Dig into this delicious Sausage Pasta Bake with wholesome pasta, savory sausage, tender spinach, and plenty of melted cheese!
I pinned this Eight-Layer Casserole recipe by Betty Crocker a while back and decided to give it a try. When I mentioned it to Matt, he said, “There’s no way all eight layers can be good. There have to be some bad ones in there.” After looking more closely at the recipe, I realized that there were actually only a few layers (all good) that were repeated. It also called for stacking all of those layers into a deep dish and baking the casserole for over an hour. Ain’t nobody got time for that, so I created this easier layered casserole recipe that I want to share with you!
I actually originally posted this back in 2013, and I had been meaning to make it again for months. This time around, I revamped the recipe to use sausage instead of ground beef and also changed up the layers a bit. Guys, this is SO GOOD. The pasta is rich and creamy thanks to cream cheese and sour cream, and you can never beat the sausage-spinach-tomato combo. PLUS there’s melted cheese! That’s about as good as it gets if you ask me.
If you’d like to make this ahead, store it in your refrigerator for a day or so until you are ready to bake it. Then, bake it covered for 45 minutes, then remove the cover, sprinkle the cheese, and bake another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted. Sorry, a longer baking time is the price you pay for planning ahead!
One last thing: This was delicious leftover, so it’s perfect for lunches. Now, please enjoy this tasty Layered Pasta Casserole!Print
Favorite Sausage Pasta Bake
This layered casserole packed full of pasta, spinach, and ground sausage makes a satisfying dinner!
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- 10 ounces bite-sized pasta about 3 1/2 cups
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream or plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning divided
- 8 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 14 ounces pizza sauce
- 1 pound ground sausage
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese or more to taste
Bring a few quarts of lightly salted water to a boil. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Cook pasta two minutes less than directed in the package instructions. Drain pasta, and return to the hot pot. Add cream cheese, sour cream, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Gently stir until the cream cheese is melted.
While pasta cooks, heat large skillet over medium-high heat, and spray with cooking spray. Brown and crumble sausage with onion. When meat is almost cooked through, stir in spinach a couple handfuls at a time. Cook until wilted. Drain meat. (Use the same colander as the pasta to save on dishes!)
Spread the noodle mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread pizza sauce over the pasta. Spread the meat and spinach over the sauce. Spread cheese over the meat, and sprinkle with remaining teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve and enjoy!
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 40
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: Casserole
These other casseroles will also be right up your alley!
Mo K says
Hey, Andi! I made this tonight and hubby and I loved it!! It is definitely a keeper. I made some slight adjustments such as added fresh pressed garlic to the chopped onion which I then sauteed separately from the sausage (I typically cook sausage and beef by itself so I can drain off the fat and rinse); also, added some grinds of fresh black pepper and sea salt to the pasta mixture. The two of us polished off HALF of this recipe– LOL! I’ll definitely plan to serve it with a salad next time to stretch it further, but it was seriously that good!
Andi Gleeson says
I’m so happy to hear it, Mo! Thank you! I have a hard time making recipes exactly as written too, and I’m sure your adjustments were perfect. Have a great week!
Jen @ Yummy Healthy Easy says
Girl, you KNOW how I feel about casseroles!! This is going on my dinner menu fo sho! Thanks for the recipe, Andi! Pinned!
Thank you, Jen! Our love of casseroles is just one more thing that brings us together ;)
Nutmeg Nanny says
This layered casserole looks delicious! I love that there is cream cheese in there to keep things nice and creamy.
Thanks! The cream cheese definitely makes it.
Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious says
That CHEEEEEESE! That spinach! I am all in!
Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
This looks so good, and I love the idea of making it ahead of time. Delicious!
Thanks so much, Patricia :)
Jessica @ Sprinkle Some Sugar says
This looks so delicious! I’m all about the casseroles! You’re totally right, ain’t nobody got time for fussy meals, especially with kids. Love these flavors, I think my family would love this!
Glad you like it, Jessica. Thank you!
[email protected] Cooking on the Front Burner says
I love this dish Andi and the ingredients – perfect comfort food!
Thanks so much, Deb! I love comfort food :)
Pam O says
I wonder if this could be pulled off in the crockpot? Anybody?
The Weary Chef says
You might like this similar recipe made in a crockpot.
Thanks so much for your comment!
Tanya Schroeder says
You are right, ‘ain’t nobody got time for that!”. I am all for simplicity! This is a great dish Andi! I think it would go over big with my crew!
The Weary Chef says
Thanks, Tanya! What time zone are you in? Maybe you are an early bird like me! My little one woke up at 5:40. Ouch!