Farmers Market Caprese Casserole Recipe Is Farm to Fork, Italian Style by Jan Mostrom

Farmers Market Caprese Casserole Recipe Is Farm to Fork, Italian Style

Tomatoes were incredible this summer at my farmers market, so I was always on the lookout for fabulous new ways to include them in my dinner. This easy caprese casserole recipe is creamy and delicious without being too heavy or rich. The ricotta adds a lovely creamy texture and it's so easy to make ahead for dinner tonight or later in the week.

To make this Italian-inspired pasta casserole you will need pasta, olive oil, onion, garlic, marinara sauce, ricotta cheese, fresh ripe tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar. The ingredients are layered in a baking dish and then baked until hot and bubbly. Serve this cheesy pasta casserole with your favorite side dishes.

Fun Fact: Caprese salad features the colors of the Italian flag – green, red and white.

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Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes plus time to rest
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 16 ounces pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion, white or yellow
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, whole milk or low-fat
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar

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Recipe Notes

  • I used penne pasta, but feel free to use any smaller tube or curly pasta, whole wheat, regular or gluten-free.
  • I love adding crushed red pepper flakes to enhance the flavors but not add too much heat.
  • Make ahead if you like; just cool and refrigerate for up to four days.

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Place a large pot of water with a pinch of salt on the stove on high. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. Cook to al dente, about 1 minute less than the recommended time. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain the water and set pasta aside with a drizzle of olive oil over it. 
  2. Place pot back on the stove on medium and add the oil and onion. Cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute.
  3. Add the marinara and cook until warmed.
  4. Add the pasta and mix well.
  5. Pour half of the pasta into a 13x9-inch casserole dish that's been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Top with spoonfuls of ricotta and half of the tomato slices. Add the rest of the pasta and tomatoes.
  6. Sprinkle with the mozzarella.
  7. Place in a preheated 375-degree F oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until it is bubbling on the sides. Remove from oven and wait about 10 minutes.
  8. Serve with a sprinkle of basil, a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar and fresh salt and pepper, if desired.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 403

Total Fat 13.2g

Saturated Fat 5.7g

Cholesterol 68mg

Sodium 612mg

Total Carbohydrate 51g

Dietary Fiber 3.6g

Total Sugars 10.8g

Protein 20.5g

Vitamin D 0mcg

Calcium 151mg

Iron 3mg

Potassium 634mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Elisa Schmitz
OMGoodness, Jan Mostrom , this is my type of dinner. I'm making this with gluten-free pasta, stat! #yum

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