Creamy Pasta Bake with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil


This creamy pasta bake is one of my favorite midweek pasta dishes. My whole family loves it, and there is not much prep. Once the pasta bake is in the oven, you can make a salad or set the table, and then it's time to eat.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins


  • 1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 (6 ounce) cans tomato sauce

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 pinch white sugar

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 ¼ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1 small bunch fresh basil, finely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a baking dish.

  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water.

  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion in oil until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce and tomato paste and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add cream and Parmesan cheese. Season with sugar, salt, and pepper.

  4. Stir some of the reserved pasta water into sauce and add cooked penne. Remove from the heat and stir in cherry tomatoes, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese, and basil. Add more pasta water if needed to reach desired consistency. Pour penne mixture into the prepared baking dish and cover with remaining mozzarella cheese.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

532 Calories
21g Fat
68g Carbs
21g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 532
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 780mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 25mg 127%
Calcium 334mg 26%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 753mg 16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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