Lunch & Dinner, Recipes

Red Pepper and Kale Pasta Bake

I know this is not the first time I have explained that leftovers are not my thing. But a huge part of the appeal of a recipe is whether or not it makes a good lunch the next day. If it doesn’t, it has to be quick and easy and scaleable to a size that splits into two portions nicely.

This is a dish I can actually reheat for lunch. For days. While other pasta dishes with a lot of cheese can be oily or stringy when reheated in that staff lounge microwave, the ricotta in this one means it warms up well.


kale red pepper baked pasta recipe | librarian style

I even have proof! Here’s me at work enjoying the leftovers with a side of Saga.

Saga and red pepper kale pasta


If you’re not reading Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples you should evaluate your reading choices. If you ever need book recommendations, remember I’m a librarian and I know my stuff. You can follow what I’m reading at wrapped up in books.

But I digress.

Basically, this is a relatively healthy pasta dish that makes leftovers for lunch a little more exciting.

Red Pepper Kale Pasta Bake

 inspired by this recipe


  • 1 pound bow tie pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1 large bunch kale, ribs discarded then chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper
  • 2 C of your favorite marinara sauce, I used a jar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 C ricotta cheese (I use part-skim to cut out a bit of fat and calories)
  • 1 C shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 C Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped (optional)


Boil water. Add pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and set aside. Remember you’re going to bake the pasta, so it don’t over-cook it. Save the pot you cooked the pasta in, and we’ll use it later to combine all the ingredients.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook for a few minutes until onions become translucent.  Then add red peppers and kale. Cook for about 10 minutes until the kale has softened and the onions have lightened in color. Add crushed red pepper, and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce, then remove pan from heat.

Preheat ovens broiler.

Stir cooked noodles into the sauce mixture inside the pot you used to boil the noodles. Then pour mixture into a very large, deep, baking dish. Spread ricotta cheese over the top of the noodles, then sprinkle with mozzarella and paremesan. Place baking dish in the oven on the middle rack, and broil for 5-6 minutes, or until the lid of cheese is melted and lightly golden.



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