Easy Lasagna Casserole needs no chopping! Simple to make with ground beef, dried spices, spaghetti sauce, rigatoni noodles, and four kinds of cheese. This is the best comfort food and always a hit for dinner.
- 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
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.
Pasta Noodles : It's best to use a long, hollow pasta like rigatoni, penne, or ziti. I have found the rigatoni and ziti pasta works best. But any type will work just fine if you prefer something else.
Leftovers : This recipe makes a lot of food! But the leftovers heat up really well for another dinner (or lunch if you're my toddler :) ). Or you can separate the recipe into two 8x8 baking pans. Cook one and then freeze the other for another time.
Cheese : If you want to tone down the cheese factor then feel free to reduce the cottage cheese and sour cream to 1/2 cup each. I would keep the mozzarella cheese at the 2 cups called for. Just note that the casserole definitely won't be as creamy if you reduce the cheeses. You could also use low fat cottage cheese and sour cream. That works well in this recipe. On the other hand, if you want it really cheesy and creamy then use the entire 8 ounce bar of cream cheese. I've done that before and it's actually really good. Rich and creamy but good!
Cream Cheese : Make sure this is really soft so it easily mixes in with the other cheeses. I place the unwrapped cream cheese onto a microwave-safe plate and microwave it for 30 seconds to get it really soft.
Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 894mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 771IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 198mg | Iron: 3mg