Main dish

Cheesy Sausage Pasta Bake

This sausage pasta bake is so rich and full of amazing flavors! Red wine beef stock and sweet Italian sausage meat are responsible for the awesome flavor!

To recipe
Rich tomato sauce with Italian sausage and pasta
Recipe insights & TIPS

If you haven't finished your menu planning for this week, you're in luck. I'm begging you to throw these ingredients in a shopping cart and get this Cheesy Sausage Pasta Bake on the kitchen table stat! Life containing pasta might never be the same.

Rich tomato sauce with Italian sausage and pasta

My kids would eat any kind of tomato pasta for dinner 365 days of the year, and I like it just as much. Usually I'll buy a pretty decent jar of sauce and just add the meat and pasta, but sometimes slow cooking your own sauce makes such a difference. I could tell by the pleasurable moans and groans while the family inhaled each bite, they knew this rich red brew was not from a jar. As usual the quality of the ingredient you put into a recipe will determine the quality of the finish. It's the little things like using San Marzano tomatoes and well made sweet Italian sausage that make this sausage pasta so rich and thick. A recent shipment of cheese from my friends at Cabot let me use Seriously Sharp Cheddar instead of regular mozzarella, see how I sneaked in even more flavor.

Rich tomato sauce with Italian sausage and pasta

Even if you don't make this recipe as it is, the sauce can be used for any kind of pasta dish. Make a batch of homemade meatballs and cook them in this sauce, or lay it over some chicken Parmesan. It's rich, thick and full of flavor. I get excited when I end up with a recipe that I can visit again and again and this is my new pasta sauce. Simmer it on low and let the red wine, beef stock and tiny burnt pieces of the sausage get together with the fresh basil and super sharp cheddar cheese. Serve this with a baguette, you'll need it to mop up the ridiculously tasty sauce.

Layers of rich tomato sauce, Italian sausage and pasta

A super-rich pasta sauce finished in layers of lasagna, sweet Italian sausage chunks and covered in sharp cheddar.

A white, fluffy chef's hat with an orange band, logo of Foodness Gracious.


Rich tomato sauce with Italian sausage and pasta

Main dish
82 minutes
Total TIME:
112 minutes
30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian pork sausages
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves large garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (not ketchup)
  • 1 can San Marzano whole plum tomatoes (28oz)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar (grated)
  • fresh basil
  • 1 small box No boil lasagna noodles

Ingredient Swaps


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Have a 2 1/2 qt baking dish ready.
  2. Slice the sausages open and separate the meat from the outer casing.
  3. Heat the oil in a large (10-12 inch) pan.
  4. Drop chunks of the sausage meat into the oil and cook over a medium to high heat until the meat is cooked through.
  5. Transfer the meat to a bowl using a slotted spoon.
  6. In the same hot pan, add the diced onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the minced garlic and stir.
  8. Add the basil, oregano and red pepper flakes and stir well.
  9. Take the plum tomatoes from the can and gently squeeze into the pan using your hands. You just need to squash them up a bit, then add the rest of the juice from the can.
  10. Add the tomato sauce, stock, red wine, salt and pepper.
  11. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
  12. Cook on low uncovered for 40-45 minutes and the sauce has reduced and is nice and thick. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired.
  13. Spread a half cup of the sauce on the bottom of your baking dish.
  14. Lay the lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.
  15. Spread half of the sausage meat on top of the pasta.
  16. Cover the meat liberally with sauce and then top with half of the grated cheese.
  17. Repeat the process, pasta-meat-sauce-cheese.
  18. Rip some fresh basil leaves and sprinkle on top of the final cheese layer.
  19. Bake in the oven uncovered for 35 minutes and the sauce is bubbling along the sides of the dish and the cheese has melted.
  20. Let rest for 5 minutes and then serve with fresh crusty bread and extra basil.
A white, fluffy chef's hat with an orange band, logo of Foodness Gracious.

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