Chorizo Pasta Bake is a quick and easy recipe. With spicy chorizo sausage, al dente pasta, a simple tomato sauce and cheese topping this comfort food will tick all of your boxes. Perfect for as a midweek meal this saucy goodness offers a nice change from using ground meats in pasta recipes. This baked chorizo pasta offers taste, texture and a satisfying meal.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about this cheesy pasta bake in the points below:
- Simple ingredients: each of the ingredients you need for this easy chorizo pasta recipe can be sort from your local grocery store. There won't be any need to drive all over town to visit speciality stores (whose got time for that 😉😂).
- Family friendly: as much as the chorizo is 'spicy' it it not a too hot to handle taste. Smothered in sauce and paired with the pasta and cheese you will find this comforting pasta bake suitable for all ages from little kids to big ones!
- Protein and carbs: sometimes you want one and not the other and sometimes you want both at the same time. This baked chorizo pasta gives us the carb tick from the pasta as well as the protein tick from the sausage.
- Comfort food: when you have pasta, cheese, sauce and sausage you know that all of your comfort food boxes are going to be ticked. This is a hearty dish that will leave you satisfied and not 'still hungry'.
- Easy recipe: whilst we do a couple of things to bring the dish together, like frying, making a sauce and cooking pasta, these are all super simple steps. This easy recipe is suitable for a range of cooking skills from beginners to more advanced.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the chorizo pasta recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Olive oil: we use a little bit of olive oil to fry the garlic and onion as a starting point to making the pasta sauce.
- Salt and pepper: we add salt and a little bit of black pepper to the frying pan with the oil, garlic and onion as a means to start seasoning the ingredients for the sauce.
- Garlic: chunky minced garlic, diced garlic or 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic cloves are perfect.
- Parsley: we use a little bit of dried parsley in the recipe to give flavor to the sauce.
- Tomato sauce: thick and rich, this brings a depth of flavor to the pasta sauce.
- Worcestershire sauce: known for adding a little oomph to recipes. It gives a flavor boost to the tomato sauce.
- Onion: we peel and dice a brown onion and use half of the that in the recipe for the sauce.
- Diced tomatoes: chunky and saucy these tomatoes bring a lovely texture to the pasta bake.
- Passata: sometimes known as tomato puree. This smooth, thick sauce is great for pasta sauces or as an easy pizza sauce.
- Mozzarella cheese: we use 3 different types of cheese for the cheese topping for the pasta. The 1st is mozzarella which is soft and melts perfectly. We use a hand held or box grater to prep this.
- Cheese: this is the 2nd type of cheese needed for the recipe. You can use your favorite cheese that has a big of flavor to it. I use tasty cheese when making this dish.
- Chorizo: also known as Spanish chorizo. This is a spicy sausage which has a firm and robust texture. You can usually get it both from the delicatessen as well as the fridge section where the bacon and sandwich meats are.
- Fusilli: this is a spiral pasta that allows the sauce to cling to it. Offering another great texture, it is hearty and delightful in the recipe.
Top Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making my recipes. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by cooking the chorizo.
- Cook the sliced chorizo pieces (Photo 1)
- Add the oil, garlic, onion, salt and pepper (Photo 2)
- Then add the passata and diced tomatoes (Photo 3)
- Add the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Chorizo Pasta Bake
We start the recipe by cooking the chorizo sausage. To do so place a saute pan (or large frying pan) on the stove top, turn heat to high and add the chorizo slices.
Cook them for 3-4 mins, using a slotted spoon to move them around in the pan as they cook.
Once they are done, use the turner to lift them up and out of the pan and place them into a paper towel lined bowl.
You can also use this time to preheat the oven and spray a large baking dish with cooking oil.
Next get started on the sauce. Without rinsing or cleaning the pan add the olive oil, garlic, onion, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute.
Then turn the stove top down to low heat, add the passata, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and dried parsley. Give these a stir to combine and allow them to simmer away.
Once the sauce is combined add the cooked chorizo to the pan and stir to combine.
- Add the dried parsley (Photo 5)
- Then stir to combine (Photo 6)
- Add the cooked chorizo (Photo 7)
- Stir again to combine (Photo 8)
Next cook the pasta in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water. Read and follow the package directions on the fusilli box. Test a bit before the cook time is up and see if it is al dente (has a little bite to it). If it does, drain the pasta over the sink and discard the pasta water.
Next add the cooked, drained pasta to the combined chorizo mixture like you see me doing in the photos below 😉👌.
- Add the cooked drained pasta (Photo 9)
- Stir to combine (Photo 10)
- Transfer into a baking dish (Photo 11)
- Add the cheese layer (Photo 12)
Once you have added the pasta to the chorizo and sauce mixture, stir it so that it is consistently combined.
Next transfer the mixture into the oiled ovenproof dish and use a wooden spoon to help push the mixture into the corners and the back of the spoon to form a top layer.
Then take the mozzarella and sprinkle it over the top of the pasta bake. Once done do the same with your 2nd shredded cheese be it tasty or cheddar.
Once the cheese is on the pasta, place the baking tray into the oven and bake the dish for 10 minutes.
During this time the cheese will melt, the dish heat through and the surface take on a lovely golden brown colour.
Once the 10 minutes of cooking time is up, you can use oven mitts to remove the chorizo pasta bake from the oven, place it on a heatproof surface and then get ready to garnish and serve the dish.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Get your garnish on with some fresh basil leaves which offer a pop or 2 of colour on top of the dish like you see below.
Otherwise, you will likely find that this is a filling, hearty dish, satisfying to the point of being well fed and not hungry for a few hours.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Next day leftovers taste even better!
Store the leftover chorizo pasta bake in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge. They can be refrigerated for 3 days and are best consumed hot.
How to Freeze
Allow the dish to fully cool. Then portion into air tight containers or zip lock bags, squeeze the air out then seal. Frozen portions of the dish can be kept in the freezer for 3 months.
Or you have the option to make the recipe in its entirety then covered with cling wrap and freeze. Then when ready to cook, remove from the freezer, let the baking dish sit till it comes to room temperature (so that it doesn't go very quickly from a cold temperature to a very hot one) and then oven bake till heated through with the cheese on top melted.
How to Reheat
Allow frozen portions to fully thaw in the fridge overnight or on the bench during the day before reheating. Reheat in the microwave (fastest) covered with plastic wrap for 2 to 3 minutes.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can use Italian sausages in place of the chorizo if you wish too. Remove their casing, chop into small pieces and fry in a little oil to start with.
- In place of the dried parsley you can use the equivalent amount of either dried oregano, dried basil or Italian seasoning.
- Other pasta types that will work for the recipe are macaroni, penne or rigatoni.
- If you want to add some vegetables, you can add 1 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes when adding the cooked chorizo to the sauce. These will cook in the oven (ie no need to cook them to start with).
- Other types of cheese that will work for the cheese layer are colby cheese or cheddar cheese.
- If you want to add even more protein to the dish you can add some leftover cooked chicken, shredded and combined when adding the cooked chorizo.
- You can use finely chopped fresh parsley in place of the basil leaves if you wish to.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- Whilst I grate the mozzarella and other soft cheese at the start of the recipe, I then put the small bowls of them back into the fridge until ready to use. It can be so darn hot in Sunny Queensland where I live that the cheese practically melts without using the oven. (If you live in a hot climate you might want to do this also 😉👍).
- You won't need to use oil when frying the chorizo. The fat from it will render out into the pan and help cook it as this process unfolds.
- We want to add the hot pasta to the chorizo and combined sauce without having it sitting in the sink after cooking for too long. If it sits for too long it starts to stick together which is something we want to avoid.
- Once we move to making the sauce (after frying the garlic and onion) we want to turn the heat down to low. This reduces the sauce flicking up onto the stove splashback.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What does chorizo go well with?
Chorizo is a spicy sausage made from cured pork. It goes well on pizza, grilled cheese with pasta or in paella.
How long do you need to cook chorizo?
Add the sliced chorizo sausage pieces to a non stick frying pan and cook them on high for 3-4 minutes.
What is chorizo made of?
Chorizo is made from pork meat, fat from the pork and bacon.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
It is easy to look forward to hearing 'What's for Dinner?' when you know you have a wide variety of options to turn to. Here are some recipes offering different tastes, textures and cook times:
- Prawn Pizza
- Salmon Linguine
- Spinach and Feta Pizza
- Chicken Pesto Linguine
- Air Fryer Tortilla Pizza
- Chorizo and Prawn Linguine
- Penne Pesto
- Black Olive Pizza
- Pork Meatballs In Tomato Sauce
- Thai Minced Pork
Chorizo Pasta Bake
- 2 chorizo sausages thinly sliced, Note 1
- 4 cups dried fusilli pasta Note 2
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ large onion peeled and diced
- 1 tbs garlic chunky, minced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 700 grams/24.5 oz passata Note 2
- 400 grams/14 oz diced tomatoes Note 3
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce Note 4
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley Note 5
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese grated using a hand held or box grater
- ½ cup tasty cheese grated using a hand held or box grater
- basil leaves
- black pepper
- Preheat your oven: to 180°C / 350-375°F / Gas Mark 4-5.
- Baking dish: spray a large baking dish with cooking oil and then set aside.
- Chorizo sausages: place a large saute pan on the stove, add the sliced chorizo pieces and fry for 3-4 minutes. Once done, transfer the cooked chorizo to a paper towel lined bowl.
- Pasta sauce: without rinsing or cleaning the pan, add the olive oil, diced onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook these for 1 minute, stirring as you go. Then turn the heat to low and add the tomato passata, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and dried parsley. Stir to combine and let simmer.
- Pasta: read and follow the instructions on the fusilli to cook it in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water. When it cooks till al dente (Note 7) use a colander over the sink to drain the pasta and discard the water.
- Combine: next add the sliced chorizo to the pasta sauce and stir to gently fold these in.
- Pasta and sauce: then add the drained fusilli to the combined chorizo tomato sauce and stir till these are consistently mixed together.
- Into baking dish: next transfer the combined pasta, chorizo and sauce mixture into the oiled baking dish. Use a saucepan to push the mixture into the corners and the back of the spoon to smooth the surface layer.
- Cheese topping: sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top of the dish and follow this by sprinkling the tasty cheese over the top.
- Oven bake: place the baking dish into the preheated oven on the middle shelf. Allow the pasta bake to cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
- To serve: once the cheese has melted and turned golden brown use oven mitts to remove the baking dish and place it onto a heatproof surface. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and black pepper. Provide bowls, forks and spoons, portion and serve.
- Note 1 - Chorizo: when cooking the chorizo sausage, use a non stick frying pan and omit any oil. The fat from the sausage will render out enabling the frying process to unfold as it does.
- Note 2 - Fusilli pasta: a standard box of this pasta is 500 grams or 16 oz. However, that amount combined with the chorizo and tomato sauce won't all fit into a standard large baking dish. Hence we measure the pasta before we cook it and use 4 cups. This combined will fit into the baking dish.
- Note 3 - Passata: in some countries this is known as tomato puree. It is smooth and thick and excellent to use in either pasta or pizza sauces.
- Note 4 - Diced tomatoes: opt for plain diced tomatoes without any additional herbs or flavors in the tin. This allows ourselves to create the flavor combination without any unwanted or known extras. You can use crushed tomatoes in place of the diced tomatoes.
- Note 5 - Worcestershire sauce: this gives a little oomph to the sauce. Give the bottle a shake before you use it as some brands have a little graininess about them which sits in the bottle if not shaken.
- Note 6 - Dried parsley: you can use dried oregano, dried basil or Italian herbs (equivalent amount) as substitutes.
- Note 7 - Fusilli cooked pasta: whilst we predominantly cook the pasta on the stove, it does keep cooking a little in the oven. For this reason, we want al dente (pasta with a little chew about it) once we drain it from the stove. To achieve this, test a piece just before the cook time indicated for example 8 minutes, test at 7 minutes) and if it has that chew, drain and stop there. We don't want to over cook it as it becomes mushing. So less is more in this case.