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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Spicy Baked Macaroni

10 MINPrep Time
50 MINCook Time
by Giada De Laurentiis
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
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When it comes to comfort food, baked pasta reigns supreme. This spicy baked macaroni is great because it's decadent and cheesy, but also has a hefty serving of vegetables. The tomatoes and spinach add some freshness, and the assorted mushrooms add a great meaty texture. The recipe calls for half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, but you can adjust the spice level to your liking. 

Big, hearty recipes like this are perfect for feeding a crowd. In fact, baked pasta is always my go-to for parties or unexpected guests! It's easy to throw together, and a great way to incorporate everything you want out of a full meal in a single dish. Plus, who can resist anything that's covered in melty, perfectly-golden-brown-on-top cheese?

Spicy Baked Macaroni


Main Course

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

50 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Spicy Baked Macaroni


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound assorted mushrooms (quartered)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup plus 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup plus 1/3 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter (softened, plus 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces)
  • 12 ounces mozzarella cheese (cubed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and the onion is golden, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, spinach, and red pepper flakes and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese, and ¼ cup of the Romano cheese. Spread a 9 x 13 x 2-inch glass baking dish with the softened butter and sprinkle half of the bread crumb mixture inside the dish to coat.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the vegetable mixture with the cooked macaroni, cubed mozzarella, the remaining Parmesan and Romano cheeses, and the nutmeg. Spoon into the baking dish and top with the remaining bread crumb mixture. Dot the top with the 2 tablespoons of cold butter and bake until the top is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.



per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
41 grams
15 grams
16 grams
Saturated Fat
7 grams
Trans Fat
1 grams
35 milligrams
399 milligrams
2 grams
3 grams
Unsaturated Fat
7 grams
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1 comment

  • Author's avatar image
    Mary Elizabeth Guyton - Jun 09

    Thank you My family will ❤️ In my weekend menu now 💯👍🏻

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