Crowd Pleasing Cavatini

Crowd-Pleasing Cavatini was one of the very first recipes I published here, in September of 2008! It’s still one of our favorite meals, easily feeds a dozen or more adults, and deserves a bit of a revival.

Crowd Pleasing Cavatini

Cavatini is a great recipe to “cook once, eat twice.” It makes a lot (even for my tribe!) and freezes beautifully.

I prepare it almost the same as I did years ago, but now I use fresh mushrooms (Man, I used to use a lot of cans. What’s up with that?!) and add just 2-3 drops of essential oils (oregano, thyme, basil or even Young Living’s special Taste of Italy blend) for extra flavor. The first time I thought to add oils, my husband asked, “What did you do different? It went from really great to awesome!” Oils add a major flavor punch. The end.

Recipe Side Notes:

  • If you are splitting your recipe into smaller pans, check out my freezer post for a handy tip.
  • The only way to mess this up is to overcook the pasta (no one likes mushy pasta.)   Don’t do that!  Undercook it, just a little.  It will finish cooking in the oven.
  • If you feel like there’s not enough liquid, go ahead and add a little extra spaghetti or tomato sauce.
  • Cavatini tastes great with a green salad, green beans, corn, and fresh bread.  Easy French Bread and Cheese-Stuffed Garlic Breadsticks both are delicious!


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  1. Looks very yummy!

  2. Mmm… looks delicious! Not much I enjoy more than a hearty pasta dish. And I can guarantee my hubby would appreciate the meats involved. : )

  3. I LOOOOOOOVE comfort food. Thanks for posting that recipe. My family will love it!!

  4. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing! I can’t tell you how excited I am about Fall’s imminent arrival!

  5. So yummy – thanks!

  6. Looks yummy!

  7. OH, I can’t wait to try that… and those bread sticks look delish!!!!!

  8. Sounds yummy. Thanks for linkin’ up!

  9. Tasty stuff! I’ve never actually had a recipe for this! I’ve just used all the left over pastas (frozen left over shells, corkscrews, bowties, rotini, etc.). Cooked, ground sausage makes a good additon to this treat, too.

  10. We LOVE Cavatini! Thanks for participating in our link up!

  11. Just made this dish for our youth group (about 25 people) tonight and they loved it!! It was so easy and very yummy! The only thing I did different was use canadian bacon and I saved some of the spaghetti sauce out and put it on top of the casserole about half way through baking so the noodles didn’t dry out on the top. Thanks for this great and easy recipe!

  12. I got this recipe from you years ago, and I still make this recipe all the time! I have at least 4 of these frozen in my freezer right now. And my college son requests it all the time. Awesome, awesome recipe…..

  13. Amy, Would you describe this as salty with all the meats? We love baked pasta dishes, but a lot of the times the “pizza” pasta ones that include pepperoni and the like get too salty. I’m hopeful that the ratio is better in this one and we’ll enjoy it!

    • I don’t think it’s salty, but my palate could handle salt differently than yours. 😉 You could just leave the salt out altogether since it definitely does have salty meats in it and add to if you need to when eating. 🙂

  14. This looks awesome!


  1. […] to the freezer I went, and back up again with a nice pan of cavatini… one of our favorites, and perfect comfort food for a cold, nasty evening.  I cannot tell […]

  2. […] the freezer with Plan B meals. Officially starting this on Thursday when I make cavatini.  Hopefully I can make one or two meals a week that are easily doubled and frozen.  A full […]

  3. […] unmotivated (Thanksgiving vacation) to cook, I’ve got a freezer full of meals ready to eat:  cavatini, enchiladas, taco lasagna, king ranch chicken casserole, stuffed shells… we should be […]

  4. […] Cavatini, my all-time favorite casserole […]

  5. […] Cavatini. This is enough for 2 meals, I’m freezing the second. ($9.50) Breadsticks. (.40)(16 […]

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