What is Rotini?
Rotini is a pasta variety that has a corkscrew shape. This type of pasta can hold sauces well and is a go-to pasta variety for many Americans. It goes great with hearty meat sauces and soups because its structure can withstand heavier toppings. You can also use rotini for various pasta salads. If you like a pop of color, look for tri-color or rainbow rotini pasta at your local grocery store. In most cases, tri-colored pasta often uses spinach and tomatoes to provide the coloration, but you can always look at the ingredients list just to be sure. This list features our favorite rotini pasta dishes, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
1. 5 Ingredient Baked Rotini
Look no further for an easy, cheesy kid-friendly dish. You can make this casserole in under one hour, and the best part is, all you need is five ingredients. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Boil the rotini for a few minutes less than usual and save some of the pasta cooking water before draining it. Whisk an egg, cottage cheese, spaghetti sauce, and mozzarella cheese with the cooked rotini and pour everything into a 9 X 13 dish. Top your casserole with any leftover mozzarella and bake it for 30 minutes.
If you want a heartier dish, feel free to add cooked Italian sausage, ground beef, or pepperoni to this pasta bake. Additionally, you can use ricotta cheese in place of cottage cheese if you prefer. You can prepare this pasta bake a few days ahead and let it sit in the fridge; however, you will need to add about 20 minutes to your cooking time once the dish is cold. If you’d like to prepare this as a freezer meal, store it covered in the freezer for up to two months. When you bake it from frozen, cover it with tin foil and cook for one hour, then uncover it and let it heat through the rest of the way for an additional 20 minutes.
Get the full recipe and directions from A Mind Full Mom.
2. Taco Rotini Pasta
This recipe is a great way to mix up your taco night, and as a bonus, it is a one-pot dish. We love how the author uses taco seasoning, jalapenos, and salsa-style tomatoes to bring together spicy flavors in an unexpected way. You will start by browning the ground beef in a large stockpot. Next, add chopped onions, minced garlic, and minced jalapeno to the meat to spice it up. Lastly, season with taco seasoning, and add the tomatoes, some beef broth, and rotini pasta. Let everything simmer for about 20 minutes or until the pasta is tender and serve with sour cream, green onions, and cheddar cheese if desired.
Since you don’t have to boil your noodles separately, this is an ideal dish if you’re running low on clean dishes. It is also a great way to compromise for dinner if someone wants tacos and another person wants pasta.
Get the full recipe and directions from Small Town Woman.
3. Skillet Lasagna Recipe with Rotini
You may be wondering how it is possible to make a lasagna with rotini pasta. This skillet recipe could technically be considered a “fake lasagna,” but we love how this recipe provides the flavors of lasagna without having to prepare it in its traditional layers. The author uses ground turkey as the meat in this dish, but you can use Italian sausage or ground beef instead. Begin by sautéing chopped onion, mushrooms, minced garlic, ground turkey, and diced bell pepper in olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning and cook until the meat is no longer pink.
Drain any excess fat and return your mix to the same pan. Stir in pasta sauce, chicken broth, and dry pasta and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and cover your pan to let everything simmer for about 10 minutes. Mix in mozzarella and parmesan cheese until they melt, and serve your skillet lasagna with some ricotta cheese on top.
Get the full recipe and directions from Kroll’s Korner.
4. Cold Rotini Pasta Salad
Enjoy this fresh and flavorful side dish at your next family gathering. All you need is rotini pasta, Italian dressing, bell peppers, red onion, broccoli, and parmesan cheese for this pasta salad. Boil the rotini for 8 to 10 minutes and drain it. While you’re waiting, create an Italian dressing by whisking olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, basil, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, and salt and pepper together.
The next step is prepping your vegetables. You can either use the broccoli raw or blanch it to bring out a bright green color in this dish. The author also recommends marinating the red onion in some Italian dressing for up to 30 minutes if it seems too pungent as you’re slicing it. Once the pasta has cooled, toss it in a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and serve. Keep in mind that you can add other things such as diced cucumbers, cubed cheese, sliced salami, or sliced olives. This pasta salad will keep in the fridge for up to four days, but it always tastes best fresh.
Get the full recipe and directions from Culinary Hill.
5. Cheesy Rotini Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
We love this recipe because it provides a daily dose of vegetables without making a side salad for dinner. You will need marinara sauce, salt, black pepper, fresh basil, fresh oregano, cheddar cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, and cooked pasta for the cheesy pasta component. Boil the rotini until al dente and combine your sauce and cheese in a separate saucepan on medium-low.
Lastly, prepare a sheet pan to roast broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, and cherry tomatoes with olive oil and minced garlic at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Flip the vegetables halfway through the cooking time to get them evenly roasted. You don’t have to limit yourself to those vegetables; you can also add mushrooms, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, or bell peppers to the mix. Plate your pasta and serve it with roasted vegetables, parmesan, and fresh herbs on top. This tasty meal can be a vegan recipe if you choose to use non-dairy cheese substitutes instead.
Get the full recipe and directions from A Simple Palate.
6. Chorizo Tomato Rotini Pasta
Meat lovers will enjoy this savory pasta dish. This recipe calls for ground beef and chorizo, which adds a spicy element to the overall flavor of this meal. If you want the spicy chorizo to stand out, simply add more chorizo or cut out some ground beef. First, brown the chorizo in a pot, and add chopped onions. Brown the ground beef in the same pot and season with salt and pepper. Pour in tomato sauce and let your meat sauce thicken.
While you’re waiting, boil the rotini pasta in a separate pot and drain it. Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, add the cooked pasta, parmesan cheese, and freshly chopped basil to finish it off. This easy-to-follow recipe offers a great way to elevate a traditional spaghetti dinner.
Get the full recipe and directions from Tasty.
7. Chicken Spinach Alfredo Rotini Pasta
If you’re looking for an excuse to use leftover alfredo sauce, we’ve got you covered. This rotini dish calls for chicken breast, crumbled bacon, and fresh spinach leaves. Start by boiling a pot of water to cook your pasta. Next, cook the chicken and bacon separately. While your meat is still hot, put them in a pot and quickly add fresh spinach and stir until it wilts down. Stir in your alfredo sauce and cooked pasta, then garnish with fresh parsley.
If you don’t have alfredo sauce, simply add heavy cream to the pot and let it thicken. After mixing in your pasta, add parmesan cheese to finish it off. You may also want to throw in some roasted tomatoes to add more color and flavor to the dish. Either way, this rotini meal is rich and delicious.
Get the full recipe and directions from Tasty.
We hope you enjoy using rotini pasta in your meals and side dishes. Even if you don’t follow these recipes precisely, we encourage you to be creative in the kitchen. Rotini is a versatile pasta, so be sure to stock up on some the next time you find them on sale.
If you like this post, we think you’ll really like our Pasta Bake Recipes post.