This pasta al forno five cheese marinara recipe is a copy cat of Olive Garden’s five cheese ziti al forno but it’s so much better!
It’s packed full of flavor and so easy to make…you’ll have a delicious dinner ready faster than heading out to The Olive Garden!!
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Pasta al Forno with Five Cheese Marinara is an Italian Dream!
You know I love a good and simple pasta recipe like my Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe or my Chicken Florentine Gnocchi Recipe, but sometimes you need a hearty option that’s perfect for meatless Monday…that the kids will eat!
Well this pasta al forno five cheese marinara recipe is a total hit when it comes to a vegetarian pasta recipe.
“Al forno” means “to the oven” so there are many different dishes that can be “al forno”.
But, thanks to Olive Garden, the main dish that comes to mind when we think “al forno” is their delicious five cheese ziti al forno recipe.
Why We LOVE Pasta al Forno for an Easy Dinner
Pasta al forno is a dish that originated in southern Italy, where it was first made by home cooks who used ingredients that were readily available to them.
The dish is similar to lasagna, but instead of using layers of pasta sheets, it’s made with short pasta such as rigatoni, penne, or ziti.
The name “al forno” means “baked in the oven,” which is exactly what this dish is. The ingredients are layered in a baking dish with a delectable five cheese marinara sauce and baked until the cheese on top is melted and bubbly.
Pasta al forno has become a staple in Italian cuisine and is enjoyed all over the world. In Italy, it’s often served as a main course during family gatherings or on special occasions, and it’s a popular dish in many Italian restaurants as well.
So, this pasta al forno recipe is a copy cat of Olive Garden’s Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno Recipe. I use whatever pasta I have on hand…ultimately, it’s not the pasta that’s the star of this dish but the five cheese marinara sauce!
So use whatever you have on hand…I’ve made this recipe using macaroni, ziti, corkscrews, and even egg noodles.
FAQs for Pasta al Forno Five Cheese Marinara Sauce Recipe
What cheeses are used in the Five Cheese Marinara Sauce?
The Five Cheese Marinara Sauce calls for a combination of five cheeses: mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, cream cheese, and ricotta. The blend of these cheeses gives the sauce a luscious, cheesy texture and flavor.
Can I customize the cheese selection in the recipe?
Absolutely! While the five-cheese combination creates a rich and unique flavor, you can certainly experiment with different cheeses to suit your taste. Just be mindful of how different cheeses melt and interact in the sauce.
Can I add vegetables or meat to the Pasta al Forno?
Yes! The Pasta al Forno recipe allows for customization.
You can add cooked vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers for extra flavor and nutrition. Additionally, you may incorporate cooked ground meat like Italian sausage or ground beef for a heartier version.
Can I prepare the Pasta al Forno in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the dish in advance up until the baking stage. Assemble the pasta and sauce in the baking dish, cover it tightly, and refrigerate.
When you’re ready to serve, allow it to come to room temperature, then bake as directed in the recipe.
How long can I store the leftovers of Pasta al Forno?
Store any leftover Pasta al Forno in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat, simply place it in the oven at a low temperature or use the microwave until warmed through.
Printable Recipe for Pasta al Forno with Five Cheese Marinara Sauce
This pasta al forno five cheese marinara sauce recipe is a delicious and simple spin on the classic Ziti al Forno from Olive Garden.
Simply use any pasta you have on hand and make the amazing sauce for a dinner everyone will love!
- 1lb Dry Pasta
- 24oz Jar Marinara Sauce
- 16oz Jar Alfredo Sauce
- 1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
- 1/2 cup Shredded Fontina Cheese
- 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1/4 Cup Grated Romano Cheese
- 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook pasta until al dente.
- In a large baking dish combine pasta, marinara sauce, alfredo sauce, ricotta cheese and fontina cheese. Mix well.
- Sprinkle mozzarella, romano, and parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Easily change up this recipe by adding fresh spinach for extra veggies or brown some ground turkey for added protein.
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Pasta al forno is a classic Italian dish that’s perfect for any occasion.
Whether you’re making it for a family gathering or for a cozy night in, this dish is sure to impress.
With its hearty five cheese marinara sauce, tender pasta, and melted cheese, it’s no wonder why this dish has become a favorite around the world. So go ahead and give this recipe a try, and let us know what you think!