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Baked Rigatoni- with Eyeballs

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Halloween is such a fun time to get creative and make spooky, creepy foods like this easy Baked Rigatoni with eyeballs. This recipe is perfect if you are looking for something creative and just a little bit scary, it is perfect for bringing to Halloween parties or for a family get together.

baked rigatoni with mozzarella ball and a sliced olive to make an eyeball

Simple Halloween recipes can make such a big difference to help take the party up a notch. This rigatoni pasta bake is a delicious, savory recipe that really anyone can make. It takes basic ingredients and just a little bit of time to make this magical recipe.

The whole fam loves this creepy baked rigatoni pasta with the cheesy, saucy noodles all topped with more melty, crispy cheese! The eyeballs are created with a little more cheese and sliced olives, they really make this pasta dish come to life!

rigatoni pasta baked standing up with melted cheese on top with mozzarella balls melted and topped with sliced olives to make eyeballs

Halloween Pasta Ingredients

This spooky Halloween pasta recipe only takes a few basic ingredients to put together. Here is what you need to make this baked rigatoni recipe:

  • Rigatoni Pasta– straight, round hollow pasta, not really a substitute for this pasta in this recipe
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella– both shredded and pearls, you can also slice up string cheese into small rounds
  • Pasta sauce– you can use 2, 24 ounce jars or one larger 44 ounce jar
  • Olives– can just use black, or get a variety of different colored olives
  • Red pepper flakes– optional, but great for a little heat

⭐️ Full ingredient measurements and recipe instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Equipment Needed For Halloween Pasta

To make this Halloween baked rigatoni you will need to use a round pan with tall edges. I use a springform pan, it is perfect for standing up the pasta and also having enough room to mix in the sauce and still top with cheese.

How to Make Baked Rigatoni with Eyeballs

This recipe takes just a few steps and is actually pretty easy to make. Let’s walk through the steps with a few tips and tricks to get it just right every time.

Step 1: Cook the pasta until it is just al dente. The pasta should be soft, but not too soft. It should still be just a little harder in the center when you bite it, it will cook more as the pasta bakes in the oven in the sauce.

rigatoni standing up in a round springform pan

Step 2: Toss the pasta with the olive oil until it is all coated, this will help the pasta from sticking together and will make it easier to work with. Add in 3/4 cup of the shredded parmesan cheese and toss with the pasta.

Step 3: next, stand the pasta up inside a well greased springform pan. A quick tip to make this a bit easier is to stand the pan on its side and layer the pasta into the pan a handful at a time, standing the pasta up as you go.

rigatoni cooked, then standing in a round springform pan topped with spaghetti sauce

Step 4: pour the sauce over the pasta in the pan and shake the pan carefully back and forth, or use a spoon to move the pasta around and spread the sauce within the pan to get all around the noodles and across the top.

pasta in a spring form pan topped with mozzarella cheese

Step 5: next, cover the pan with foil. I like to place it on a baking sheet when baking, just because the sauce can seep out a little from the springform pan as it bakes. Bake for 15 minutes in a 400º F oven.

Step 6: take it out of the oven and remove the foil. Top the pasta with the shredded mozzarella cheese and remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown on top.

baked rigatoni in a round, springform pan, cooked with cheese on top, then topped with small mozzarella pearls

Step 7: for the eyeballs, place the mozzarella pearls, or sliced up string cheese sticks, on top of the baked cheese. Bake in the oven for an additional 2-3 minutes to soften the cheese.

baked rigatoni in a round springform pan, topped with melted cheese and small mozzarella pearls, then topped with olives to look like eyeballs

Step 8: Once the mozzarella is melted, take slices of olives and press into the pieces of mozzarella on top of the pasta. Use a variety of olives, black, green and even purple to make creepy eyes.

Step 9: carefully unhook the spring on the pan to release the pasta. Run a knife around the edges if needed if any cheese is sticking to the sides. Remove the outside of the pan by lifting it up and around the pasta. I like to just leave the bottom of the pan under the pasta and place it on a different serving platter, this just helps keep it all together.

rigatoni baked into a big round, topped with cheese and sliced olives to look like eyeballs

How to Serve Baked Rigatoni with Eyeballs

This is such a great main dish for your Halloween Party, some other fun, spooky recipes to serve with this eyeball pasta are:

Baked Rigatoni- with Eyeballs Recipe

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baked rigatoni topped with melted cheese and sliced olives to look like eyeballs
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Baked Rigatoni- with Eyeballs

Baked Rigatoni with Eyeballs is a simple, creepy Halloween recipe made with rigatoni, pasta sauce, cheese and olives. Perfect for a Halloween party main dish.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 339kcal


  • 16 ounces Rigatoni
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese shredded; divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1 44 ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 10 mozzarella pearls
  • olives black, green, red
  • red pepper flakes optional


  • Heat oven to 400 ℉. Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
  • Cook pasta in salted, boiling water until it still has a little crunch.
  • Toss the pasta with olive oil and ¾ cup of parmesan cheese.
  • Place noodles standing up into the prepared springform pan
  • Pour sauce over noodles, moving noodles around and gently shaking the pan to move sauce over and around noodles.
  • Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and top with shredded mozzarella and remaining parmesan.
  • Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Top with mozzarella pearls and bake for 2-3 more minutes. Add olive slices to mozzarella pearls to make eyeballs.


  • nutrition facts are just an estimate
  • run a knife around the sides of the pan to release any sticking cheese or pasta
  • leave the bottom of the pan under the pasta for easy serving


Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 268mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 163IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 255mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Comfort Food, Dinner, Holidays, Pasta
Keyword: Baked Rigatoni- with Eyeballs
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