By Vanessa Greaves

These warm and cozy baked pasta dishes check all the weeknight dinner boxes: easy, comforting, ready in an hour or less, and plenty left over for lunches. And talk about versatile — you can change up the pastas, add or change protein choices, and adjust spices to suit your taste. Did I miss anything? Check them out and see:

The Best Weeknight Baked Pasta Dinners

1. Rita's Spinach Casserole

Ready in 50 minutes | If you like your comfort food on the spicier side, make this with sweet or hot Italian sausage instead of ground beef, and jarred spaghetti sauce instead of tomato sauce. You can even omit the meat completely and still have a warm and satisfying vegetarian casserole.

Photo by Meredith

2. Stuffed Shells I

Ready in 50 minutes | Undercook the shells slightly so they're less likely to tear when you stuff them with the filling. Don't worry, they'll finish cooking in the oven.


3. Ham and Broccoli Bake

Ready in 1 hour | It's easy to substitute chicken instead of ham in this recipe; you'll just have to add a touch more salt to compensate for what the sweet, salty ham would have brought to the party.

Photo by dustysun

4. Ratatouille Bake

Ready in 1 hour | This hearty vegetarian casserole features all the best flavors of a late summer garden: eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomato. Watch the video to see how it all comes together.

5. Beefy Baked Ravioli

Ready in 50 minutes | Believe it or not, you don't have to boil the frozen ravioli before you bake it in the sauce. How easy and convenient is that?

Photo by Candice Steele

6. Baked Ziti with Sausage

Ready in 1 hour | Top Tip: Add the onions and garlic to the pan when you're cooking the sausage. It makes all the difference in the flavor and texture of the dish.

Photo by Cooking Monster

7. Homemade Mac and Cheese

Ready in 50 minutes | To keep your cheese sauce from developing a "gritty" texture, it's important to melt the cheese over very low heat, and do not let the sauce boil after you add the cheese.

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

8. Pizza Pasta

Ready in 45 minutes | Everything you love about pizza, but in a baked pasta. Add in more pizza ingredients if you want: canned artichokes, mushrooms, peppers, whatever.

Photo by Melissa Goff

9. Baked Spaghetti Casserole

Ready in 45 minutes | Reviewers say this makes a huge amount; not a problem if you're feeding a hungry crowd or a couple of teenagers.