Baked Pasta Recipe

A friend, Cheryl, asked me the other day if I ever get bored with food?  Me?  No way – I love food!  Cheryl was referring to the art of cooking for one person – she often gets tired of thinking of what to make and eat.

It can be a challenge to prepare for a single serving meal!  My husband travels a lot for work, and I’m often eating alone.  One of my favorite things to do is to make casseroles that can be divided into one and/or two servings and then frozen.  I just take one from the freezer and have an instant meal. 

One of my favorites is this Baked Pasta Recipe.  It can be easily doubled if you’d like, and can be frozen into single portions, and is a full meal with protein, veggies, good fats and some cheeses.  Try it on one of the cooler nights this winter, and hopefully you’ll love it as much as I do!

Baked Pasta

  • One package of rigatoni, spirals, or even broken spaghetti pieces (I use gluten-free rice or veggie pasta – delish!). Cook according to directions and keep warm.
  • Two pounds ground beef (or a mix of ground beef and ground pork)
  • Two of your favorite veggies: a head of chopped broccoli, several sliced zucchini or yellow squash, 2 cups or more of green beans, peas, corn, edamame – whatever you and your family love!
  • 3-4 minced or sliced cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 cups sliced mushrooms – any kind – experiment with different varieties!
  • 1 jar tomato or spaghetti sauce
  • 1-pound ricotta cheese
  • 1-pound mozzarella cheese, sliced or cubed
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves or ground basil

In olive oil in a large pan, sauté garlic till browned.  Add mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes.  Add ground beef and brown.  To this skillet, add the cooked pasta, veggies, tomato/spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese and half the mozzarella cheese.  Add whatever seasonings you like – sea salt, pepper, oregano, Italian mix, etc.  Thoroughly mix.

Rub olive oil onto a 11 x 17 casserole dish – or two smaller casseroles – and add mixture.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove dish(es) from over, add rest of mozzarella, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and add basil leaves.  Put back into over for 10 minutes to melt cheese. 

If you plan to portion into individual servings, do so once the casserole has cooled, then completely cool it, cover with foil and zap it into your freezer!  Enjoy!

To Your Vitality!

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