This easy three cheese rotini bake might just become your next favorite weeknight dinner to whip up.
The links in this post may be affiliate links. That means that if you click them and make a purchase, this site makes a commission. It will have no impact on the price you pay or the experience of your purchase.
You just can’t go wrong with the combination of ground meat, marinara, and cheese.
This rotini pasta bake is just that, and more. It can turn out to be the perfect dinner option for those nights when you don’t feel like putting in a lot of effort into cooking, but still want to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal.
When it comes to making pasta bakes and casseroles, there’s a bit that can go south too.
So here I am to help you with making sure that is not your truth.
How Do I Keep My Pasta Bake From Drying Out?
This one’s pretty simple. Just add enough sauce in there (but not too much of course) to ensure that the pasta is cooked thoroughly but still not dry or even overcooked.
Can My Three Cheese Rotini Get Burnt From the Top & Raw From the Inside?
In an attempt to get the cheese crust all golden brown and crispy, you might be tempted to turn the heat up.
Avoid doing that, because all that’s really going to do is leave your pasta bake undercooked from within, and dark and burnt from the top. Ideally, start off at 350°F and then increase the temperature a bit during the last few minutes of cooking to get that golden crisp on the top you might want.
Because ovens vary, if you still find your three cheese rotini bake getting dark too quickly, you can cover it in some aluminum foil, turn down the temperature and bake it until it is done.
My Three Cheese Rotini Falls Apart During Serving. What Am I Doing Wrong?
With most lasagnas and pasta bakes, there’s often this problem. Your dish may bake beautifully, but when it comes to serving, the dish falls apart even before you transfer it to the plate.
If that’s what you’re facing, here’s a simple tip to remember. As difficult as it may seem, resist the urge to portion and serve your three cheese rotini bake as soon as you get it outta the oven.
Let it sit outside the oven for a few minutes and cool down a little bit.
How Can I Make the Crust More Crispy?
Love that crispy and crumbly crust to your pasta bakes? Here’s a quick trick to make it happen.
First, remember to pick the right kind of cheese. While soft cheeses like mozzarella and gouda will melt wonderfully, they won’t give you that crispy crust that you’re looking for.
Opt for hard cheeses like parmesan and gruyere at least for the top layer. And if you want to take it up a notch, you can always mix some bread crumbs along with the cheese.
Ingredients Needed For Three Cheese Rotini Bake
please see the full recipe below for exact measurements
- rotini pasta
- ground meat
- ricotta cheese
- cream cheese
- mozzarella cheese
- italian seasoning
- garlic powder
How To Make Three Cheese Rotini
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a large casserole dish by spraying with nonstick cooking spray. This keeps your food from sticking to the dish and getting on the plate and in your belly where you want it to be.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions, and then drain it and set it aside.
Brown ground meat in a large skillet over medium heat with diced onion and chopped garlic. When all the pink has disappeared, remove the meat from the heat and drain off the excess fat.
Combine the marinara sauce and cooked pasta.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, one cup of mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder, and stir it all together.
Spoon a layer of the pasta mixture in the bottom of the casserole dish, and top it with a layer of the cheese mixture.
Continue layering until all ingredients have been used.
Bake it for 20 minutes, or until your top layer of cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
Then top the final layer with the remaining mozzarella cheese.