Cheesecake Factory Baked Rigatoni Recipe (Copycat)

Chances are since you’ve stumbled upon this recipe, you’re looking to recreate one of the Cheesecake Factory’s beloved dishes. Ultimately, nothing beats this cheesy pasta dish in terms of taste and comfort. 

With a flavorful blend of alfredo and marinara sauce, ground chicken, and various cheeses, it’s easy to see why this dish is so popular. But how hard is it to recreate? Luckily, it’s a lot easier than you probably think.

To create this copycat Cheesecake Factory baked rigatoni, you’ll need a slew of ingredients, a few pots, and a 9×13 pan suitable for the oven.

Once you’ve got all your ingredients prepared, simply mix them in your 9×13, top with cheese, and stick it in the oven. Before you know it, you’ll have a classic dish the whole family will enjoy.

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • 12 Ounces rigatoni pasta
  • 2 ½ C alfredo sauce
  • ¼ C cream cheese
  • 1 ½ C mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¾ C parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ Tsp salt
  • ¼ Tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Pound ground chicken
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 ½ Tbsp garlic powder
  • ¼ C white wine
  • 2 C marinara sauce

Optional

  • Pinch of fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 2 Fresh minced garlic cloves
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese for garnishing

Here’s How To Make Copycat Cheesecake Factory Baked Rigatoni

Step 1: Preheat Your Oven to 375 Degrees

Set your oven to 375 degrees. 

Then take your 9×13 and grease the inside with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Step 2: Cook The Pasta

Put 8 cups of water and a pinch of salt in a large pot to boil. 

Add your pasta and allow it to boil for 9 minutes or until it is al dente.

Step 3: Start Your Sauce

While pasta is boiling, measure out your alfredo sauce and cream cheese and place them in a small pot. 

Cook the start of your sauce on medium heat, stirring until well combined and smooth throughout.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 4: Drain Pasta and Begin Assembly

Strain your pasta, removing as much moisture as possible.

Place your noodles in a large mixing bowl and add your alfredo sauce, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, ½ cup of parmesan, and salt and pepper, stirring until thoroughly combined.

Transfer the pasta and sauce mix to your 9×13 baking dish, topping with the remaining parmesan and mozzarella.

Step 5: Bake Pasta

Bake the pasta until the cheese melts and browns, approximately 20-25 minutes.

Step 6: Prepare Your Meat

While your pasta is baking, add 2 Tbsp vegetable oil to a frying pan and heat on medium heat.

Add in your ground beef and cook for approximately 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, breaking it into smaller chunks as it cooks.

Add the remaining spices to the chicken, and continue to cook for a minute.

Mix in your tomato paste and white wine and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring to combine all ingredients.

Step 7: Blend All Ingredients

Remove your rigatoni from the oven and allow it to cool for five minutes.

Once cooled, divide your rigatoni into 6 equal portions, topping with meat sauce.

Optional:

Top rigatoni with parmesan and fresh basil.

Optional Modifications and Substitutions

Since this is a copycat recipe, you aren’t likely going to want to change the flavor profile too much.

However, these are several spice and sauce options to consider if you’re looking to shake things up a bit.

If you’re looking to recreate this copycat Cheesecake Factory baked rigatoni with a twist of your own, the following herbs, spices, and sauces can be also be used.

Herbs and Spices

  • Fresh garlic
  • Hot pepper flakes
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Basil
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Cardamom

Sauces

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine
  • Bolognese
  • Homemade alfredo sauce
  • Homemade marinara sauce

Alternative Recipe Ideas

Whether you don’t eat meat or are lactose intolerant, there are several reasons you may wish to alter this recipe.

Below, we have you covered with some alternative recipe ideas that can help you enjoy this recipe despite your dietary requirements and restrictions.

Meatless Copycat Cheesecake Factory Baked Rigatoni

Whether you’re vegetarian or you simply prefer baked rigatoni with just cheese – the good news is you can leave the meat out entirely!

Alternatively, you could use a vegetarian meat substitute to maintain the texture and protein content.

Vegan Copycat Cheesecake Factory Baked Rigatoni

Perhaps you would like to keep things 100% vegan. If so, you can remove the meat and replace the cheese with vegan options.

Rather than cream cheese, you can opt for a non-dairy yogurt to maintain its creamy make up.

Keto Copycat Cheesecake Factory Baked Rigatoni

Making this recipe keto is as simple as replacing the rigatoni either will zucchini pasta or cauliflower. The cheese listed in the original recipe has you covered with all your good fats.

For added fat, you can opt for full-fat cottage cheese that also serves to add a nice chunky texture.

Can You Prepare This Recipe Ahead of Time?

As is the case with many baked pasta dishes, this copycat Cheesecake Factory baked rigatoni recipe can be prepared ahead of time and heated later when you’re ready to eat.

So, whether you’re looking to prepare this dish in the morning for dinner that night or you’re looking to host and need a crowdpleaser – this recipe has you covered.

Simply follow steps 1-4 then place your 9×13 pan in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can either make the sauce separately or top your pasta ahead of time, heating it together when you’re ready to use it.

Can It Be Frozen and Stored for Future Use?

If you’ve got your baked rigatoni prepared and would like to freeze it for future use or you want to preserve leftovers, this recipe can safely be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months. 

Other Tips and Tricks

The sauce in this recipe is what provides both flavor and texture. And since The Cheesecake Factory uses housemade sauces, you may want to consider using your own homemade sauce.

When cooking your rigatoni, be extra careful to leave it al dente as overcooked pasta can become mushy and unpleasant.

Copycat Cheesecake Factory Baked Rigatoni

Copycat Cheesecake Factory Baked Rigatoni

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

The Cheesecake Factory has been around for quite some time, serving up fan-favorites across the country.

One of their more popular dishes is their baked rigatoni. With this recipe, you can successfully recreate this comfort dish with enough to serve the whole family.

Using various cheeses, ground chicken, and cream cheese, the end result of this recipe is a decadent, cheesy plate with a whole lot of traditional Italian flavor.

Ingredients

  • 12 Ounces rigatoni pasta, cooked al dente
  • 2 ½ C alfredo sauce
  • ¼ C cream cheese
  • 1 ½ C mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¾ C parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ Tsp salt
  • ¼ Tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Pound ground chicken
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 ½ Tbsp garlic powder
  • ¼ C white wine
  • 2 C marinara sauce
  • Pinch of fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 Fresh minced garlic cloves
  • Parmesan cheese for garnishin

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and oil your 9x13 pan with nonstick oil. Set aside.
  2. Bring 8 cups of water and a pinch of salt to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook for 9 minutes or until al dente.
  3. While the pasta is boiling, put your alfredo sauce and cream cheese in a small pot. Heat over medium-heat until blended and smooth. Set aside.
  4. Drain your rigatoni then place it in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of mozzarella, ½ cup parmesan, salt, and pepper, stirring until thoroughly combined. Transfer your ingredients to the 9x13 and top with the remaining cheeses.
  5. Bake pasta for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.
  6. While the pasta is baking, add your vegetable oil to a skillet, add your ground beef, and cook for 5 minutes or until all moisture is evaporated. Add the remaining spices, tomato paste, and white wine, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Then add your marinara sauce and mix until blended.
  7. Remove the rigatoni from the oven and allow it to cool. Divide the rigatoni into 6 servings, topping it with the meat sauce.

Notes

This recipe makes a large batch that is perfect for family and friends or consumption throughout the week. If you wish to make less, you might consider halfing the recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 987Total Fat: 70gSaturated Fat: 36gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 248mgSodium: 2072mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 46g
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