With the cooler weather here I don’t have to worry about the heat that having the oven on will create and that means that things like casseroles are back on the menu! Since the tomatoes and basil is still around I took advantage of the opportunity to make a ‘caprese’ pasta casserole with some fresh tomatoes and basil pesto; along with plenty of melted mozzarella of course! This recipe is super simple consisting of cooked pasta, marinara sauce, fresh cherry tomatoes, pesto, mozzarella and a touch of cream for richness, and is all mixed together and baked until the cheese has melted. There is just something that is magical about the combination of the tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, basil pesto, mozzarella and cream and it works so amazingly well in this pasta casserole! One of the best things about this casserole is how the cherry tomatoes on top roast up, concentrating their flavour, and how the ones in the middle explode with warm tomato-y goodness in your mouth!
Just look at all of that melted cheese!
Creamy Pesto Caprese Pasta Casserole
All of the flavours of a caprese salad including tomatoes, basil pesto and plenty of melted mozzarella in a baked pasta casserole.
- 12 ounces pasta (gluten free for gluten free)
- 2 cups marinara sauce or your favourite tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano (parmesan) grated
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup pesto
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 4 ounces mozzarella, diced
- basil leaves to taste
- Cook the pasta as directed and when it is done mix in the marinara sauce, cream, parmesan, balsamic vinegar, pesto, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.
- Pour the mixture into a baking dish and bake in a preheated 350F/180C oven until bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.
- Serve topped with julienned basil.
Option: Omit the heavy cream or replace it with Greek yogurt or sour cream.
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Looks so good!
Oh yum!! This is my kind of me! Love creamy, hot and cheesy!
Bev Weidner (Bev Cooks) says
Melanie @ carmelmoments.com says
I can't believe how delicious yet simple this looks. I've got plenty of cherry tomatoes around. Gotta try!
this is one good casserole 🙂
Aimee @ Simple Bites says
That cheese!! Love this perfect family dinner.
Heather Christo says
I am obsessed with anything caprese, and I love that you put it in a casserole- practical and delicious!
Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch says
This is one awesome casserole!!! Love these flavors!!!
Shelley Berke says
any ideas on how to make this to freeze and have later?
This looks hearty & great for the snow we are having!!
Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen says
This is my kind of comfort food!
ashley - Baker by Nature says
Omg. This looks amazing x infinity! Must try.
Shelley Berke: You could place it in the casserole dish, cover and free to bake later or after it is cooked, simply place in air tight containers and freeze. I like to freeze the the leftovers in individually portioned containers so that you can pull out what you need when you need it.
Kevin, every recipe of yours that I make is so delicious. I'm making this tonight. I can't wait.
OMG…I am literally wiping the drool off my chin. This looks absolutely delicious!
[email protected] says
You definitely like anything Caprese, Kevin!:)
OMG! It looks so tasty! I'm in love with pasta dishes!
Oh man. All of that cheese!! OBSESSED!
I'm making this tonight! Thanks for sharing!
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
Ohhhh my!! This looks so freaking good. I love caprese anything!
Marie|Feeling Foodish says
Wowza – this looks amazing! In fact, everything you make looks amazing!!
DYING FOR THIS
Ellie Delancey says
I'm in love with this!
We Are Not Martha says
I'm not a big casserole girl, but this looks seriously perfect!
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
Cheesy goodness. Yum!!
Anne @ Have a Cookie! says
What a beautiful sight! I can't wait to try this one!
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
My basil plant is blooming right now so this is the perfect way to use them up!
So much cheesy pesto awesomeness!! The perfect transition food from summer to fall.
Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen says
Killer casserole, Kevin! Deliciousness and beyond! Cannot wait to try. Thanks for sharing. Pinning to group boards everywhere! xo
Megan Keno says
Caprese is one of my all time favorite flavor combos. Kevin this looks amazing and so perfectly cozy for fall.
Looks easy and super tasty! Kevin, did you use fresh mozzarella or the type that comes in a block wrapped in plastic? Thanks!
I made this last night. I thought I died and went to heaven. It was one of the best meals I've made in a long time. Everything that I try from your website is always delicious.
Mothercrone: I am glad that you enjoyed it!
- spoonstories- says
I like it so much…and that melted cheese with cream is amazing…
I`ve made this with light Creme Fraiche, light Mozzarella,sugarfree tomato sauce and wholegrain pasta.It was healthy and freakin` delicious,even my boyfriend loved it.
Marian (Sweetopia) says
I made this a couple of days ago and we all really enjoyed it. I made it pretty much as written except I forgot to add the balsamic (darn!) It came together quickly using good jarred sauce and prepared pesto, so it's a great meal for week nights. Once again you've come through, Kevin. Thanks!
This is the best pasta meal I've had in a long time- quick, easy and absolutely delish! Thanks so much for posting this fabulous recipe!
I added some ground beef, which took away from the nice red color of the sauce, but this meal was as good as lasagna and far easier to make. I'll see what happens with white meat. I think I'll incorporate a pack of frozen spinach to get more vegetables and the green color should be a nice contrast.
This was great, but the tomatoes didn't get roasted or cooked enough to burst open or soften much at 350 degrees. I'll try baking it at 400 or 450 next time.
Kevin, do you think this could serve about 10-12 people if served with another pasta bake and lots of sides? Can I make it in a 9×13 pan?
Anonymous: You might want to double the recipe and use that 9×13 baking pan. You won't regret having any leftovers if there are any!
I made this and all I can think of is eating it again!! YUMMY! I am making this for company tonight…. yeah it was that good….company good!
The only change I made was I added chicken sausages sliced up and mixed in because I have 4 boys!! LOL! Thank you for posting this deliciousness!!
Kevin, do you think I could make this with spinach to get some more greens in there? It looks delicious!
Anonymous: Spinach would be a nice addition!
Made this yesterday and LOVED it! I added a red bell pepper as well for a few extra veggies – yum!
Hi Kevin—love all your recipes! Is it possible to set up your print options so the picture doesn’t print to save on ink? Thanks!
Not right now but I will look into that!
I made this for dinner last night, and it was so delicious! It was very easy to prepare as well. This is a keeper for future dinners!
Loved this dish! It is creamy and delicious and the pesto really added a lovely flavor. Thanks again!