EASY LASAGNA CASSEROLE RECIPE
This lasagna casserole is one of the recipes I shared in a family cookbook that we made years ago. I always go back to it when I want something super cheesy, full of carbs, pasta, and just good comfort food that everyone will happily eat.
No chopping needed for this easy casserole recipe and it uses dried spices which makes it super easy and budget friendly! Ground beef, jarred pasta sauce, rigatoni pasta, seasonings, and 4 kinds of cheese is all you need.
I love serving this casserole with a green salad & ranch dressing plus some garlic bread on the side to soak up all the cheesy ground beef spaghetti sauce goodness.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE LASAGNA CASSEROLE
Salt, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning, Black Pepper - This seasons the ground beef.
Spaghetti Sauce - You will need a 24 ounce jar. Use traditional pasta sauce or tomato & basil pasta sauce. I have found those work best flavor wise for this casserole.
Dried Basil, Dried Parsley - Seasonings that you add in with the spaghetti sauce to the ground beef mix.
Rigatoni Noodles - We love the bigger noodles in this dish because all the goodness like the cheese and ground beef get stuck in the middle of the noodle. But, feel free to use whatever pasta you prefer or whatever you have in your pantry.
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese - Yes all that cheese! Four different kinds.
MY TIPS FOR THIS EASY CASSEROLE RECIPE
- Yes it's a lot of cheese! Lasagna is not meant to be diet food 🙂 But if you just don't want to use all that cheese then feel free to reduce each one by half. Except for the mozzarella cheese. I would leave that at the 2 cups. But reducing the sour cream and cottage cheese to 1/2 cup each will work fine. It won't be as cheesy or creamy.
- Don't forget to salt the pasta water before adding in the noodles. So many people forget to do this, but it's one of those things that makes the pasta and dish taste amazing. Those plain boring noodles need some salt. I add about 1-2 teaspoons salt to the water.
Can I freeze this lasagna casserole?
- Yes, I do think this casserole would freeze fine. Maybe separate the recipe into two 8x8-inch baking pans. Cook one and then freeze the other. Cheese does tend to curdle as it thaws from being frozen but that should not change the taste. It may just look odd.
Can I use something else besides the rigatoni noodles?
- After making this recipe, I have found that the longer, hollow noodles are best because the cheese and ground beef gets stuck in the middle of the noodle and it's yummy. But feel free to use whatever noodle you want. I would stick with larger noodles like penne, ziti, or even rotini noodles. Rigatoni noodles are larger so sometimes they're harder for kids to eat.
YOU WILL LOVE THESE OTHER LASAGNA AND PASTA RECIPES
Cream Cheese Lasagna - My family's favorite lasagna! We love this with a green salad and french bread on the side.
Burrito Lasagna - Lasagna with a Mexican twist! Flour tortillas, refried beans, ground beef with enchilada sauce and lots of cheese!
Mexican Lasagna - Another twist to traditional lasagna. This one has chicken, beans, salsa verde, and corn layered in between flour tortillas and cheese.
Easy Garlic Parmesan Pasta - Another easy recipe that requires no chopping. I make this at least once a week and it's the most requested dinner by all 4 of my kids.
Instant Pot Baked Ziti - One of my most popular recipes! Turns out perfect every single time and your kids will happily gobble it up. Win!
- 1 box (16 oz) rigatoni or ziti pasta
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 jar (24 oz) spaghetti sauce traditional or tomato basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Heat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Cook noodles according to package directions. * Don't forget to add 1-2 teaspoons to the boiling water before dumping in the pasta. This helps flavor the bland pasta.
Prepare the ground beef & cheeses while pasta cooks :
- While noodles are cooking prepare the ground beef. In a pan, over medium-high heat, add the ground beef, salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper. Cook and crumble until the ground beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
- Add the spaghetti sauce, parsley, and basil. Stir together and let it come to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer while the pasta finishes cooking.
- In a large mixing bowl add the sour cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.
- When pasta is done drain it. Do not rinse it. Immediately add the drained hot pasta into the mixing bowl with the cheese. Stir until all the noodles are coated.
Prepare the casserole
- Spread half of the cheesy noodles into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Layer half the meat sauce on top. Repeat layer one more time. Cover the pan with foil and cook for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese on top and put it back into the oven until the cheese is melted. About 2-3 minutes.
- If wanted, you can sprinkle some chopped parsley over top the casserole.