Last Minute Pasta Bake

by Kristy on April 4, 2012 · 14 comments

Today has been one of those days. You know, one of those days that mean that dinner was a mere afterthought and the thought of cooking nearly has me dialling the takeaway.

In addition to all the blog related stuff that has been a bit crazy today, I thought I’d venture out to Costco to pick up ‘a few’ things for the big Easter/Birthday party this Sunday. It seems as though the whole of Sydney had the same idea. I’ve honestly not seen this many people at Costco since it opened. Those gigantic trolleys are so cumbersome to manoeuvre around people randomly darting left and right, particularly with larger than normal crowds. Somehow though, I managed to fill my trolley up to the brim with stuff.

As I was packing away all the items in my car, it suddenly dawned on me, how on earth was I going to get all these heavy things up my stairs and into my house all on my own? I realised that I was the only sucker there who had come on their own. Most people were in groups or pairs. Anyhow, I did it. Well mostly, the non-refrigerated stuff is still sitting on my formal dining table.

Onto my Last Minute Pasta Bake. Whilst I was at Costco, I picked up several jars of pasta sauce (you can’t just buy one) and a couple of packets of fresh ravioli (mine happened to be pumpkin flavoured). Instead of boiling the pasta and cooking the sauce separately, it’s even easier and less messy to combine them in a baking dish with some cheese to make a pasta bake. It’s barely a recipe, but you know what, it works and it’s tasty. And it’s just the right thing for when you have one of those days.


2 packets fresh ravioli (any flavour you like)

1 large jar pasta sauce

1/2 jar water

1 1/2 cups grated cheese


Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Tumble out the ravioli into a standard baking tray.

Pour over the pasta sauce along with half a jar of water. It’s the water that will be absorbed into the pasta as it cooks.

Sprinkle the cheese on top and stir through.

Bake, uncovered, for around 15-20 minutes, but keep an eye on it because ovens vary in how they bake. You may need to stir it once or twice to prevent any bits of pasta that are sticking out from getting too crunchy.

Incredibly easy, only one pan to wash and happy little kids at dinner time. Enjoy!

Do you have a cheat’s dinner when you’re having one of those days? 

  • cella13

    Brilliant! I’m definitely going to have to try this.

    My ‘last minute’ dishes usually involve some kind of egg scramble/frittata situation.

  • cella13

    Brilliant! Definitely going to have to try this one.

    My ‘last minute’ dishes usually involve some kind of egg scramble/frittata situation.

    • thelifeshemade

      You can’t beat an egg for an instant meal can you?

      • cella13

        Nup :) Occasionally I have an intense desire to have a single, hard-boiled egg. Then I have to remember how long to boil it for. I think I have it down now, five minutes for hard, three for soft.

  • Kristy @

    Too funny Sara. I’m so crap at boiling eggs! I’m always overdoing them.

  • Rachel from Redcliffe Style

    Hello, congratulations on starting your blog. I love cheat recipes, especially when they don’t look or taste like your cheated. I look forward to following your blog. Rachel

    • thelifeshemade

      Thank you Rachel. I think we all need a few cheat recipes up our sleeve, as much as we love to cook, there are some days when it’s all a bit too hard and cheats save the day.

  • Lori Meadows

    Love it! Never knew I could bake fresh pasta that way! So cool.

  • Lori Meadows

    Kristy, how big were your bags and would I have to adjust the amount of water depending on the amount of pasta I used?

    • thelifeshemade

      I used 2 bags that serve 4 people. There was enough left over for 1 adult for lunch the next day.

      If I were you cooking for 3, I’d go one bag that serves 4, and find a jar if sauce that is small. You’ll also probably want to use a smaller tray than I did. Just half fill the small jar with water. It should just cover the pasta.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    What a delicious and quick meal! And I bet it would be delicious as leftovers too! :P

    • thelifeshemade

      Yes, I can testify I JUST ate the leftovers for lunch. Mmm mmm!

  • Sally

    Thanks I just stumbled on this recently and it is a great last minute recipe. Also nice and simple – my 6 year old son just made it for us for tea and was very proud of himself!

    • thelifeshemade

      Wow, you’ve got a talented 6 year old. It had never occurred to me that this would be a good ‘cooking with kids’ recipe, but there you go, well done!

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