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Beef Rigatoni

Beef Rigatoni pasta bake is a super simple weeknight dinner that the whole family will love. Made with ground beef, rigatoni pasta and a creamy tomato sauce all topped with lots of cheese.

Beef Rigatoni Pasta Bake

Need an easy dinner to shake up your weekly menu? This beef rigatoni is just the ticket. Serve it up with a green salad and garlic bread or rosemary focaccia bread for a delicious meal for any night of the week. We also love this easy Fajita Pasta for a fast dinner.

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Ingredients for Baked Rigatoni Recipe

  • Olive Oil
  • Onion – yellow onion or white onion
  • Minced Garlic
  • Lean Ground Beef
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Italian Seasoning or Dried Basil and Thyme
  • Rigatoni Pasta
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh Herbs for Garnish: Fresh Parsley, Fresh Basil or Fresh Thyme

Step-By-Step Directions for Baked Rigatoni with Ground Beef

how to make pasta sauce for baked rigatoni
  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet  with diced onion and minced garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until onions are softened. Stir in lean ground beef, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring to break up until meat is no longer pink and just starts to brown.
Meat sauce for pasta
  1. Add tomato sauce, dried thyme and basil. Mix well.
  2. Stir in cream. Lower to simmer.
boiling pasta
  1. Bring a pan of water to a boil and add rigatoni. Add 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pasta bake
  1. Drain rigatoni noodles and stir into meat sauce. Pour into a casserole dish or if you are using an oven safe skillet, top with shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese.
Pasta Bake with ground beef
  1. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and pasta is golden brown around the edges.
  2. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired

Recipe Variations for Easy Baked Rigatoni Recipe

  • Substitute a jar of pasta sauce for the tomato sauce and spices.
  • Use ground turkey or sweet Italian sausage in place of the ground beef or use half beef and half sausage.
  • Substitute any kind of tube-shaped pasta that you have on hand. Ziti is a great option for a baked ziti casserole.
  • Add a layer of ricotta cheese in between the meat sauce for a cheesy baked rigatoni recipe.
  • Mix in chopped baby spinach or sauté bell peppers with the onions and add to homemade marinara sauce.
  • Add red pepper flakes to the sauce for a spicy kick.
Easy pasta dinner

Recipe Notes for Rigatoni Bake

  • Leftovers: Store leftover pasta bake in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days. 
  • Reheat: Place baked rigatoni pasta in a skillet with 1-2 tablespoons of water, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. Pasta can also be reheated in the oven in a baking dish at 350° for about 15 minutes. 

Easy Pasta Dinners 

  • French Onion Mac and Cheese: Caramelized onions and crispy bacon elevate this creamy and delicious macaroni and cheese to a tasty main dish or side dish to go with any meal.
  • Bacon White Cheddar Pasta: My favorite version of homemade mac and cheese. The white cheddar sauce is unbeatable and it’s all topped with lots of crispy bacon.  A super easy dinner option, so what’s not to love?
  • We also love this easy Fajita Pasta for a fast dinner. It’s made with ziti or your favorite pasta for a family favorite that has so much flavor.
  • Baked Ham Penne Pasta: One of my go-to dinners when I’m craving comfort food. The creamy garlic sauce will have you coming back for seconds and it’s one of our favorite cheesy pasta bakes.
  • Cheesy Beef Rigatoni: This rigatoni is a great recipe made with leftover roast beef for a hearty and delicious dinner.
  • One Pot Sausage Penne Pasta: Just a few ingredients and you can have this simple pasta dish on the table in about 30 minutes. Love the easy cleanup too!

More Ground Beef Dinner Ideas

You might also like this Cottage Pie for a hearty ground beef dinner. We also love this easy Hamburger Vegetable Soup for busy weeknights and this  Creamy Instant Pot Beef Pasta is a must-try for a quick and easy dinner.

I’m always looking for easy ground beef recipes and this one is definitely a keeper. A Baked Rigatoni casserole with a flavorful meat sauce, hearty and delicious.

Ground beef pasta bake

If you love this recipe as much as we do, please leave a comment and a five star review. Help us share on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook!

baked rigatoni with beef
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4.99 from 60 votes

Beef Rigatoni

Beef Rigatoni pasta bake is a super simple weeknight dinner that the whole family will love. Made with ground beef, rigatoni pasta and a creamy tomato sauce all topped with lots of cheese. 
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Ground Beef
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked pasta, baked rigatoni, ground beef pasta recipe, pasta bake
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 530kcal
Author: Milisa


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt divided use
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 16 oz rigatoni pasta
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella
  • 2 oz finely grated Parmesan
  • fresh parsley for garnish


  • Cook diced onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat, stirring often until onions are softened.
  • Stir in ground beef and season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Continue cooking until well broken up and browned all over.
  • Add in tomato sauce, thyme and basil and stir to combine. Mix in cream, lower to simmer.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In another pan, add water for pasta and bring to a boil. Cook pasta with 1 teaspoon of salt for 6 minutes. Drain and stir into meat sauce.
  • Sprinkle pasta with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges of pasta are browned.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 530kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 1509mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g

One Comment

  1. Was delish and easy. I did not have the “proper” amount of suggested cheese so I basically covered the top with whatever I had on hand. Family loved it. Thanks

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