Best Italian Bake

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The Best Italian Bake is a delicious and hearty dish that brings together tender pasta, juicy chicken, savory Italian sausage, and vibrant vegetables, all smothered in a rich spaghetti sauce and topped with melted mozzarella cheese. This dish is perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or any occasion where you want to impress with a comforting, flavorful meal.


  • 1 lb. pasta of any type, cooked until al dente
  • 2 jars spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 1 ½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces
  • 1 lb. Italian sausages, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Cook Pasta:
    • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Chop Vegetables:
    • Chop the onion and red bell peppers into chunks.
  3. Cut Meat:
    • Cut the chicken breast and Italian sausages into bite-sized pieces.

Step 2: Cook the Meat and Vegetables

  1. Heat Oil:
    • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook Chicken:
    • Add the chicken pieces to the skillet and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Cook Sausages:
    • In the same skillet, add the Italian sausage pieces and cook until browned and cooked through. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  4. Sauté Vegetables:
    • Add the chopped onion and red bell peppers to the skillet. Sauté until they are softened and slightly caramelized.

Step 3: Assemble the Bake

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Combine Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, chicken, sausages, sautéed onions, and red bell peppers.
  3. Add Sauce:
    • Pour in the spaghetti sauce and mix until all the ingredients are well coated.
  4. Transfer to Baking Dish:
    • Transfer the mixture to a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.

Step 4: Bake

  1. Top with Cheese:
    • Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of the pasta mixture.
  2. Bake:
    • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Garnish and Serve:
    • Remove the Italian Bake from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley if desired.
  2. Enjoy:
    • Serve hot and enjoy this delicious and comforting dish with your favorite sides.

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Pasta: Use your favorite type of pasta for this recipe. Penne, rigatoni, or fusilli work well.
  • Cheese: For extra flavor, mix in some grated Parmesan cheese with the mozzarella.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add other vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, or spinach for added nutrition and flavor.


Vegetarian Italian Bake

  • Skip the Meat:
    • Replace the chicken and sausage with more vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, and eggplant.

Spicy Italian Bake

  • Add Heat:
    • Add crushed red pepper flakes or use spicy Italian sausage for a bit of heat.

Creamy Italian Bake

  • Add Cream:
    • Stir in 1 cup of heavy cream or ricotta cheese to the spaghetti sauce for a creamier texture.

Serving Suggestions

With Garlic Bread

  • Garlic Bread:
    • Serve with warm garlic bread for a classic Italian meal.

With a Side Salad

  • Salad:
    • Pair with a fresh green salad tossed with Italian dressing for a balanced meal.

With a Glass of Wine

  • Wine:
    • Enjoy with a glass of red wine, such as Chianti or Sangiovese, to complement the rich flavors of the dish.


Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: Yes, you can assemble the Italian Bake up to a day in advance and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Just add a few extra minutes to the baking time.

Q: How do I store leftovers? A: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

Q: Can I freeze this Italian Bake? A: Yes, you can freeze the baked dish. Allow it to cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven before serving.

Q: What can I use instead of mozzarella cheese? A: You can use other types of cheese such as provolone, fontina, or a blend of Italian cheeses.

Q: Can I use homemade spaghetti sauce? A: Absolutely! Homemade spaghetti sauce will add a personal touch and even more flavor to the dish.

The Best Italian Bake is a versatile and delicious dish that’s sure to become a family favorite. With its combination of tender pasta, savory meats, and rich sauce, this bake is perfect for any occasion. Enjoy making and sharing this comforting recipe, and don’t forget to experiment with different variations and toppings!

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