This vegetarian Baked Goat Cheese Pasta is simple, delicious, and makes the perfect weeknight comfort food dinner!
Sometimes all you need is simple, hearty, comfort food, and for that, you can never go wrong with pasta. Whether its Cannelloni Bolognese, Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells, or this super simple Baked Goat Cheese Pasta, these ultimate comfort foods will surely become a crowd favourite, no matter the occasion! This is the first goat's cheese recipe I'm posting on the blog, and I'm super excited to share it with you!
If you need to cook for a large group, or simply want a healthier baked weeknight dinner, then you should try this Baked Goat Cheese Pasta! This dish is ready in under an hour and requires minimal hands-on time. The simple sauce made with crushed tomatoes and creamy goat cheese will surely wow a crowd!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- Simple to do, requiring a few basic pantry ingredients and creamy goat's cheese
- Contains no meat, and is a great vegetarian option!
- Is perfect for a crowd, or as a simple weeknight dinner for the whole family
Ingredients and Variations
Pasta - Use a hollow "rigate" type pasta such as penne, rigatoni, or ziti. These types of pasta contain ridges that hold well to creamy sauces such as this one. You'll need to pre-cook the pasta until al-dente before baking.
Pasta Water - Do not forget to reserve some pasta water after cooking! This gives flavor to the sauce and helps "glue" the sauce to the pasta.
Olive Oil - To saute your onion and garlic.
Onion and Garlic - Used for the base marinara sauce. Dice evenly to ensure even cooking.
Chilli Flakes, Italian Seasoning, Dried Oregano, Salt - Flavor enhancers and spices.
Crushed Tomatoes - You can also use finely chopped tomatoes.
Tomato Paste - This will help make the sauce slightly more concentrated. If this is not available, use tomato puree, or ketchup. You'll also need some water to prevent the sauce from drying out.
Goat Cheese - Use high-quality, plain goat cheese. Since goat cheese is slightly strong, feel free to use less as desired.
Parmesan Cheese - This is optional, but I love sprinkling some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top of the pasta before baking, for that bubbly, cheesy top.
Fresh Basil or Parsley - Sprinkle a bit of fresh basil or parsley before serving for a fresh kick!
How to Make Baked Goat Cheese Pasta
- Boil pasta until al dente according to package instructions.
- Saute onions, garlic and herbs.
- Add tomato paste, water, and crushed tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat, stir in goat cheese and some reserved pasta water.
- Toss boiled pasta into sauce, and coat well.
- Transfer pasta to baking pan and sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Cover and bake for 15 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes until pasta is bubbly and slightly browned at the top.
- Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and/or parsley and serve warm!
What Type of Pasta Should I Use?
Tubular pasta, such as rigatoni, ziti, or penne pair perfectly with the creamy tomato goat cheese sauce in this recipe.
Can I Make This With Meat?
Yes. You can cook ground beef, sausage, bacon or pancetta after sauteeing onions for a meaty pasta sauce.
Can I Freeze Baked Goat Cheese Pasta?
This dish can be frozen for up to 2 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw the pasta and warm in a microwave before serving.
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Baked Goat Cheese Pasta
- 450 g uncooked dry pasta penne, rigatoni, or ziti (16 oz)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil extra virgin
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ tsp. dried chilli flakes
- 1½ tsp. Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 cans crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
- 60 mL water (¼ cup)
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 230 g Goat cheese (approx. 8 oz)
- 60 mL reserved pasta water (¼ cup)
- 4 tbsp. parmesan cheese freshly grated (optional)
- handful fresh basil leaves (or parsley)
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350F) and coat a 9"x13" baking pan with cooking spray.
- Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions, until al dente. Before draining pasta, reserve ¼ cup of pasta water.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and saute until soft and translucent (approx 5-6 mins).
- Add minced garlic, chilli flakes, salt, Italian seasoning, and oregano and saute for 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and ¼ cup water and stir to combine.
- Add canned tomatoes and simmer for 10-12 minutes until slightly thickened (medium heat).
- Turn off heat and stir in goat cheese and reserved pasta water. Add cooked pasta, and toss to coat well with sauce.
- Transfer pasta and sauce to baking pan and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese has melted and pasta is slightly browned at the top.
- Let stand for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil and/or parsley and serve.