finish, this cheesy and tomato-y recipe took about 25 minutes! You’ll pre cook your rotini and sausage before assembling the bake to cut down on oven time. For the sausage: you can use chicken sausage links, or ground chicken sausage. Links typically come precooked, so you’ll just want to slice and lightly brown them in a skillet.
If you’re using raw ground chicken sausage, you’ll definitely need to brown it first. If you’re not a fan of chicken sausage, you can use italian pork sausage instead! Making sure to cook it thoroughly before assembling the pasta bake. If you prefer vegetarian meals, you could totally leave out the sausage all together!
Assembling the Pasta Bake:
Once the pasta and sausage are cooked, you’ll just have to mix everything together, pour it into a casserole dish and let it bake – in just enough time to get the kitchen cleaned up! If you know you’ll be busy leading up to dinner time, you can prep the sausage and pasta a head of time, so that you just have to assemble and put it in the oven, but keep in mind that this might require more oven time since the ingredients will be cold.
Easy Ingredient Adjustments:
Pasta bake recipes have a lot of flexibility. You can adjust the sauce quantity to suit your preference. You can use more or less spinach, ,or leave it out all together, and you can season it to your liking. I used gluten-free rotini for this recipe, so it’s already gluten-free, but you could also use regular or whole wheat pasta! Lastly, whether you prefer to keep it dairy free for intolerance purposes or because you’re vegan, feel free to use vegan cheeses in place of the regular cheese. I just can’t speak for the results!
Ready to get dinner on the table?
Chicken Sausage + Spinach Pasta Bake
Get dinner on the table in less than 30 with this delicous cheesy dish.
- 1 box gluten-free rotini (I prefer brown rice pasta) or regular rotini
- 16 oz favorite marinara style sauce I used a tomato basil sauce, use more or less to preference!
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese I love using organic valley
- 4 italian chicken sausage links, sliced or pork sausage if you prefer
- ~1 cup mozzeralla cheese, fresh sliced or shredded adjust amount as desired
- 3 tbsp basil pesto homemade or storebought
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
- black pepper
- sea salt
- crushed red pepper
- fresh basil, thinly sliced ribbons
Preheat oven to 425. Boil water and cook pasta until al dente. While pasta cooks, brown the chicken sausage in a small skillet.
In a mixing bowl, combine the pasta, sausage, fresh spinach, tomato sauce, parmesan, 1 tbsp of pesto, black pepper, crushed red pepper and sea salt in a stir well.
Pour the mixture into an oven-safe casserole dish and top with mozzerella, more crushed red pepper (optional) and a few small dollops of pesto. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh basil ribbons. Serve alone or on a bed of arugula. Or store it in the fridge for upto 5 days for quick meals!