Hungry? So were we last night when we made this delicious casserole. I have been wanting to post this for awhile, but I make it from scratch with no measuring, so tonight I took the time to measure it out for you, so you could enjoy the recipe too. Also, this makes THREE casseroles. I love that because I can freeze two of them right away and bake the other one. If you’re looking for a good freezer cooking recipe, this one is awesome. If you only want to make one, you will probably need to adjust the recipe, but I highly recommend making all three, even if you’re not a freezer cooker, because in a week or two when you’re stressing about dinner and you can pull one out of the freezer.
Easy Lasagna Penne Pasta Casserole Recipe
What you need:
3 boxes of penne style pasta
1.5 lbs. ground beef
1/4 c. – 1/2 c. chopped onion (to your taste)
3 c. cottage cheese
3 jars (15 1/2 oz.) spaghetti sauce (honestly, we use tomato sauce, it’s cheaper & I season it with my own herbs & spices)
3 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 c. water
1 c. Parmesan cheese
seasonings, to taste (see recipe)
Cook pasta al dente (almost done but not super soft); drain. Using a large skillet, brown the ground beef and the onion. Season with garlic powder, Italian seasonings, salt & pepper to taste.
Either in a separate pot, or if your skillet is big/deep enough, stir the spaghetti sauce in with the ground beef. Add the cottage cheese and the the almost cooked pasta.
Using three 9×13 baking dishes, divide the mixture into the three dishes. Add 1/3 c. water to each casserole. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over each casserole. Top two of the casseroles with 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese each. Cover these two casseroles with a freezer proof lid (they make baking dishes for this). Pop into the freezer.
Take your last casserole with no cheese on top and bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. Remove from the oven, top with the Mozzarella cheese and return it to the oven for 10-15 minutes to melt and brown the cheese. Yum!
Freezer Cooked Casserole: Remove from the freezer and remove the lid while you wait for the oven to preheat. When you’re ready to cook it, cover the dish with tin foil, and place the casserole in your preheated 375 degree oven for about 45-55 minutes. Pull it out and check it. Remove tinfoil and continue cooking about 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Enjoy!
Serve with a salad, garlic bread, Italian style veggies, etc.