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Italian Ground Beef Casserole

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This Italian Ground Beef Casserole is a hearty and comforting dish that makes a perfect family meal. Like lasagna but much easier to make.

It includes layers of meaty tomato sauce, cooked pasta, and a creamy cheese mixture. Top it all off with a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese for a delicious finish. Sure to end up a family favorite.

Italian ground beef casserole in a light green baking pan with cheese and pasley in background
  • GROUND BEEF
  • WHITE ONION
  • GARLIC
  • MARINARA SAUCE
  • PETITE DICED TOMATOES
  • SUGAR
  • ITALIAN SEASONING
  • FRESH PARSLEY
  • MEDIUM PASTA SUCH AS ROTINI
  • SOUR CREAM
  • COTTAGE CHEESE
  • EGG
  • PARMESAN CHEESE
  • DRIED BASIL
  • MOZZARELLA CHEESE

Start this dish by making the meaty sauce. Cook some ground beef and diced onion in a skillet until the beef is fully cooked. Drain off any excess fat and add in a little garlic.

Now comes the tomatoes. Add in some marinara sauce and canned diced tomatoes. The combination gives the sauce some nice texture. Add a teaspoon of sugar to balance tomato acidity, then mix in Italian seasoning and fresh parsley for more flavor.

Give the sauce a little time to simmer while you cook the pasta. Any medium pasta will work.

Rotini or penne are good options. I found some fun twisty vesuvio shaped pasta. Cook according to package directions until al dente.

Next, you mix up the creamy cheese layer for this casserole. A combination of sour cream, cottage cheese, an egg, parmesan cheese, and some dried basil. After that, it’s time for the layers.

Spread a little of the sauce mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Just enough to coat the pan. Follow that with half of the noodles. Top that with the cheese mixture. Repeat a pasta layer with the remaining pasta, then top with all the remaining sauce.

Last, you sprinkle the whole thing with the shredded mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes until bubbly. Then allow to sit for 5 minutes before digging in.

Can I use a different type of ground meat instead of beef?
You can use ground turkey, chicken, pork, tofu, or lentils instead of ground beef based on your dietary choices.

Can I prepare this casserole ahead of time?
Absolutely! Making casseroles ahead of time often benefits them as the flavors have time to meld together. You can assemble the casserole and refrigerate it overnight, then bake it when you’re ready.

How do I store leftovers?
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or oven until heated through.

Can I make this casserole gluten-free?
To make this casserole gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta. Also, ensure that all other ingredients, such as sauces and seasonings, are gluten-free.

What can I serve with this Italian ground beef casserole?
This casserole pairs well with a variety of side dishes such as steamed vegetables, a fresh salad, or garlic bread.

Italian ground beef casserole in a light green baking pan with cheese and pasley in background

Italian Ground Beef Casserole

Real Mom Kitchen

5 from 1 vote
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 434 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 15 oz marinara sauce
  • 28 oz petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped more for garnish if desired
  • 12 oz medium pasta such as rotini or penne
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
  • ½ tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or more to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, brown beef with the onion until beef is fully cooked. Drain fat and mix in the garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the marinara sauce, petite diced tomatoes, sugar, and Italian seasoning.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in half of the parsley, taste, and season with salt & pepper.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, do not rinse.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mix sour cream, cottage cheese, egg, basil, remaining parsley, and grated parmesan cheese in a small bowl.
  • Add a thin layer of the meat sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
  • Layer half of the pasta in the pan. Top with all sour cream mixture followed by the remaining pasta. Top with the remaining meat sauce.
  • Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the dish and cover.
  • Bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Rest 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 661mg | Potassium: 853mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 824IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 227mg | Iron: 4mg
Keyword ground beef, lasagna casserole, noodles, pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

This recipe is adapted from Spend with Pennies.

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One Comment

  1. I found this recipe to use the 1 pound of lean ground sirloin I was using for dinner. I followed the recipe closely and it turned out very delicious indeed! My husband gave it a 10 out of 10! We both ate two helpings and enjoyed it! I have rated this recipe 5 stars! Thank you for sharing it!