Kids love this buffet-ready casserole dish. My mother-in-law used to make a simpler version of this for my husband when he was growing up. This version pushes the flavor profile a bit. I prefer to have this dish sit overnight before baking as the flavors improve and the pasta absorbs some of the sauce so the consistency is just right.

KC
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

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  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just al dente, 6 to 8 minutes; drain. Run cold water over the pasta to stop pasta from cooking further. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, cook the ground beef and sausage until completely browned and crumbled, 7 to 10 minutes. Mix in the onion, celery, garlic, and pepper; continue to cook and stir another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce. Allow to cool five minutes.

  • Lightly grease a large casserole dish. Spread the pasta over the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the Italian cheese blend over the pasta. Pour the meat mixture over the pasta and cheese. Cover dish with heavy aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes; remove foil and sprinkle Cheddar cheese evenly over the casserole. Continue baking until Cheddar cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

648 calories; 36.6 g total fat; 120 mg cholesterol; 1332 mg sodium. 39.7 g carbohydrates; 40.2 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (81)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
05/28/2008
I substituted a can of stewed tomatoes (undrained) for the can of sauce because it was what I had onhand and because it had onions, celery, and peppers in it! A great shortcut for those of us with no time to chop veggies. I used all ground beef and monterey jack/cheddar because that's what I had. Came out great! Chunky, cheesy, and delicious. Read More
(53)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
02/17/2010
This was a good casserole. It was pretty basic and easy to make. It just lacked flavor. With a little work on the sauce the dish could easily be excellent. After you brown the meat and saute the onion veggies and garlic I recommend doing a wine reduction with a basic merlot (one that you can actually drink). Reduce the wine on med-high heat until it you have half of what you started with (I usually start with 1 - 1/2 cups). Then add 1 large can of tomato sauce. A generous sprinkle of basil parsley and italian seasoning. Then add your meat and veggies back to the sauce. Let simmer about 5 minutes. Then top to over your cheese in your casserole dish and bake. I would like to add that this casserole would be really good with eggplant zuccini carrots squash etc. You really could add any combination of vegetable(s) and it would be delicious. Next time I will definately keep the celery but I am going to add shredded zuccini and eggplant. I will cut out the diced tomatoes and double the tomato sauce; only because my kids didn't care for the tomatoes chunks. Read More
(50)
105 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 61
  • 4 star values: 30
  • 3 star values: 9
  • 2 star values: 5
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
05/28/2008
I substituted a can of stewed tomatoes (undrained) for the can of sauce because it was what I had onhand and because it had onions, celery, and peppers in it! A great shortcut for those of us with no time to chop veggies. I used all ground beef and monterey jack/cheddar because that's what I had. Came out great! Chunky, cheesy, and delicious. Read More
(53)
Rating: 4 stars
05/28/2008
I substituted a can of stewed tomatoes (undrained) for the can of sauce because it was what I had onhand and because it had onions, celery, and peppers in it! A great shortcut for those of us with no time to chop veggies. I used all ground beef and monterey jack/cheddar because that's what I had. Came out great! Chunky, cheesy, and delicious. Read More
(53)
Rating: 3 stars
02/17/2010
This was a good casserole. It was pretty basic and easy to make. It just lacked flavor. With a little work on the sauce the dish could easily be excellent. After you brown the meat and saute the onion veggies and garlic I recommend doing a wine reduction with a basic merlot (one that you can actually drink). Reduce the wine on med-high heat until it you have half of what you started with (I usually start with 1 - 1/2 cups). Then add 1 large can of tomato sauce. A generous sprinkle of basil parsley and italian seasoning. Then add your meat and veggies back to the sauce. Let simmer about 5 minutes. Then top to over your cheese in your casserole dish and bake. I would like to add that this casserole would be really good with eggplant zuccini carrots squash etc. You really could add any combination of vegetable(s) and it would be delicious. Next time I will definately keep the celery but I am going to add shredded zuccini and eggplant. I will cut out the diced tomatoes and double the tomato sauce; only because my kids didn't care for the tomatoes chunks. Read More
(50)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/17/2008
This was very easy to make and very tasty. I used whole wheat rotini pasta and diced tomatos with italian seasonings. This recipe also freezes well and the leftovers are ever so tasty! Read More
(47)
Rating: 5 stars
06/29/2010
Just made this last night-really yummy! I made a few changes to sauce-used only tomato sauce no diced tomatoes. Also I added 2T Worcestershire Sauce 1 tsp Basil 1 tsp Oregano 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper and 1/2 tsp garlic salt and 1 T packed brown sugar to the sauce for some more flavor. For cheese I couldn't find Mexican blend so used a Colby/Monterey Jack blend which worked great. I stuck with the sharp cheddar on top. My 13 year old who never eats tomato sauce cleaned his plate! Read More
(25)
Rating: 5 stars
01/15/2009
This is a great recipe--just delicious. Anyone I serve it to likes it a lot. I use the Hunt's tomatoes that have celery green pepper onions and garlic and omit the celery and green pepper. I still use the onion and garlic called for in the recipe. Read More
(18)
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Rating: 3 stars
06/15/2008
I thought this was o.k. It's a good base but next time would add more garlic and some Italian seasoning. A bit more sauce wouldn't hurt either and maybe a pinch of crushed red pepper. Found it a bit bland as is. May also use mozzarella instead of cheddar. Read More
(16)
Rating: 5 stars
04/23/2010
This was absolutely wonderful! would not change a thing. I served this for visiting family (2 adults and three children) and it went over very well. Everyone had at least two helpings and the leftovers were all gone by the next day. Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
08/16/2012
ok on my family weekday menu board under Monday I wrote "Pasta Bake". Yeah I renamed this dish cause....well just cause Tuesday had Zuppa Toscana next to it! Just the facts Ma'am! Anyway today is Thursday and I just finished the LAST bite of "Pasta Bake". Everyone. Put. Down. The. Hamburger. Helper. Boxes. For the cost of buying pasta and meat that will last so much longer than that box this recipe is worth stocking the ingredients. I cooked as written except did not add the extra cheese on top. No biggie it was cheesy without it. What I loved the most is the fact that the entire pan is gone! Gone gone gone! We ate it all. It has such a great body it holds up well for leftovers in the frig. I just added a salad and breadsticks for a great meal. Oh yeah I always kick the seasonings up with herb mixes regardless of recipe lists for this type of dish. Do You! Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
01/19/2008
This recipe is absolutely delicious! The only thing I did differently was I used penne pasta instead of rigatoni and shredded Italian blend cheeses instead of cheddar. Although it's great fresh it's even better the next day!!!!!!!!!!! Read More
(11)