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! 

Baked Mostaccioli
Yield: 8 servings

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.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 428Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 726mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 38g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
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