Mostaccioli Pasta Recipes

mostaccioli pastaSlightly larger than penne, mostaccioli pasta holds and soaks up sauce perfectly for tons of flavor in every bite. If you love pasta and are looking for more ways to prepare it, consider trying some recipes using mostaccioli pasta noodles. These tube-shaped noodles hold plenty of sauce so no matter how you prepare them, they always deliver on flavor.

Mostaccioli Pasta Noodles

The word “mostaccioli” in Italian means “little mustaches”, which describes the shape and size of the noodles. Smaller than ziti, mostaccioli is shaped like a penne noodle, but is slightly larger in size with angled ends. The noodles can be ridged or smooth, and can come in a variety of different flavors including whole wheat, spinach, and sun dried tomato. If you’re taking a course in Italian cooking, you’ll probably find that a variety of mostaccioli noodles are called for in several different recipes.

Mostaccioli noodles are the perfect shape and size for using in baked dishes, pasta salads, and other heavily sauced meals. They are just large enough to hold a generous amount of topping, but are still small enough to be bite-sized. If you have a choice in the noodles you are choosing, consider getting the ones with ridges; the ridges help to capture even more sauce and flavor, which translates into a better tasting meal.

Baked Mostaccioli Pasta

Mostaccioli noodles are perfect in baked dishes. They are large enough that they don’t break down and become soggy during the cooking process, but are still small enough to cook fairly quickly. Combining them with ground beef and vegetables, like in this dish, makes for a fast and easy meal that will please everyone at the table. You can also eliminate the ground beef to make this dish vegetarian, or switch the beef to ground turkey for a different flavor and less fat.


  • 8 ounces uncooked mostaccioli
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 cup sliced baby Bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


  1. Cook the mostaccioli pasta noodles and set aside.
  2. Brown the beef in a large skillet with the onion and garlic. Drain excess fat.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, mushrooms, and seasoning. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the mostaccioli noodles.
  5. Spoon half the mixture into the bottom of a baking dish and top with the mozzarella cheese.
  6. Spoon on the other half of the mixture, and top with the grated Parmesan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Mostaccioli Pasta Salad

This spicy and modern twist on pasta salad will have everyone at your next barbecue asking for more. It uses adobo sauce for a delicious and zesty kick that pairs well with the other ingredients. You can increase the heat of the dish by adding extra peppers, or just use the sauce from the can of peppers, eliminating the pepper all together if you want to cool it down.


  • 12 ounces mostaccioli
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 pound Gouda, cubed
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves


  1. Prepare the mostaccioli noodles according to the package.
  2. Place the mayo, sour cream, milk, vinegar, and chipotle pepper in adobo sauce into a food processor.
  3. Pulse the processor until thoroughly combined.
  4. Drain the noodles and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add the tomatoes, Gouda, and basil leaves.
  6. Toss with the sauce.
  7. Chill for 1 hour before serving.

Spinach Mostaccioli Pasta

This creamy pasta dish uses frozen spinach for a lot of taste and texture when mixed with the noodles. If you’ve been taking a bread baking course, you may want to combine this meal with a freshly baked loaf for scooping.


  • 8 ounces mostaccioli noodles
  • 28 ounces sweet basil pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 10 ounces chopped, frozen spinach
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Cook the mostaccioli noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Combine the pasta sauce and Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Mix in the noodles and toss until well coated.
  3. Thaw the spinach noodles in a separate bowl.
  4. Spread a layer of noodles onto the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with a layer of spinach and a layer of mozzarella cheese.
  5. Repeat the layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with the mozzarella.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Pickled Mostaccioli

This variation of mostaccioli pasta salad marinates in a vinegar-based sauce for three days before serving. The result is a dish reminiscent in flavor to a good sour pickle, but with the texture and bite of fresh pasta.


  • 16 ounces mostaccioli pasta noodles
  • 1-1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1-1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced


  1. Cook the pasta according to the packaged directions.
  2. Combine the other ingredients in a large food processor or blender.
  3. Blend on high until a thick sauce is produced.
  4. Toss the sauce with the cooked and drained pasta until thoroughly coated.
  5. Refrigerate the pasta for three days to marinate before serving.

Mostaccioli with Spinach and Feta

This versatile dish can be served hot or cold. Try making it for dinner one night, or prepare it ahead of time for a pot luck or barbecue as a pasta salad dish.


  • 8 ounces mostaccioli noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced
  • 8 ounces feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the mostaccioli noodles according to the package directions.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  3. Add the garlic, spinach, tomatoes, salt and pepper.
  4. Sauté over high heat until the spinach is wilted.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the noodles and cheese.
  6. Toss with the reduced balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 24 hours.

Alfredo Mostaccioli

Mostaccioli holds sauce so well that sometimes all it needs to be complete is a well made sauce. While any sauce you learn in a gourmet cooking course will suffice, try this simple Alfredo recipe to start.


16 ounces mostaccioli noodles

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper


  1. Cook the mostaccioli noodles according to the package directions.
  2. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat the cream in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  4. Add the butter and stir until melted.
  5. Add the cheese, parsley, garlic powder, and white pepper and heat through. Do not allow the sauce to boil.
  6. Remove from heat and pour over the noodles. Toss well to coat. Serve immediately.

Start Cooking

Mostaccioli noodles are so versatile they work with nearly any type of pasta dish and are a perfect match for your Italian themed dinner parties. They can be used as a substitute for either penne or ziti, depending upon what may be available to you. You can also change up these recipes slightly by varying the type of mostaccioli you use; tri color works well in pasta salads for example.

Once you begin making some mostaccioli pasta dishes, you’ll find even more uses for this versatile noodle. Whether you’re just beginning to take some cooking classes, or you’ve been cooking for years, branching out and trying a few different types of noodles outside of your repertoire, such as mostaccioli, will help to hone your skills and give you something new to experiment with. Try any of these recipes for mostaccioli pasta and begin to enjoy some good food.