Beef Pasta Bake

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Beef Pasta Bake is a Buttered Home go to week night meal. All of the flavors of a lasagna but with very little fuss. A great make ahead meal for easy any night of the week!

casserole dish of beef pasta bake

Like Lasagna, Just Easy.

Beef Pasta Bake is a really easy and delicious recipe! Who doesn’t like easy? This Beef Pasta Bake is a fabulous supper for busy households. It can be all done at once or even prepped ahead of time for busy families! Much like our SAUSAGE AND SPINACH STUFFED SHELLS, this recipe has lots of little things you can do that are shortcuts for time but not on flavor!

Layering the cheeses and the meat mixture replicates Lasagna but you do not have to be so particular when doing it. This shortcut alone saves you time and stress! Not to mention, you can cook the meat mixture and the pasta ahead of time and assemble and bake when needed. If you are a meal prepper and like to get ahead, this recipe you will love!

Just like our BOURBON STEAK WITH BRUSSELS AND SWEET POTATOES, this is a hearty meal that feels like you spent all day cooking. It is one you will make often because of its ease and crowd pleasing flavor.

How to Make It.

I can’t emphasize enough just how easy this is. It almost feels as if I am doing something wrong when I make it. I love to make Lasagna and often put a lot of prep into making it and insure that every bite has everything in it for the perfect experience. This however, just feels like I am halfway doing things. Here is the kicker though, it isn’t AND it is just as good as the Lasagna I put so much tine into. Not sure? Make it, taste it and see!

~Ingredients

  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese – for that awesome cheesiness!
  • I pound ground beef or turkey – lean ground turkey is a great healthy alternative.
  • I & 1/2  Cup cooked pasta – regular or whole wheat are great. For a healthier option, consider Palmini pasta.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt – just enough for flavor
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper – also, just a touch for flavor.
  • 14 ounce can tomato sauce – any kind will do. Look for no sugar added to cut the carbs!
  • 1/2 Cup chopped onion – onion and Italian, they just go together!
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened – can use the 1/3 less fat to make a little lighter!
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning – the holy 3 of seasonings, basil, oregano and rosemary!
  • 1& 1/2 Cup cottage cheese – a lighter, easier option to replace ricotta.
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream – for extra creaminess.
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley – for color and style!
  • 1/2 Cup parmesan cheese – an Italian staple!

~Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. 
  2. Brown meat and onions. Drain and set aside in a large bowl. 
  3. Add tomato sauce to cooked meat and onions.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix sour cream, cottage cheese and cream cheese, parsley and Italian seasoning.
  5. In a 9×13 greased casserole dish layer the following. Noodles, meat sauce, sour cream mixture, mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Repeat layers and end with sauce a cheeses.
  6. Bake for I hour until brown & bubbly.

Tips and Tricks

How can I make this healthier?

This is an easy one to do that with! We love Palmini noodles, made from hearts of palm. Drain and rinse them and boil them for 5-6 minutes and use just like regular pasta. We posted a link to purchase them on amazon at the bottom of this post! You can also substitute low fat cream cheese and low fat cottage cheese as well. And it goes without saying to use at least 83% lean turkey or beef to keep the fat to a lower level.

What kind of Pasta should I use?

I love pretty pasta. We used bow ties for this recipe and I love the way they look when serving. The best answer I can give is really to use whatever you have on hand. The pasta is a vehicle for that delicious sauce and decadent cheese mixture, it really makes no difference. If you have all of the ingredients and only have macaroni noodles in your pantry, I say go with it!

Can this be made ahead of time?

Yes! Prepare it according to directions and pop in the fridge overnight or wrap it tightly and keep it in the freezer for up to a month. Prepping is caring! Lol, this also makes a wonderful food gift or an entree for a family gathering or church potluck.

So whether you need a great meal in a hurry or need a beautifully done food gift, this IS your recipe! All of the flair of a delicious lasagna but with much less fuss!

If you make this recipe, be sure and post it to Facebook or Instagram and tag us. We love pictures of food. Also, if you pin this recipe, we would appreciate that when you make it, you use the Made It function in Pinterest too. 

Check out this recipe along with many of our others as a WEB STORY! And don’t forget to subscribe to our YOUTUBE channel for some great tutorial videos!

And as always, we would love it if you shared this recipe with your family and friends. Over to the side on this post and all of the others are handy dandy share buttons. We would sure be grateful if you shared the love!

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large spoon full of beef pasta bake

Beef Pasta Bake

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Beef Pasta Bake is a Buttered Home go to week night meal. All of the flavors of a lasagna but with very little fuss. A great make ahead meal for easy any night of the week!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • I pound ground beef or turkey
  • I & 1/2 Cup cooked pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 14 to 24 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 Cup chopped onion
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 & 1/2 Cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 Cup parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Brown meat and onions. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Add tomato sauce to cooked meat and onions.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix sour cream, cottage cheese and cream cheese,parsley and italian seasoning.
  5. In a 9×13 greased casserole dish layer the following. Noodles, meat sauce, sour cream mixture, mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Repeat layers and end with sauce a cheeses.
  6. Bake for I hour until brown & bubbly.
Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 435Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 124mgSodium 880mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 32g

**Nutritional Values are estimates only

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