This healthy baked rigatoni recipe is served in an incredibly creamy sauce which is made with lots of veggies, cream cheese and dairy-free cooking cream. And as if this was not enough, we top this whole dish with plenty of ricotta cheese and pop it in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes. This way we end up with the creamiest and most delicious pasta bake. So, without any further ado, let me show you how to make this baked rigatoni with ricotta cheese.Jump to Recipe
How to Turn Any Pasta Dish into a Healthy Recipe
If I could only eat one dish for the rest of my life, it would certainly be pasta. It’ s clearly one of my all-time favorite dishes.
It’s so tasty and varied. But it’s also really easy to incorporate pasta in wholesome and balanced meals. Therefore, I probably never get tired of transforming Italian classics into healthy recipes or coming up with my own creations.
And you only need to follow a few tips and tricks in order to get a healthy and well-balanced pasta dish, which obviously also tastes delicious.
If you just started with trying to eat healthier, I would suggest to try to use whole wheat pasta instead of regular one. I promise on high that I don’t taste any difference to conventional pasta. But instead, they have much more fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Plus, the high fiber content keeps you full much better and longer.
Next, you can try to increase the amounts of vegetables. This also increases the volume and provides you with many vitamins and pytamines. Finally, I would always make sure to include a generous amount of proteins, so that our healthy pasta recipes are also well-balanced.
And if you’re still not quite convinced whether such healthy pasta dishes can still taste good, just try the following recipe. I’m sure that these creamy baked rigatoni with ricotta will convince you.
The quantities given in this recipe refer to approximately two servings of these baked rigatoni with ricotta. However, feel free to double, triple, or halve them, depending on how many people you’re cooking for.
Since this recipe is very meal prep friendly, you’re welcome to make a bigger serving and put the leftovers in the fridge for the following days.
And in case you like to have a larger portion or one with more or less calories, carbs, proteins, or fats, feel free to adjust the amounts to your individual needs.
I always base portion sizes on my personal dietary needs (presumably those of the average woman). However, you or perhaps one of your fellow eaters may need more or less than I do.
- one eggplant
- two cloves of garlic
- 250 grams or 9 ounces of cherry tomatoes
- 200 grams or 7 ounces of mushrooms
- one teaspoon of olive oil
- 150 grams or 5.3 ounces of uncooked whole grain rigatoni (or another whole grain short cut pasta of your choice)
- 60 grams each of vegan cooking cream (~1/4 cup or 2.1 ounces) and fat-reduced cream cheese (~1/4 cup or 2.1 ounces)
- 60 grams or a ¼ cup (2.1 ounces) of ricotta cream cheese
- some salt, pepper, and fresh basil leaves
Variations and Substitutions
I like to use a fat-reduced cooking cream based on soy, but feel free to use any other planted based or regular (fat-reduced) cooking cream instead.
Instead of mushrooms, you could also use some zucchini or another vegetable of your choice. And of course, you can replace the rigatoni pasta for any other whole grain, short cut pasta of your choice.
Baked Rigatoni with Ricotta Cheese – Here’s How to Make It
First thing to do for this baked rigatoni recipe is to steam cook the eggplant. Therefore, you’ll either need a steamer basket or a metal strainer or colander. You’ll also need a small to medium sized saucepan or pot where you can place your strainer or steamer inside.
So, fill the pot with some water, only to the extent that it doesn’t rise through the holes of the steamer. Then bring it to a boil while you wash your eggplant and cut it lengthwise into four to five slices. Cut a diamond pattern on both sides of each slice since this will speed up the cooking process.
Now place the eggplant slices next and on top of each other inside the steamer and cover them with a lid. Then let them steam over low heat for about twenty-five to thirty minutes or until the flesh is buttery soft.
Afterwards you can remove the steamer form the pot, set it aside and drain off the water.
Now fill the pot with fresh water and bring it to a boil. Then add the pasta and cook it al dente according to package instructions.
Everything get’s even better when baked with cheese
In the meantime, peel and finely dice the garlic and sauté it in a pan together with the oil. Then add the halved tomatoes for a few more minutes.
At the same time, you can clean the mushrooms and cut them into thin slices. Add them to the tomatoes and sauté them for another two to three minutes.
Now you can add the cream cheese and the soy cooking cream and let the sauce simmer briefly and gently over low heat. Tear the soft eggplants into small pieces and add them to the sauce as well.
Once the pasta is ready, drain it and add it to the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and pour into a baking dish. Now spread the ricotta in small heaps on top. Finally, put the rigatoni in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes.
I hope you like this simple and healthy recipe for my baked rigatoni with ricotta cheese and that you’ll give it a try soon.
And in case, you’ve tried this baked rigatoni with ricotta recipe, I’d appreciate your comment and rating. It’s easy to do via the comments section below this post and it would mean the world to me.
Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,
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Baked Rigatoni with Ricotta
- 1 steamer basket or metal strainer
- 1 medium-sized saucepan or pot
- 1 non-stick sauté pan or skillet
- 1 casserole dish
- 1 eggplant
- 2 clove of garlic
- 250 g cherry tomatoes (~9 oz)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 200 g mushrooms (~ 7 oz)
- 150 g whole grain rigatoni (~5.3 oz)
- 60 g (fat-reduced, plant-based) cooking cream (¼ cup or 2.1 oz)
- 60 g fat reduced cream cheese (¼ cup or 2.1 oz)
- salt, pepper
- 60 g ricotta cream cheese (¼ cup or 2.1 oz)
- some fresh basil leaves
Steam Cook the Eggplant
- Bring a pot with some water to boil. Meanwhile, wash the eggplant and cut into slices about 1.5 to 2 cm thick, cut a diamond pattern on both sides of each slice and place them in a steamer basket or colander and place it inside the pot. Reduce the heat to a low setting and steam with the lid closed for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the eggplant is buttery soft.
- Then remove the steamer basket with the eggplant from the pot and set aside. Drain the water, fill the pot with fresh water, bring it to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
Creamy Veggie Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 180°C /350°F convection (alternatively 200°C or 400°F). Wash and halve the tomatoes, peel the garlic, dice it finely or cut it into thin slices.
- Heat the oil in a pan, sauté the garlic for about 30 to 60 seconds add the tomatoes and sauté for a about two to three minutes over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, clean and slice the mushrooms, add them to tomatoes and let them sauté for two to three more minutes.
- Reduce the heat slightly and add the cream and cream cheese. Stir briefly, let it simmer gently over low heat. Add the eggplant to the sauce and break into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
- Drain the pasta as soon as it is ready and stir it into the sauce, season with salt and pepper. Transfer everything to a baking dish and spread the ricotta in small heaps on top of the pasta.
- Bake the pasta in a preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Then serve with fresh basil on top.
- calories: 432 kcal
- fat: 10 g
- carbohydrates: 61 g
- protein: 22 g