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This no-boil, Baked Rigatoni with Butternut Squash, Kale, Sage and Pecans is a cozy fall dinner that takes 30 minutes of hands-on time before baking in the oven. A hearty one-pan, vegetarian meal.
It takes a snowflake two hours to fall from cloud to earth. Can’t you just see its slow, peaceful decent?—Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Full of fall flavors, this Baked Rigatoni highlights butternut squash and kale, and couldn’t be any more comforting.
It’s made in one pan and requires no pasta boiling. You’ve told us how much you’ve enjoyed our other no-boil, Baked Ziti with Mushrooms and Spinach, so here’s another version and with a fall spin on it.
Table of Contents
- veggie broth or chicken stock
- rigatoni- or sub penne or ziti
- burrata or mozzarella cheese- fresh balls or grated
- grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
- crushed walnuts or pecans
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to Make Baked Rigatoni
Step One: Saute onion, garlic and butternut squash in olive oil.
Step Two: Add the sage and lacinato kale and wilt.
Step Three: Set the butternut squash mixture aside on another plate. Pour in the broth and add the dry rigatoni and push it down under the broth.
TIP: Season the broth with salt and pepper- you want this to be really flavorful!
Step Four: Add half of the butternut /kale mixture, tucking the pasta underneath – then dollops of ricotta over the top, then the burrata (or mozzarella) then top it with the remaining butternut squash/ kale mixture. Sprinkle with pecorino and top with the crushed nuts.
Cover tightly with a lid or tightly with foil.
Step Five: Bake covered – it is imperative you have a tight seal- at 400F for 25 minutes. Uncover, and tuck any pasta that has floated to the top, down underneath, and continue baking 15-20 minutes until golden.
Enjoy the Baked Rigatoni with a green salad! We enjoyed this with our Pear Arugula Salad
Leftovers are delicious for up to 4 days.
Think of this like a pasta bake or pasta “casserole”. The dry pasta is cooked in a broth, studded with ricotta. It is not a “saucy” pasta dish.
I have not attempted to make this vegan- but I’m sure it can be converted. Try this with our Tofu Ricotta and use vegan Mozzarella. Perhaps a bit of nutritional yeast in the broth too.
Yes, it can be made ahead, and reheated in a 350F oven, covered.
More Recipes You May Enjoy!
- 30 Comfort Food Recipes for Fall
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage
- Gnocchi with Fennel, Spinach and Mushrooms
On the homefront: I woke up to our first snow! Our dog Lumi (which means snow in Finnish) looks astonished and paws at it so curiously. The morning is deeply quiet, the sun has not risen yet, and there is a stillness here that feels like no other time of day.
Today I leave for Finland for my aunt Anja’s 90th bday party. My friend Jill is coming with and we are making it a sort of “sauna trip”. I’ll keep you posted. 😉
Enjoy this recipe for Baked Rigatoni and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Have a lovely week.
Love this recipe? Please let us know in the comments and leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below the recipe card.Print
Baked Rigatoni with Butternut Squash, Kale, Sage and Pecans
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 40
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: pasta, vegetarian, fall dinner
- Method: baked
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
This No-Boil, Baked Rigatoni with Butternut Squash, Kale, Sage and Pecans can be made in one pan, with 30 minutes of hands-on time before baking in the oven. A cozy vegetarian dinner, perfect for fall. Pasta is cooked in a broth- studded with ricotta- so more like a baked pasta “casserole”.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (or use 1/2 butter)
- 1 red onion,diced
- 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 3–4 cups butternut squash, peeled, diced into 3/4 inch cubes
- 1–2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, thick stems removed, torn into bite-sized pieces.
- 3 cups veggie broth or chicken stock ( I used water with 2 teaspoons vegetable bouillon paste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces dry pasta- penne, ziti, rigatoni, etc. ( about 3 1/4 cups)
- 16 ounces whole milk ricotta
- 3–4 ounces fresh burrata or mozzarella cheese ball, or sub grated mozzarella
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino or parmesan
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
- Preheat oven to 400F
- In a large, 12-inch, oven-proof skillet or braiser, saute onion in olive oil over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring until fragrant. Add garlic, butternut squash, sage, and salt, lower heat to medium, and saute for 5 minutes, until about halfway cooked. Stir in nutmeg and kale, saute for 1-2 minutes until slightly wilted. Scoot this all to a plate and set aside.
- To the same pan, pour in the broth and pasta and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits.
- Season the broth with salt and pepper – you want this to taste quite flavorful. Spoon in half of the butternut-kale mixture over the pasta.
- Spoon the ricotta over the top in dollops, scatter with burrata (cut it up a bit) or mozzarella.
- Cover with the remaining butternut/kale mixture, arranging it a bit. Tuck any pasta that has risen, underneath to ensure it cooks properly.
- Sprinkle with pecorino and crushed nuts.
- Cover tightly with a lid, or use parchment and foil (parchment will prevent foil from touching food) and place in the 400F oven for 25 minutes. You must have a tight seal here for the pasta to cook.
- Uncover, tuck any pasta that has risen, down underneath so it softens, and continue baking until golden, 12-15-more minutes.
Leftovers reheat great and will keep up to 4 days in the fridge.
- Serving Size: 1 ½ cups
- Calories: 501
- Sugar: 7.1 g
- Sodium: 684.4 mg
- Fat: 25 g
- Saturated Fat: 10.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 51.1 g
- Fiber: 4.8 g
- Protein: 20.6 g
- Cholesterol: 52.7 mg
Keywords: Baked Rigatoni, Butternut Squash Pasta, Baked pasta with butternut squash, no boil baked rigatoni, no boil baked pasta, fall pasta
This recipe is amazing – we’ve made it several times now and it is a big hit! We make it vegan by bringing in faux cheeses and using a homemade tofu ricotta. This last time, I subbed in a can of great northern beans instead of the ricotta and it was a game-changer. So hearty with the beans!
Love this Mary!
I thought this was so yummy!!!! I really felt the fall flavors come through and loved the nutmeg in this.
Great to hear Sharon!
Enjoyed this thoroughly as written. Thanks for another great recipe for my files! Will definitely repeat.
Thanks Mary, so happy you liked this!
I have a question regarding cookware. I don’t have a 12 inch skillet/braiser (I have a 10 inch one that I think might be too small). Do you think the pasta would still get cooked if I used a higher sided Dutch oven with a heavy lid? Thanks for any help you can offer!
Hey Tania, Yes I think a dutch oven would work fine here. You could also put it in a 9×13-inch baking dish!
We loved this recipe! Thanks so much. Accidentally dumped in 2x the pasta 😊 and it was still delicious. This will go into regular rotation at our house. Thanks again!
Oh good, so glad it worked out!
Excellent! Made exactly as recipe says. This was delicious, and easily accomplished for a weeknight dinner. I think I may prefer adding ricotta after the dish is baked, and will try that next time. Another winner!
Thanks John, yes, give it a try and let me know- curious. 😉
We liked this recipe! It was fun to put together and the flavors were great!
Good for the kiddos too.
Thanks so much- glad you enjoyed!
Made this last night. I feel like all I do is repeat myself on this site because- once again- this meal was SO delicious! Thank you.
🥰 Aww, thanks so much Julie! Really glad you liked this one!
So delicious! Hearty and satisfying. Loved all the textures too! Like Jenna, I did not tuck the pasta and it turned out great. Looking forward to making this again!
Ok good to hear!Thanks Laura!
I make roasted brussels sprouts all the time, but the dressing with fig jam really elevates the flavor. The extra minute it takes to make the dressing is well worth it and I’ll repeat the recipe many times this season.
Thanks Jenna- I think you meant this for the Roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe? 🙂
Perfect for the rainy night tonight. Very comforting and not too heavy, good seasonal flavors. I subbed spinach for kale. I wasn’t good about tucking the pasta back under but didn’t have any issues with it cooking.
Oh, good to hear!
Sylvia! I made the baked Rigatoni with Butternut Squash last night and it was amazing. ❤️ Thank you sharing these recipes and making me feel like a pro.
Awesome Patty- glad this worked for you! xoxo
This genuinely pains me because I LOVE this site and have never had a fail…until this one. So many things went awry including my pasta being mush swimming in 2″ of unabsorbed broth after 25 minutes. We managed to scrape off the cheese and veg and serve it with some fresh, traditionally cooked pasta. Delicious flavors but something about the method just didn’t work in my kitchen.
Oh shoot Katelyn! Did you cover the pan tightly in the oven? Is it possible not a good seal?
This was easy and flavorful, my husband said to please make it again! Used penne pasta, Kabacha squash and walnuts. It did not feel overly rich, which I enjoyed. Delish!
So happy you and your husband enjoyed this Sandra!
Thank you so much for your weekend recipes they are one of my favourite parts of the weekend!
None of your recipes fail & they are fab a HUGE thank you from England ❤️
Thanks Anna! Hope you enjoy this one!