CHEESY ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND SPINACH PASTA BAKE - EASY TO MAKE



This Cheesy Italian Sausage and Spinach Pasta Bake is a new favorite in our house! We both cleaned out plates and went back for seconds. SO good! I'm not even a spinach fan and loved it. It is a great way to sneak in some veggies at dinner.

This pasta bake is easy enough for a weeknight dinner but "fancy" enough for a dinner party. You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze it for later too. I am a big fan of make ahead dishes!!  If you are baking this after refrigerating the dish, you will want to add a few minutes to the baking time just to make sure it is warm all the way through.

The secret ingredient in this Cheesy Italian Sausage and Spinach Pasta Bake is a container of chive and onion cream cheese. It adds lots of flavor and makes this pasta bake super creamy. I need to start using the chive and onion cream cheese in more dishes. It is really wonderful!

This Cheesy Italian Sausage and Spinach Pasta Bake smelled amazing while it was baking. We seriously couldn't wait to dig in! All you need is a little side salad and a garlic roll and dinner is ready!!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 ounces uncooked rigatoni
  • 3 Tbsp dried minced onion flakes
  • 1 (10-oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1-1/4 pounds Italian sausage
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8-oz) container chive-and-onion cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray a deep dish 9-inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. Cook rigatoni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a skillet, cook Italian sausage until no longer pink. Drain fat.
  4. Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels.
  5. In a bowl, combine cooked rigatoni, drained spinach, cooked sausage, onion flakes, tomatoes, cream cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
  6. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish, and sprinkle evenly with remaining shredded mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes.


Source: plainchicken.com
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