Bacon Cheeseburger Rigatoni

Bacon Cheeseburger Rigatoni

Baked “cheeseburger” rigatoni pasta with a tangy barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, bacon, pickles and tomatoes. It’s a little bit comfort food and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.

This will not only liven up the routine of pasta night but burger night too. I had my doubts about combining these two favorites of mine into one. . . I never thought of barbecue sauce and pasta as belonging together.

I was wrong. All the things I love in a good burger work with pasta too, including pickles. All this does is trade one carb for another. In a deconstructed kind of way.

Which leads me to confession time. Up until a year ago I hated pickles on my burgers.Until one day when a pickle snuck itself into a burger I was eating out. It was life-changing. As of today I love the combination and can’t imagine eating a burger without them.

Their crisp, briny bite is an unlooked-for but nice surprise to help bring in some of those burger associated flavors. The sauce isn’t pure barbecue but a hybrid including tomato sauce and a dash of red wine vinegar.

You can find the diced pickles, tomatoes and cheddar inside the casserole and decorating the top along with salty, crumbled bacon.

Making this halfway pretty as far as man-food goes.

Bacon Cheeseburger Rigatoni

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 - 5 servings

Bacon Cheeseburger Rigatoni

Baked "cheeseburger" rigatoni pasta with a tangy barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, bacon, pickles and tomatoes.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1 pound ground beef
1 + 1/2 cups tomato sauce
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup diced pickles
1 diced tomato, seeds removed
8 ounces rigatoni
1 cup shredded smoked or sharp cheddar cheese
3 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled


  1. In a large skillet heat oil over medium - low heat and add the onion, garlic and a pinch or two of salt and pepper, cook until onion are translucent.
  2. Turn heat up to medium and add ground beef, season it with salt and pepper and break it apart as it cooks.
  3. Meanwhile cook rigatoni according to package directions in plenty of salted water to al dente.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and grease a 9 x 13-inch casserole pan.
  5. When the ground beef is cooked through remove from heat. Drain off the grease.
  6. Stir in both sauces, the vinegar, 1/2 the pickles, 1/2 the tomatoes, the pasta and 3/4 cup of the cheese.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the casserole pan and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese, pickles and tomatoes.
  8. Bake until bubbly 20 - 25 minutes. To serve garnish the top with the crumbled bacon.


Adapted from D&W Fresh Market

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  1. Sues says

    What is there NOT to LOVE about this??!?! Heavenly! And I really don’t get people who don’t like pickles… :)

  2. Danielle says

    This looks so good Reeni! I love how delicious you can make casseroles; they always come out so ugly for me (but tasty). This one, I bet, is as good as it looks. John is already all over me asking me to make it :)

  3. Joanne says

    I love how you’re always so willing to try crazy flavor combos like this! BBQ sauce, pickles and pasta…who’dve thunk it?!

  4. Chris says

    I like pickles but even I’m not sure I’d toss them in with everything else, but otherwise I think this dish rocks. I could dive right into this.

  5. The Weary Chef says

    I don’t know if you saw that I posted a similar cheeseburger pasta recipe recently. I actually subbed in BBQ sauce for the ketchup and mustard when I made it, but I linked to the original recipe in my menu. I had very mixed feelings about the flavor. I love cheeseburgers and it didn’t taste bad, but it also wasn’t what I was looking for in my pasta! Your version looks really good though. Maybe I’ll give it another try!

    • Reeni says

      I just checked out your cheeseburger pasta! The recipe is very similar to mine so you may not like it. I didn’t use mustard and mine had vinegar in it which I love – it kicked up the barbecue flavor. Be sure to let me know if you try it!

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