4 Cheese Pasta {Cheesecake Factory Copycat}

This Cheesecake Factory 4 cheese pasta with its rich, indulgent creaminess is the last word in comfort food in my home!

baked four cheese pasta

It’s the ultimate cheesy pasta dish, made with a cheese sauce, and topped with more cheese, this time, bubbly and crisp. What more could a cheese-lover like me ask for?

More Pasta Sauce Recipes To Try

Steak Blue Cheese Sauce
Easy Meatball Sauce
Easy Curry Sauce
Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce

Cheesecake Factory Four Cheese Pasta

Making this baked pasta recipe is easier than you think.

For convenience, the sauce base is store-bought tomato sauce, the cheese is shredded or torn, and the pasta is any small-shaped pasta you have on hand.

The most complicated parts of this recipe are the cooking methods, and even those are super simple, you’ll see.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

Penne pasta: You can substitute penne pasta with other pasta shapes like rigatoni, ziti, or farfalle if desired.

Eggs: Eggs help bind the cheese mixture; there isn’t a direct substitute for this in the recipe.

Mozzarella cheese: Any mild, meltable cheese like provolone, cheddar, or Monterey Jack can be used instead of mozzarella.

Fresh mozzarella ovoline balls: Regular fresh mozzarella sliced into small pieces or shredded mozzarella can replace ovoline balls.

Parmesan cheese: Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano can be used as a substitute for Parmesan cheese.

Ricotta cheese: Cottage cheese can be used as a substitute for ricotta cheese in a pinch.

Fresh basil leaves: Dried basil can be used if fresh basil is unavailable. Use about 1/3 of the amount of fresh basil called for.

Marinara sauce: You can make your own marinara sauce from scratch or use store-bought tomato sauce with added herbs and spices if you don’t have marinara sauce on hand.

Salt and pepper: Adjust the amount of salt and pepper to suit your taste preferences.

Additional garnishes: You can add other garnishes like chopped parsley, red pepper flakes for heat, or a drizzle of olive oil for extra flavor.

Additional vegetables: Feel free to add sautéed spinach, mushrooms, or diced tomatoes for extra flavor.

creamy four cheese pasta


How to make Baked 4 Cheese Pasta: Step by step

Step 1: Preheat the Oven
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

Step 2: Prepare the Cheese Mixture
In a bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil. Mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3: Cook the Pasta & Warm the Marinara Sauce
Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. Drain and set aside.
Heat the marinara sauce on the stovetop until completely heated through.

Step 4: Combine Pasta, Marinara, and Cheese Mixture
Add the hot pasta and heated marinara sauce to the cheese mixture, and transfer to an oven dish.

Step 5: Top with Cheese & Bake
Top with ricotta, mozzarella balls, and Parmesan cheese, cover with foil, and bake for 25-30 minutes, baking uncovered for the last 5 minutes, for a browned and crispy top.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves, and serve.

easy four cheese pasta


Recipe Tips and Tricks

Don’t overcook the pasta: Cook the pasta just until it’s al dente because it will continue to cook in the oven. Overcooked pasta can become mushy in the final dish.

Fresh basil: If using fresh basil, tear the leaves instead of chopping them. This helps release more flavor.

Cover with foil: Covering the dish with foil during the initial baking helps the pasta cook evenly without drying out.

Watch the broiling closely: When broiling, keep a close eye on the pasta to prevent burning. It can go from golden brown to burnt quickly.

Let it rest: Allow the baked cheese pasta to rest for a few minutes after removing it from the oven. This helps the flavors meld together and makes it easier to slice and serve.

Storage

Refrigeration: Allow any leftover baked cheese pasta to cool, then transfer it to an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil for up to 3-4 days.

Reheating: To reheat refrigerated baked cheese pasta, heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until heated through. In the oven, cover the dish with foil and bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 20-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

cheesecake factory copycat 4 cheese pasta


Cheesecake Factory 4 Cheese Pasta FAQs

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the dish ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking. Just adjust the baking time if starting from cold.

Can I make this dish without eggs?

Eggs help bind the cheese mixture, but if you have an egg allergy or dietary restrictions, you can omit them. The dish will be a lot looser than the egg version, but still delicious.

How do I get a crispy top layer?

To achieve a crispy top layer, sprinkle some extra Parmesan or mozzarella on top before baking or broiling.

4 Cheese Pasta Cheesecake Factory Copycat

This Cheesecake Factory 4 Cheese Pasta with its rich, indulgent creaminess is the last word in comfort food in my home!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Cheesecake Factory, Italian
Keyword: 4 cheese pasta, cheesecake factory

Ingredients

  • 2 cups penne pasta

For the Cheese Mixture:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves torn
  • cups marinara sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Topping:

  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 2 fresh mozzarella ovoline balls quartered
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • Basil leaves chopped (for garnish)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Boil penne pasta until al dente, then drain and set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine eggs, shredded mozzarella, and ricotta. Add chopped basil and mix. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a saucepan, warm the marinara sauce until heated through.
  • Add cooked pasta and hot marinara to the cheese mixture and stir until well combined.
  • Layer ricotta, fresh mozzarella balls and parmesan cheese over the pasta mixture.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Remove foil and broil for 2-5 mins until golden.
  • Garnish with fresh basil and serve.

If you make this 4 cheese pasta bake, let me know what you like to serve it with, in the comments below.



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