Cheesy Beef and Pasta Casserole

Cheesy Beef and Pasta Casserole – Hearty comfort food that’s EASY and IRRESISTIBLE!! Cheesy pasta and beef coated in marinara sauce and topped with more CHEESE! Makes planned leftovers and is freezer-friendly!!

Cheesy Beef and Pasta Casserole - Hearty comfort food that's EASY and IRRESISTIBLE!! Cheesy pasta and beef coated in marinara sauce and topped with more CHEESE! Makes planned leftovers and is freezer-friendly!!

This is hearty, family-friendly comfort food that feeds a small army. If you need a crowd-pleasing dish to bring to a potluck, work function, or party, this is a slam dunk.

Freezer-Friendly and Meal-Prep Friendly Recipe

If you like to meal prep for the week, this is a great batch-cooking recipe. You are definitely set for many meals with this one.

And as a bonus, this pasta casserole freezes really well so even if you’re just cooking for two or for a small family, put the rest into airtight containers, freeze them, and dinner is ready on nights you don’t want to cook.

Cheesy Beef and Pasta Casserole - Hearty comfort food that's EASY and IRRESISTIBLE!! Cheesy pasta and beef coated in marinara sauce and topped with more CHEESE! Makes planned leftovers and is freezer-friendly!!

How To Make The Cheesy Beef and Pasta Casserole

Boil a pound of penne pasta and while that’s going, in a large Dutch oven or similarly big pot, cook a pound of ground beef with onions, red peppers, and season with garlic and oregano.

Add the cooked pasta into the Dutch oven, add marinara sauce, and stir in mozzarella. Turn it all out into a casserole dish, top with more cheese, and bake until the cheese melts.

Super easy and you’ll have planned leftovers for days or for a freezer stash. If your motto is like mine, which is cook once, eat twice (or five times) this is so perfect.

A big tip here is to make sure you are cooking the ground beef in a Dutch oven or pot large enough to hold that pound of ground beef, and later the pound of cooked pasta, over one pound of marinara sauce, and nearly one pound of cheese.

How Does It Taste

Cheesy, saucy pasta with ground beef is hard to say no to. This is definitely a kid-friendly (or picky spouse) kind of meal.

It’s got that comfort food appeal that keeps you full and satisfied for hours. You may just want to curl up for a nap after a big plate of this, and I don’t blame you.

Cheesy Beef and Pasta Casserole - Hearty comfort food that's EASY and IRRESISTIBLE!! Cheesy pasta and beef coated in marinara sauce and topped with more CHEESE! Makes planned leftovers and is freezer-friendly!!

Favorite Pasta Recipes:

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Cheesy Beef and Pasta Casserole - Hearty comfort food that's EASY and IRRESISTIBLE!! Cheesy pasta and beef coated in marinara sauce and topped with more CHEESE! Makes planned leftovers and is freezer-friendly!!

Cheesy Beef and Pasta Casserole

Cheesy Beef and Pasta Casserole – Hearty comfort food that’s EASY and IRRESISTIBLE!! Cheesy pasta and beef coated in marinara sauce and topped with more CHEESE! Makes planned leftovers and is freezer-friendly!!

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Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces penne pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, optional
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)
  • 1 medium sweet Vidalia onion, diced small
  • 1 medium/large red bell pepper, diced small
  • 3 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • one 26-ounce jar marinara or pasta sauce
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • fresh basil or parsley, optional for garnishing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, to a large Dutch oven, optionally add the olive oil (my beef was very lean and the oil was necessary), beef, onion, red pepper, and cook over medium-high heat until beef is cooked through and vegetables have softened; stir frequently and crumble the beef while it cooks; do not drain.
  4. Add the garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and stir to combine. Cook for about 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the beef mixture, add the marinara, and stir to combine and coat evenly.
  6. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese and stir to combine until the cheese has melted.
  7. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and evenly sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese over the top.
  8. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted on top.
  9. Optionally garnish with fresh herbs and serve immediately. Recipe will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
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4 comments on “Cheesy Beef and Pasta Casserole”

  1. The calendar says it’s spring but our temperatures haven’t quite got the message yet so comfort food is perfect for these chilly nights! This looks so good!

  2. This was fantastic and a new favorite of Jon’s (so I am also thankful for leftovers)! It was perfect for a gray, drizzly, low 40’s sort of day.

    Rating: 5

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