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Easy Baked Pasta Casserole

Pasta is pretty much a mainstay at our house, and we like it any which way: with a little butter, salt and Parmesan, plain tomato sauce, a ground beef sauce, a cashew sesame sauce, a beef and spinach combo, or with a taco twist.

When I feel like we need a little more variety, or a craving for lasagna strikes, I’ll make this easy cheesy pasta casserole, which is a family pleasing beefy comfort food meal!

baked pasta, Easy Baked Pasta Casserole, Here is what you need to make it for your family:

1 pound ground beef, browned and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
12 ounce box penne pasta (or rigatoni, fusilli, rotini or cavatappi ) cooked and drained
32 ounces (or 3 1/2 cups) of your favorite chunky style pasta sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves minced)
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Directions:
Cook the ground beef till done and no pink remains, and toward the end of cooking, stir in the garlic and Italian seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Then add the pasta sauce to the meat mixture and stir together.

baked pasta, Easy Baked Pasta Casserole, (Most of the time, I cook my ground beef ahead of time in bulk, in the crockpot after grocery shopping, and then freeze it in 1-2 pound meal size portions, so it’s all ready to go when I’m making dinner. When I do that, I just add the seasonings and pasta sauce after thawing, and make sure to mix it up well).

baked pasta, Easy Baked Pasta Casserole,

Pasta and pasta sauce, come in different sizes, so make sure you check the ounces on the packaging.

baked pasta, Easy Baked Pasta Casserole,

Cook your favorite pasta according to its directions, and rinse and drain. Don’t overcook! You don’t want soggy pasta.
Mix together the Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses in a separate bowl.

baked pasta, Easy Baked Pasta Casserole, Then toss the beef and sauce mixture with the drained pasta and half of the cheese mixture.
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish,

baked pasta, Easy Baked Pasta Casserole, and sprinkle over the top the remaining cheeses.

baked pasta, Easy Baked Pasta Casserole, Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for around 20 minutes, or till heated thoroughly all the way through, and the cheese on top is all wonderfully melted (You can cook covered with foil or not, but I usually don’t).

baked pasta, Easy Baked Pasta Casserole,
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Easy Baked Pasta Casserole

Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Joyful Homemaking

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef browned and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 ounce box penne pasta or rigatoni, fusilli, rotini or cavatappi cooked and drained
  • 32 ounces or 3 1/2 cups of your favorite chunky style pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Pasta and pasta sauce come in different sizes, so make sure you check the ounces on the packaging.

Instructions

  • Cook the ground beef till done and no pink remains, and toward the end of cooking, stir in the garlic and Italian seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Then add the pasta sauce to the meat mixture and stir together.
  • Cook your favorite pasta according to its directions, and rinse and drain. Don’t overcook! You don’t want soggy pasta.
  • Mix together the Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses in a separate bowl.
  • Then toss the beef and sauce mixture with the drained pasta and half of the cheese mixture.
  • Pour into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish, and sprinkle over the top the remaining cheeses.
  • Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for around 20 minutes, or till heated thoroughly all the way through, and the cheese on top is all wonderfully melted (You can cook covered with foil or not, but I usually don’t)

baked pasta, Easy Baked Pasta Casserole, This has a similar taste to lasagna, but saves you from layering and handling noodles, so it’s a bit easier, but so delicious!