Easy Baked Long Fusilli Casserole is a quick and easy recipe for a baked pasta casserole. It is made with long curly pasta called fusilli, and it’s topped with mom’s quick marinara sauce and 3 kinds of cheese. So yummy, it makes the perfect meal on those busy weeknights when you need one!
I haven’t made a pasta casserole in a while and decided to make this one last week for my family. It was so GOOD, everyone asked for a second serving.
Delicious and creamy inside along with a fun curly noodle texture that surprises everyone after their first bite. This baked fusilli casserole can become your next favorite dish to make!
The best part? You don’t have to be a chef to prepare this dish.
With a few easy steps, we’ll show you how to make this easy-baked long fusilli casserole right in your own kitchen!
So let’s get started, shall we?
For this recipe, you will need:
about 3 to 4 cups of prepared tomato sauce
one pound of long fusilli pasta
1 large container of part-skim or whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
and a package of shredded mozzarella
plus, a 9 x 12 baking dish
Keep in mind, I prefer to use whole milk ricotta with this recipe, simply because it tastes better and will melt creamier. But part-skim ricotta will work just fine.
Also, fresh-tasting tomato sauce is a key to making this pasta dish taste even more delicious!
We prefer to use our mom’s recipe for her quick marinara sauce, and if you are a newbie with us, click the link to Mom’s Quick Marinara Sauce for her easy recipe!
HOW TO MAKE EASY BAKED LONG FUSILLI CASSEROLE:
First, put a large saucepan filled with water on the stove and on high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water. When water comes to a full boil, toss in the fusilli pasta and gently give it a stir.
Meanwhile, heat up some marinara sauce (about 4 cups) on the stove-top, or in the microwave until it’s very hot.
Next, using a large ladle, spread on the bottom of the casserole dish with a layer of tomato sauce, about 1 + 1/2 cups.
4. Set the rest of the ingredients on the counter next to your 9 x 12 baking dish.
5. When fusilli pasta is al-dente (tender to the bite), drain in a colander, and immediately transfer into the casserole dish, on top of the sauce. Use a fork to help spread the fusilli pasta evenly. The curly pasta and fusilli will start to absorb the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
6. Next, top the steaming pasta with a few spoonfuls of ricotta cheese, and spread it lightly with the back of the spoon. Don’t worry if it’s not spread evenly – it will melt while baking.
7. After you spread the ricotta, spoon the remaining marinara sauce on top of that and spread the sauce evenly. Make sure the layer of marinara sauce covers entirely the curly pasta. And sprinkle with a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese on top.
8. Finally, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella on top. Cover with foil wrap and BAKE in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for about 20 to 25 minutes, then remove foil wrap and continue to bake for additional 5 minutes until the cheese on top is completely melted.
9. Keep in mind, that baking times will vary depending on the brand and the age of the oven you own.
Set it aside for a few minutes before cutting. Then cut into squares and serve it like a lasagna, only this one is more fun to eat. The kids will love the curly pasta texture along with the creaminess from the melted ricotta and melted cheese on top.
Cook’s Notes and Tips:
Want Gluten-Free? Of course! Use your favorite Gluten Free pasta or GF wide noodles with this recipe!
Don’t have time to make your own tomato sauce? No problem! Use your favorite brand of marinara sauce.
For a quicker cooking time, it’s best to heat the tomato sauce for a few minutes before using it with this recipe. Heating the tomato sauce beforehand will help speed up the baking time.
If you decide to add COLD tomato sauce, please remember you will need more baking time in the oven for this casserole to get entirely heated through, about 40 to 55 minutes.
Easy Baked Long Fusilli Casserole makes the perfect meal and one the whole family will enjoy!
This is such an easy and delicious dish to serve your family and friends. I bet everyone will ask you to make this one again.
Made with only 5 ingredients, and baked in less than 30 minutes, helps me put dinner on the table in a snap! It’s a win-win all the way!
Try this recipe!
…Don’t forget to Pin and Share! …thanks so much! 🙂
Finally, More Delicious Ideas on Baked Casseroles!
- 1 pound long fusilli pasta
- 4 cups prepared tomato sauce - divided ( I used marinara sauce)
- 6 to 7 heaping spoonful of ricotta cheese (part-skim or whole milk)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella
- One 9 x 12 baking dish
- Preheat oven to Bake at 375 degrees F.
- First, cook the fusilli pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the boiling water. Cook the pasta to an al-dente texture, or when it is tender to the bite. Then, drain the pasta in a colander.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat tomato sauce on the stovetop until very hot. Spread 1 + 1/2 cups of prepared tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 X 12 baking dish ( 3 quarts or 2.8 L). Set it aside.
- NEXT, immediately transfer the fusilli pasta into the baking dish and use a fork to help spread the curly pasta into an even layer.
- Grab some spoonfuls (about 6) of ricotta cheese and place them on top of the pasta while it's still steaming hot. Using the back of your spoon, spread the ricotta cheese over the pasta. Do not worry, it doesn't have to be perfect, since the ricotta cheese will melt and will even out through this casserole while baking.
- Then pour the remaining sauce on top and spread to cover the entire surface of fusilli pasta.
- Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, and then with shredded mozzarella on top.
- Cover with foil wrap. Here is where you can refrigerate it if you make it ahead. Or until you are ready to bake it. However, you will need more baking time to heat this casserole thoroughly.
- BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil cover and bake for an additional 5 minutes, until the mozzarella is completely melted on top and its bubbling around the sides. The casserole should be thoroughly heated when it's steaming from the center and sides.
- Remove casserole from the oven. Set aside on the stove for 5 minutes before cutting. Cut into individual servings and serve. Serve warm.
- Yields: 6 to 8 servings.
If you refrigerate this casserole, you will need to leave it out on the counter to warm up to room temperature, at least one hour. And you will need to bake it for more time, about 45 to 55 minutes at 400 degrees F, or until the casserole is heated through.