CAJUN RIGATONI BAKE — Rigatoni pasta is baked with smoked sausage in a spicy, cheesy Cajun Alfredo sauce in this crowd pleasing dinner that’s so easy to prepare.
If you’re looking for a super easy week night meal that will have everyone coming back for seconds, look no further than this Cajun Rigatoni Bake.
Loaded with hearty rigatoni pasta and sliced smoked sausage in a spicy Cajun cream sauce, this meal is sure to disappear quickly. At least, that’s what happened at my house.
My kids all love Alfredo sauce, and have since they were little, and they all love spicy food too, so I know I can’t go wrong when I serve this dish. It’s true comfort food!
Of course, if spicy food isn’t your thing, you can always use less Cajun seasoning, or opt for some less spicy seasonings. On the other hand, if you like things really spicy, try using Andouille sausage in place of the regular smoked sausage in this recipe.
You can also add vegetables (mushrooms and spinach are a great additions) to make pasta dish into a complete, one-pot meal.
This also makes a great freezer meal to take into friends who could use a little extra love. Both kids and adults love this comforting casserole, so it’s perfect for sharing with neighbors.
You can use Half and Half or milk in place of the cream if you want to lighten this up a bit. Your sauce won’t be quite as thick, but it will still be delicious.
You can also use chicken or shrimp in place of the sausage, or use a combination of meat. Shrimp and sausage is another favorite at my house!
Any time I come across an easy meal that the whole family devours, it’s a winner in my book. Which is why this Cajun Rigatoni Bake appears on the menu often at my house.
With some crusty bread and a side salad, it’s pretty much the perfect meal!
Be sure to save this Cajun Rigatoni Bake recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Tips for Cooking Pasta
Use a big pot: Cook pasta in a large pot–big enough to hold 6 quarts of water per pound of pasta.
Salt: Generously season your cooking water with salt. A few teaspoons per quart of water is a good place to start. Although a little more or less is fine, depending on your preference.
Don’t overcook: Boil your pasta to until it is al dente, which means it’s cooked, but still a bit chewy. You’ll want to test your pasta for flavor and texture every 20 seconds or so during the last few minutes of cooking.
If you’ll continue cooking the pasta in a sauce, or baking it in the oven, remove the pot from the heat a few minutes before it’s done to prevent overcooking.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Cajun Rigatoni Bake
- Rigatoni pasta
- Smoked sausage
- Produce: garlic, fresh parsley
- Chicken broth
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Spices: Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper
Cajun Rigatoni Bake
Rigatoni pasta is baked with smoked sausage in a spicy, cheesy Cajun Alfredo sauce in this crowd pleasing dinner that's so easy to prepare.
- 16 ounces rigatoni pasta
- 14-16 ounces smoked sausage, sliced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups cream
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking dish. Cook the rigatoni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt the butter. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate.
- To the same pan, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and cream, stirring until smooth. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.
- Reduce heat and add half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Season with Cajun seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine the sauce with the cooked linguine and sausage, and toss to coat well. Transfer the pasta to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with fresh parsley for garnish.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2359Total Fat: 208gSaturated Fat: 77gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 103gCholesterol: 476mgSodium: 5763mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 88g
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Who Dished It Up First: This is an original recipe.
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