This vegetarian Baked Goat Cheese Pasta is simple, delicious, and makes a great weeknight comfort food dinner!
Sometimes all you need is a warm plate of 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're looking for a recipe to feed a large group, or simply want a healthier baked weeknight dinner, then you should try this Baked Goat Cheese Pasta!
This dish takes under an hour from start to finish and requires no special cooking techniques. The simple sauce made with crushed tomatoes and creamy goat cheese will surely wow a crowd!
What is Goat's Cheese?
Goat's Cheese, also known as chèvre, is a type of cheese which is produced from goat's milk.
The texture of goat's cheese is similar to that of Feta cheese (although goat cheese is saltier), and its consistency is almost spreadable.
Fresh goat cheese is very creamy and has a subtle flavor. Aged goat cheese has a strong earthy taste.
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 before baking it.
Pasta Water - Do not forget to reserve some pasta water before draining the pasta. This gives flavor and helps "glue" the sauce to the pasta.
Olive Oil - To saute the 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 - For this recipe, I used canned crushed tomatoes You can also use finely chopped fresh 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's Cheese - Use high-quality, plain goat cheese. Depending on the type of goat cheese, the taste may vary from mild to strong, so feel free to adjust the amount as desired.
You can use soft or hard goat cheese.
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
Preheat oven to 175°C (350F) and coat a 9"x13" baking pan with cooking spray.
Dice the onion and crush the garlic gloves.
Cook the Pasta
Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al-dente (1 minute less than package instructions).
Reserve ½ cup of pasta water.
Drain pasta and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.
Make the Sauce
Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
Add diced onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add chilli flakes, Italian seasoning, oregano, and minced garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
Stir in tomato paste and ¼ cup of water.
Add crushed tomatoes and ¼ cup of reserved pasta water.
Simmer for 10-12 minutes on medium heat.
Add crumbled goat cheese, stir well to incorporate and remove from heat.
Toss in pasta and stir to coat well with sauce
Transfer pasta and sauce into baking pan and top with extra crumbled goat's cheese.
Cover and bake for 15 minutes, then uncover, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, and serve with fresh basil.
Making Ahead and Storing
Baked goat cheese pasta can be made ahead, cooled, and stored in a refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.
Tubular pasta, such as rigatoni, ziti, or penne pair perfectly with the creamy tomato goat cheese sauce in this recipe.
Yes. You can cook ground beef, sausage, bacon or pancetta after sauteeing onions for a meaty pasta sauce.
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.
Other Pasta Recipes
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
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 60 mL water (¼ cup)
- 800 g crushed tomatoes (2 cans or 28 oz)
- 60 mL reserved pasta water (¼ cup)
- 250 g Goat cheese crumbled (approx. 8 oz) + extra for topping
- handful fresh basil leaves (or parsley)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350F) and coat a 9"x13" baking pan with cooking spray.
- Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions, until al dente. Before draining pasta, reserve ½ cup of pasta water.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onions and saute until soft and translucent (approx 5 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 ¼ cup of reserved pasta water and simmer for 10-12 minutes until slightly thickened (medium heat). Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Turn off heat and stir in crumbled goat cheese. Add cooked pasta, and toss to coat well with sauce.
- Transfer pasta and sauce to baking pan and sprinkle with crumbled goat 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.