Stop Using Store Bought Pasta Sauce!

There is no packaged food I hate more than jarred pasta sauce. I'm sure some of the brands can be ok, but overall it just gives a bad name to pasta. Growing up, I would look forward to pasta night all week, but when I went to college I quickly found out that pasta was a utility meal for most people, some sustenance to devour quickly on a lazy night. There is nothing worse than overcooked pasta all stuck together in a serving bowl with microwaved jarred sauce on the side. ON THE SIDE! I could go on about this all night, but normally I'm not a complainer, I'm a FIXER. Today I offer the college kids 5 recipes for pasta sauces that don't even need to be cooked on their own! Gather the ingredients, mix them in a baking dish with the par-cooked pasta, and bake for a half hour.
I made two of these varieties for the photos today. This one is the buffalo chicken version. I recently made this for my friend who hates blue cheese and I totally forgot to mention that there was blue cheese in it. Whoops! He loved it though and is probably gonna freak out when he sees this.
I also made a more standard tomato version. Seriously, just mix in the pasta and put it into the oven!
Optional parm topping.
The buffalo one all mixed together.
Tasty stuff!
None of these are gourmet pasta dishes by any means, but they are flavorful, fun, and super easy ways to make pasta. If you want to get more involved in pasta making, I have a seemingly endless archive of pasta.  Also, feel free to have fun with these recipes and load them up with random stuff from your spice cabinet.  Just make sure the liquid level is the same!  

Stop Using Store Bought Pasta Sauce!

For:  3 Hungry College Kids

  • Tomato Spinach Sausage
  • 2 28oz cans Diced Tomato
  • 2 Cups Baby Spinach
  • 2 Spicy Italian Sausages (removed from casing)
  • 1 Cup Parm
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt and pepper(each)
  • 2 Cups Pasta Cooking Liquid (after the pasta has been cooked in it)
  • Buffalo Chicken
  • 3/4 Cup Cayenne Sauce (like franks red hot)
  • 3 Cups Milk
  • 1/4 Pound Blue Cheese (crumbled)
  • 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Celery
  • 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Carrot
  • 1/2 Pound Raw Chicken (diced into 1/2 inch chunks)
  • Mac and 4 cheese with whatever veggie you feel like (this is from last bro week)
  • 8 Ounces Marscapone
  • 8 Ounces Camembert
  • 4 Ounces Jack (plus more for the top)
  • 4 Ounces Parm (plus more for the top)
  • 1 Cup Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • 3 Cups Chopped Veggie (asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, bell pepper, whatever)
  • 1 Cup Pasta Cooking Water (after the pasta has cooked in it)
  • Cheeseburger Mac
  • 28 Ounce can Diced Tomato
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Red Onion
  • 1 Cup Grated Cheddar
  • 1/2 Pound 95% Lean Ground Beef
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
  • 2 Cups Pasta Cooking Water (after the pasta has been cooked in it)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt and Pepper (each)
  • Chicken Teriyaki Alfredo
  • 3 Cups Milk
  • 1 Cup Cream
  • 1/2 Pound Chicken (diced to 1/2 inch, marinated overnight with 1 cup teriyaki sauce)
  • 1 Clove Garlic (grated)
  • 1 Cup Baby Spinach (stems removed)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt and Pepper (each)


  1. Universal instructions Preheat the oven to 350. Boil 1 pound of pasta in salted water for ONLY 5 minutes EXACTLY. Strain, reserving any pasta water if needed. Mix the pasta with all the ingredients in a baking dish. If using sausage or ground beef, make sure it is well separated and mixed in. Bake for 35 minutes, making sure it is bubbling away after the first 15 minutes. Pull from the oven and stir well before serving (except for the mac and cheese one)