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Our Family's Favorite Dish- Baked Noodles

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

Many, many moons ago, a tired, overworked mom stared into the abyss of her panty and wondered what on earth she could come up with for dinner. She grabbed a couple of items and concocted what would become one of our family's favorite go-to meals.

It's beauty is in it's ease and simplicity. In fact, there is a good chance you too have the ingredients to make Baked Noodles in your pantry right now. All it takes is 3 basic staples and you'll have dinner going in no time!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

Oven Temp: 350 degrees

Servings: 8


  • 1 lb of Rigatoni Noodles

  • 1 28 oz Jar of your favorite pasta sauce (Mom swears by Ragu, but we like Classico or Rao's Homemade)

  • 2-3 Cups of shredded mozzarella

  • Salt

That's it.


  1. Cook rigatoni noodles as directed on the package and to desired doneness. Be sure to generously salt the water. I don't measure the amount, but in general it is recommended that 1 lb of pasta be boiled with at least 11/2 Tablespoons of salt. Salt = flavor.

  2. Once the noodles are done, drain and add back to the pot.

  3. Pour entire jar of sauce onto the noodles and mix.

  4. Take a 13x9 pan or glass dish and lightly spray with Pam. This step probably isn't completely necessary, but mom feels it makes clean up easier. And I do what mama says.

  5. Pour noodles into pan and spread evenly.

  6. Cover with cheese. 2 cups should do, but let's be real, the more cheese the better.

  7. Place in pre-heated oven and cook until cheese is melted. Depending on the oven, 20 minutes should be long enough to melt all the cheese, but if you like the sides browned a little like our family does, it'll take around 28 minutes. Keep an eye on it, once the cheese starts browning it's a quick, slippery slope.

Done! Seriously, that's it! Easy, peasy.

It's best to let it set for about 5 minutes before serving, it will be hot! But sometimes patience is not a virtue one possesses, so just proceed with caution.

When I'm in need of comfort food this is my go to. Something about fat rigatoni noodles just hits right. Pair it with a green salad and viola! Dinner is served!

Need a meal idea beyond a simple dinner? Baked Noodles is also the perfect dish for potlucks; it goes far and is always a hit. If you have to cook for a crowd on a budget the price to ease to taste ratio can't be beat. Neighbor could use a meal dropped off? Done. If you need to prepare it a day ahead the noodles keep great in the refrigerator; just top with cheese and bake when you're ready. It also freezes well, I just skip the baking step until it's ready to be served.

It seems absurd that a dish so simple can be this amazing, yet it is. Anytime it has been served outside of the family inner circle requests for the recipe are sure to follow. You didn't even have to ask me for the recipe, I just gave it to you! So on behalf of my mom and the rest of our family, we hope you enjoy Baked Noodles as much as we do and that it becomes the same symbol of comfort and love in your home as it is ours. <3

This months recipe was submitted by yours truly, Amanda! I'm one of the creators and the writer of The Fountainwood Forum. While there's plenty more deliciousness where this came from, we'd rather hear about your families favorite recipe!

If you'd like to submit a recipe, please email us at to be featured! (And yes, we will test the recipe and take care of photos for you ;)

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