Ever have one of those nights when you have no idea what to make for dinner?
Don’t we all? So what would you call a crowd-pleasing meal that’s made mostly from pantry staples, takes only five minutes of prep and doesn’t require the forethought of planning a slow cooker or freezer meal? Um…a miracle?!
I am ALL about the slow cooker, but some days just I’m too exhausted or short on time to set the meal up to cook a few hours in advance. We usually eat a lot of bean and cheese quesadillas on those nights, if you know what I mean!
Discovering that you can bake pasta in the oven without cooking it first completely changed how I think about preparing quick meals. Instead of putting on a stovetop juggling act for 20 minutes by boiling and draining pasta while I sauté the veggies and meat, I can stir this all together in less than five minutes and let the oven do the rest of the work.
Yes, you can bake pasta in the oven without boiling it first!
This magical meal does have one caveat, though: The leftovers aren’t so fab. Well, let me correct that. They’re not so fab if you’re an adult accustomed to the normal texture of pasta. If you are a toddler who lives for carbs and cheese, you might not care. Mine sure doesn’t, so I often pack the leftovers of this in her lunch the next day.
The recipe below is the simplest incarnation of this meal but I encourage you to get creative by adding additional veggies or diced sausage if time allows.