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5 from 5 votes
Creamy Baked Rigatoni with Meat Sauce
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr

Rigatoni is layered with a rich, homemade meat sauce, bechamel, and cheese. Baked Rigatoni with Meat Sauce is family-friendly comfort food at it's best!

Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 529 kcal
  • 16 ounces rigatoni , cooked till barely al-dente
For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
  • 28 ounces crushed Italian style tomatoes
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
For the bechamel:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup 2% milk, slightly warmed
  • dash ground nutmeg
For layering:
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Add olive oil to a Dutch oven and place over MEDIUM heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender. Add ground beef. Cook until no longer pink and drain off grease. Add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer while preparing bechamel.

  3. In a small saucepan melt butter over MEDIUM-LOW heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk and nutmeg. Turn heat up to MEDIUM and and whisk and cook until smooth, thick and creamy. Remove from heat.

  4. Combine meat sauce and pasta and mix thoroughly. Spray a large casserole dish or lasagna pan with cooking spray and layer 1/2 of the pasta mixture, half the bechamel and half the cheeses. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Make-Ahead Method: Prepare dish but do not bake. Cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking. Add about 15 minutes to baking time if cold when going in the oven.

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Baked Rigatoni with Meat Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 529 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 62mg21%
Sodium 968mg42%
Potassium 851mg24%
Carbohydrates 57g19%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 27g54%
Vitamin A 756IU15%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 287mg29%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.