My Cheesy Sausage, Bacon & Sweet Potato Pasta Bake is filled with veggies, protein, so much flavor! Make it ahead and pop it in the oven when you’re ready. You’ll have a nutritious and filling dinner on the table in just 30 minutes!
Cheesy Sausage, Bacon and Sweet Potato Pasta Bake is so nourishing! I’m all about easy dinner ideas as the weather cools and make-ahead pasta bakes have a permanent spot on the menu in our house. This pasta casserole has all of the best flavors too!
CHEESY SAUSAGE, BACON AND SWEET POTATO PASTA BAKE
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If you have a busy family, you know the challenge of getting healthy dinners on the table. Making pasta bakes is a great way to do it because you can fill them with vegetables and hearty proteins. When everything is swirled in a cheesy sauce and topped with more cheese, that’s a surefire way to get your kids interested!
Ingredients for Cheesy Sausage, Bacon and Sweet Potato Pasta Bake
- Sweet potatoes
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder, salt & pepper
- Cavatappi pasta
- Bacon & Italian turkey sausage
- Fresh garlic
For the Cheese Sauce
- Chicken broth
- Salt & pepper
- Mozzarella & Parmesan cheeses
This sausage pasta bake has a lot of ingredients, but don’t let that deter you! It only takes about 30 minutes of prep to get everything prepped.
How to Make a Pasta Bake
- First, you’ll prep your sweet potatoes. Wash, peel, and chop the sweet potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Toss them in a bowl with olive oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper to coat. Spread the potato cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 or 15 minutes until soft.
- Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to the directions on the package until al dente. Once it’s cooked, drain the water, and set the pasta aside.
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet on your stovetop over medium heat until crispy, then cut it into small pieces.
- Remove the casings from the Italian sausage and brown it in a little bit of the leftover bacon fat. When the sausage is cooked through, add the onion and garlic, and cook for another minute or so. Remove the cooked sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Now it’s time to make the cheese sauce. Make a roux by melting butter in a saucepan and whisking in flour. Cook for a minute, then stir in the salt & pepper.
- Combine the chicken stock, milk and cream in a bowl, then pour the mixture into the saucepan. Stir while cooking until the mixture forms a thick white sauce, then remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and some of the Mozzarella cheese.
- Finally, assemble your pasta bake. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, then add the pasta, roasted sweet potatoes, browned meats and sage to the dish. Gently toss everything in the cheesy sauce, then spread out the ingredients evenly. Top the casserole with more Mozzarella. Bake the casserole at 350 degrees F until the cheese is melted and everything is bubbly and warm.
Do you cook pasta before making a pasta bake?
There are some recipes out there that require unbaked pasta, like lasagna. In those cases, the casserole is typically baked longer to allow the pasta to soften.
I find that it’s much less time consuming to cook the pasta on the stovetop first. I can do it while I’m roasting the sweet potatoes, browning the meats, and making the cheese sauce. Then, all that’s left to do is assemble your pasta bake, cook it for 30 minutes, serve, and enjoy!
Can you prepare a pasta bake in advance?
Yes! Since all of the ingredients in this easy pasta bake are cooked in advance, you can assemble it and pop it in the fridge the night before you bake it.
Remember to let all of the ingredients cool down to room temperature before refrigerating your prepped pasta bake. Then, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours ahead of use.
After you take the casserole out of the fridge, let the casserole rest on your counter for a bit before you place it in the oven. This will allow the flavors to meld together and ensure that the pasta bakes thoroughly.
Try these other baked pasta dishes!
- Easy Baked Tortellini and Meatballs
- Taco Mac and Cheese Pasta Bake
- Spaghetti Casserole
- Pizza Pasta Bake
- Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Roll Ups
- More MAIN DISH recipes…
Tools used to make this Cheesy Sausage, Bacon and Sweet Potato Pasta Bake recipe
Casserole Dish: This beautiful baking dish is never too far out of reach in my home! I love that I can use it for make-ahead pasta bakes, overnight breakfast casseroles, and so much more.
Cooking Utensils Set: This set of cooking utensils has everything you need to make a multifaceted dish from start to finish. Stir, flip, drain, and serve with ease using this high quality and versatile set of tools.
*This post originally posted on 09/29/2014.
- 1 pound Cavatappi pasta
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage casings removed
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon dried sage (or 2 teaspoons fresh sage, finely chopped)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups mozzarella shredded and divided
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F,
- Toss sweet potatoes in olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
- Spread out potato pieces onto a baking sheet, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until they are fork-tender. Remove from the oven, set aside, and turn oven heat down to 350 degrees F.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions while the potatoes bake. Drain and set aside once the pasta is al dente.
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it's almost crispy. Transfer to a para towel-lined plate to drain any excess grease. Once cool to the touch, chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Drain the bacon grease from skillet, leaving 1 tablespoon in the pan. Add the turkey sausage to the skillet, and place over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the meat it up as it cooks.
- Brown the turkey until it is no longer pink and cooked through. Then add in the onion and garlic, and allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove turkey, onion, and garlic to a plate and set aside.
- Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper.
- In a bowl combine the chicken stock, milk, and heavy cream. Pour into the flour/butter mixture and stir until smooth. Allow to cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce becomes thick.
- Once the sauce has thickened, remove from heat. Add in 1 cup of mozzarella and all of the Parmesan cheese. Stir until all the cheese has melted.
- Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add the pasta, sweet potatoes, bacon, turkey sausage, and sage to the dish. Toss with the cheesy sauce so everything is coated.
- Spread into an even layer in the dish, and then top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake a 350 degree F the oven for 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese on top is bubbly. Remove from oven and serve warm.