This vegetarian sheet pan pasta recipe is a fun take on a classic pasta bake! Made with orzo, fresh mozzarella, spices, and a hint of fresh lemon for a burst of flavor.
This one-pan pasta dinner is perfect for a quick meal on the table fast, and also for easy clean up after.
Sometimes you see a new way of cooking pasta and think, ‘Wow, I gotta try that!’ I love the idea of sheet pan meals. Everything cooks in the oven while you have time to multitask other things. But with an easy weeknight pasta? It turns out perfectly! Make sure you have a tall enough sheet pan (I like one like this with a 2 inch lip) and you can cook pasta in the oven. No stovetop cooking required.
This sheet pan pasta came out amazing! It smelled fantastic while it was cooking (thank you roasted garlic). And looked gorgeous coming out of the oven with melted cheese. The cheese was so melty and gooey, it pulled in long strings when I tried to dish up. It actually got all over the spoon and our bowl, and I found a little cheese strand on one of the cats after dinner (sorry Onyx)!
This Sheet Pan Pasta Recipe Is:
- Loaded with Tomatoes and Basil
- Vegetarian and can be made Gluten free (with GF pasta!)
What’s In This Sheet Pan Pasta with Mozzarella?
I cook with fresh produce from my garden and from Misfits Market– they sell fantastic fruit, vegetables, & pantry staples at a discounted price. We get Misfit boxes every other week and love picking out favorite produce for delivery. Get $10 off your first box here!
- Basil, Tomatoes, Lemons, Garlic
- Olive Oil: I like to use this delicious olive oil which has a fantastic flavor and deep color- it’s really inexpensive online here, so I keep a few liters stocked up in my pantry. For the quality of oil you get, it’s an excellent value, I would highly recommend!
- Garlic: I use fresh garlic when I have it, and this great jarred organic garlic when I don’t have fresh. It’s actually super convenient to have pre-chopped garlic on hand for quick and easy meal prep.
- Aged Balsamic Vinegar: I use this aged balsamic vinegar glaze because it has a really great flavor and a thick consistency perfect for drizzling!
- Italian Seasoning Blend: usually has thyme, basil, rosemary, parsley, etc. I love this bright and flavorful Italian season mix which brings this amazing dish to life.
- Salt & Pepper
- Orzo Pasta: I use regular orzo pasta, or another small pasta shape. But you can use a whole wheat orzo, or even a gluten free orzo pasta like this one here!
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Parmesan Cheese: you can use freshly grated parmesan cheese, or pantry parm will work in a pinch!
Grow Basil on Your Counter All Year Long
We got this great 6-Pod Aerogarden which is fantastic for growing herbs in the winter. We actually got it when we lived in a smaller apartment, but even now that we own an acreage we still use it year-round! I love growing herbs on my countertop like fresh basil, dill, mint, sage, thyme, parsley, and lemon balm. It uses LED lights and water, so no messy soil needed – you can have fresh herbs at your fingertips any time.
I love picking a few springs of parsley to chop on pastas, adding basil leaves to soups, and tossing some dill in with my pasta salads. This Aerogarden is a great gift for anyone who would like fresh herbs… no big kitchen or green thumb required!
How To Cook Pasta in the Oven
Make sure you have a tall enough sheet pan so it doesn’t overflow and make a mess. This isn’t a “set it and forget it” sheet pan meal. It does involve taking the dish in and out of the oven a few times to stir and add ingredients at different stages of cooking. But this easy weeknight pasta was really fun to assemble and make. It all came together pretty quickly too. I’m definitely adding this to my Easy Weeknight Meals collection.
This sheet pan pasta recipe got an A+ from me and the hubby, which is always great when I am trying a new recipe. To make vegan, just substitute a non-dairy cheese, and enjoy!
Other Simple Sheet Pan Meals You’ll Love!
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Sheet Pan Pasta Bake with Mozzarella
- Tall Sheet Pan that is at least 2 inches tall
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 28-ounce container diced tomatoes or 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 lemon sliced thin and seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Tellicherry Black Pepper
- 1 lb (16 ounce package) Dry Orzo Pasta or other small pasta shape of choice
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1/2 cup fresh basil julienned
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella chopped into small cubes
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese plus extra for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- On a large sheet pan (make sure the sides are at least 2 inches high), toss the olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, lemon, balsamic vinegar, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. When oven is heated, add the tomato mixture to the sheet pan in a even layer. Roast for 10 minutes.
- Take the sheet pan out of the oven, and add the orzo and boiling water. Stir well so all ingredients are well combined. Cover sheet pan with aluminum foil, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil, and stir the orzo again, cook for an additional 5 minutes so orzo soaks up all the liquid.
- Preheat the broiler on high. Remove sheet pan from oven, and stir in the basil. Top with mozzarella cheese distributed evenly over the pasta. And add parmesan on top of that. Place sheet pan back in the oven, and broil on high for 3 to 5 minutes, being careful not to burn the cheese!
- Dish up and top your bowl with any additional parm wanted… Serve with a salad or garlic bread!
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