Baked Mostaccioli

This baked mostaccioli is classically delicious and couldn’t be any easier to make. Pasta baked in a delicious tomato sauce topped with cheese. So good!

Mostaccioli is a pain in the you-know-what to spell, so I’m warning you now that you might see it spelled mosticholi, mostaccoli or mostacholee. It’s midnight and I’m sleepy. However I’ll have you know, it’s quite the opposite to make and devour. You like?

Baked Mostaccioli l

I think baked mostaccioli is what us Mid-Westerners coined for baked ziti. Different name. Different noodles. Same sort of thing. Still good. I grew up on this pasta dish and it’s one of those no-brainer sort of recipes. I usually have most of these things on hand and it takes all of 30 minutes to put together and another 45 minutes to bake. Easy-peasy. And while it’s in the oven I usually clean up, make a salad, check facebook, switch the loads of laundry around and pick my daughters up from the bus stop. My favorite part is when we walk in the door and the smell of the mostaccioli slaps us in the face. It doesn’t get better than that. Well except for eating it of course.


This recipe my sister Kelly gave me YEARS ago. In fact her original email is still in my Yahoo email account for fear I might lose, forget it or whatever. Now it’s on this blog so it’s pretty safe, unless the internet explodes or something. That would stink.

I love my sissys recipe, I did however change a few things around;like fresh garlic instead of garlic powder and I added some red pepper flakes… but it still tastes the same… delicious.

So. Who’s ready for a carbtastic pasta dinner?

Less roll.

onion and garlic

Start by chopping up one white onion {mine was on the small side} and smashing, peeling and mincing 4 or 5 medium cloves of garlic.

 ground beef

Throw two pounds of ground beef {sirloin, chuck, round… doesn’t matter}into a large pot or a Dutch oven.

onions and fresh garlic

Throw in the onions and garlic and turn up the heat to medium.


Once the beef has cooked and the onions are soft, measure and add in the teaspoon of basil and oregano, 2 pinches of Italian seasoning and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes.


Stir it all around…

pour in sauce

And pour in one 28 ounce can of tomato sauce.

sugar, parm and black pepper

Add an eighth of a cup of Parmesan to the sauce along with the teaspoon of sugar, salt and a 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.

stir and simmer

Stir all that jazz together, cover, reduce the temperature to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Which is just enough time to make the pasta.

the pasta

Here is the pasta. It’s penne minus the ridges. I’m going out on a limb, but I’m thinking that’s what that last word means.

Lisce = minus the ridges. Hmm.

add the pasta

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add in half of the box. Cook for half of the time that the package suggests.



add pasta and stir

Toss the partially-cooked pasta into the sauce and toss to coat.

layer 1

Layer half of the meat/pasta mixture in a baking dish.

mozzarella 1

Sprinkle with half of the grated mozz. {1-1/2 cups}


Spoon out the rest and layer it on top.

more parm

This time sprinkle with half of the remaining parm.

more mozz

Then top with the remaining mozzarella…

sprinkle more parm

Next, sprinkle with the remaining grated Parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until the cheese is golden.

just baked

My baked mostaccioli got really golden, almost too golden but it was still delicious.


Look at those cheese strings!

Mostaccioli l

Finally, serve this scrumptious baked mostaccioli with a Caeser salad a baguette and wine (optional, but why not?) and call it dinner.

Baked Mostaccioli -


Happy Friday friends!

Enjoy! And if you give this Baked Mostaccioli recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Baked Mostaccioli l

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: 8 servings

Baked Mostaccioli

Baked Mostaccioli
This baked mostaccioli is classically delicious and couldn't be any easier to make. Pasta baked in a delicious tomato sauce topped with cheese. So good!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium white onion, diced small
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, smashed, peeled and minced
  • sliced cremini or button mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pinches Italian seasoning
  • 1 pinch sugar (optional)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (divided)
  • 8 ounces (or half pound) of penne lisce (or mostaccioli noodles -whichever is available)
  • 3 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese (do not use bagged cheese)
  • minced parsley for garnish


  1. In a large pot or dutch oven; cook the ground beef, onions and garlic (and mushrooms if using) until the meat is no longer pink and fully cooked.
  2. Measure and add in the basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and stir.
  3. Pour in the tomato sauce and add to that the Parmesan cheese, the sugar, salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Stir, cover and reduce the temperature to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 325° and bring a pot of water to a boil. Once it's boiling, add in the 8 ounces {half a box} of pasta and cook for half of the time as directed on the package.
  5. Drain and combine the pasta with the sauce.
  6. In an 8x11 baking dish; layer half of the meat/sauce mixture. Top with half of the shredded Mozzarella and then repeat with the remaining sauce.
  7. Sprinkle half of the remaining Parmesan, then the remaining Mozzarella and then sprinkle the last of the Parmesan over the entire baking dish.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling.
  9. Serve warm with more shaved parmesan and mince fresh parsley.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 428 Total Fat: 23g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 113mg Sodium: 726mg Carbohydrates: 17g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g Protein: 38g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
[this post contains affiliate links.]

    Pin It

32 Responses to “Baked Mostaccioli”

  1. #
    Robby — October 18, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Yum. So glad it’s finally time to make some of this cozy food. We’ll be having this very soon.

    • simplyscratch replied: — October 18th, 2013 @ 9:58 am

      Amen! Love cozy food… it’s all I ever want this time of year!

  2. #
    Tieghan Gerard — October 18, 2013 at 8:35 am

    I think that cheesy baked pasta on a Friday is maybe the best meal ever. Especially when it is a full on snow storm out side. Which it totally is! So this is looking pretty good! 🙂

    • simplyscratch replied: — October 18th, 2013 @ 9:58 am

      I honestly made this yesterday and it was a cold, rainy, gloomy day… it was perfect! But snow? I can’t even…

  3. #
    Felecia Cofield — October 18, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Hi Laurie! The recipe looks so yummy! I can hardly wait to try it! You always share the best recipes and your photography is outstanding! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

    • simplyscratch replied: — October 18th, 2013 @ 9:57 am

      Thanks Felecia! You are too nice! Have a great weekend!

  4. #
    Ali @ Inspiralized — October 18, 2013 at 9:10 am

    The step by step instructions are so helpful – thank you for sharing those – and this recipe, oh my… looks absolutely delicious!

    • simplyscratch replied: — October 18th, 2013 @ 10:36 am

      Thanks so much Ali!

  5. #
    Susan Jones — October 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Lisce means “smooth” – same as “ridge less” – and it looks great!

  6. #
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen — October 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    This looks like perfect comfort food, Laurie! I always love your step by step photos.

  7. #
    MeredithB — October 18, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    that overhead shot is MONEY! love your photos and your recipes!

  8. #
    Marsha Lynne — October 19, 2013 at 2:37 am

    this is now on our Sunday menu…can not wait!!!!

  9. #
    Meghan @ The Tasty Fork — October 19, 2013 at 9:45 am

    This looks amazing!! I love a hearty pasta meal when it starts to get chilly. And I’m LOVING the RockCrok! It’s the must have cooking partner for fall foods.

  10. #
    Mary K. — October 19, 2013 at 10:14 am

    However you spell it, it looks YUMMY!

  11. #
    Johnnie Barton — October 19, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I am making this tonight just wish I had the RockCrock to make it in. Can’t wait!

  12. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — October 20, 2013 at 1:44 am

    I love simple pasta dishes like this. It looks fantastic!

  13. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — October 20, 2013 at 3:16 am

    What a comforting, cozy dish! I just got my rockcrok today and can’t wait to try it out!

  14. #
    Rachel Cooks — October 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    YUM. This looks soooo good. My rockcrok should be coming soon! Can’t wait!

  15. #
    Scheherazade Begovic — October 20, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Yep gotta make this recipe and would love a new rockcrok to try it out in, fingers crossed.

  16. #
    Ali — October 20, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    This would be great in my new crock!! I think I would mqke my enchilada casserole in it, too!!! Mmmm…

  17. #
    Alison — February 12, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    I made this for my family, and they absolutely loved it! Super easy to make and tastes fantastic!

  18. #
    Andrea — October 12, 2014 at 5:15 am

    Oh my goodness!! I just made this w/ the Italian sausage. Although, I have made this dish for many years…very similarly, I can’t wait until it comes out the oven. It’s for church. The members already love my cooking, but I can picture them jumping for joy Thanks for the lovely step by step pictured recipe. Very creatively done!!!

  19. #
    Laurie hossler — May 7, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    loved this recipe. Instead of 2 lbs beef I used spicy Apple chicken sausage and meatloaf mix(beef pork and veal) equal parts of each to make 2 lbs. we ate leftovers for 2 nights. And we never eat leftovers!! Awwsome recipe!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — May 25th, 2015 @ 8:46 am

      ooooh I love this idea!

  20. #
    Julianne — May 19, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I’m hoping to make this recipe for a group of about 100 people. I will obviously need to make quite a few batches of this; however, how many people do you think one batch would reasonably serve? This will be the main dish, but they will also be getting salad and breadsticks along with dessert (cake and ice cream), so they shouldn’t need huge servings! Thanks!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — May 25th, 2015 @ 8:45 am

      Hi Julianne, this recipe serves 8 to 10 people 🙂

  21. #
    Tyra Schkerke — August 28, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    This was delicious. ..thanks for sharing.

  22. #
    Tyra Schkerke — August 28, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Delicious. ….thank you!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — September 2nd, 2016 @ 11:56 am

      I’m so glad, Tyra! Thanks for coming back and leaving a comment! <3

  23. #
    Dana — November 10, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    This looks amazing!!! Do you think this is something I could put together on Sunday and bake on Tuesday?

  24. #
    Pasqualina — November 2, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    Seems good, but penne aren’t the same as mostaccioli. If you do some research, you can ser that mostaccioli(or mostacciuoli) are a southern Italian sweet, big biscuit. Just to let you know, haha.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — November 12th, 2018 @ 10:18 am

      Hi Pasqualina! Actually penned lisce and mostaccioli noodles are! Penne lisce is a smooth pasta but also goes by the name mostaccioli too (! I am aware of the Italian biscotti like cookies and how they share the same mostaccioli name. I think it has more to where these originated than anything. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Leave a Comment