Simple Baked Beef and Pasta Casserole

How to make Simple Baked Beef and Pasta Casserole

Ingredients

1 package penne pasta

Water, as needed

2 pounds ground beef

½ tablespoon canola oil

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

4 ounces cream cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or chili powder)

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

Cook the pasta following the directions on the package and drain it.

Meanwhile you can cook the meat in the oil in a skillet until cooked through.

Drain off any excess fat.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Turn the heat down on the stove and mix in the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper or chili powder, cream cheese, and half the shredded cheddar.

Combine the pasta with the beef mixture.

Pour this into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

Sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Serve hot.

Notes

Omit the cayenne or chili powder if you don’t want this spicy, or increase it if you’re a
spice-lover!

You can lower the fat content if you want by using extra-lean ground beef and reduced fat cream cheese and cheddar.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving:

TOTAL FAT: 22g | SATURATED FAT: 12g | TRANS FAT: 10g | CHOLESTEROL: 88mg | SODIUM: 25mg | CARBOHYDRATES: 120g | PROTEIN: 40g

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a baked beef and pasta casserole?

A baked beef and pasta casserole is a comforting and hearty dish made with cooked pasta, seasoned ground beef, creamy cheese sauce, and baked until bubbly and golden.

Can I use a different type of pasta instead of penne?

Yes, you can use any type of pasta you prefer or have on hand, such as macaroni, rotini, or rigatoni.

How do I cook ground beef for the casserole?

Cook the ground beef in a skillet with a little oil over medium heat until it’s browned and cooked through.

Make sure to break up the meat with a spatula as it cooks.

Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef?

Yes, you can substitute ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef if you prefer a leaner option.

What can I use instead of cream cheese for the sauce?

You can use sour cream, Greek yogurt, or ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese for a different flavor and texture.

Can I make this casserole ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake. Just be sure to cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap.

How do I reheat leftovers?

Reheat leftovers in the microwave or oven until heated through.

You may need to add a splash of water or milk to loosen the sauce.

Can I add vegetables to the casserole?

Yes, you can add vegetables such as diced bell peppers, onions, or mushrooms to the beef mixture for added flavor and nutrition.

Can I freeze this casserole?

Yes, you can freeze the casserole before or after baking.

Just be sure to wrap it tightly with foil or plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container.

What can I serve with this casserole?

This casserole pairs well with a side salad, garlic bread, or steamed vegetables for a complete meal.

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