Straightforward Tacky Weeknight Pasta Bake {Make-Forward and Freezable}


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scooping serving of weeknight pasta bake out of white 9X13-inch pan


This simple weeknight pasta bake is a kid-friendly household favourite! Fast and easy, it may be made forward of time and it makes an important freezer meal!

Deliver on the straightforward weeknight dinners! Particularly those that please the complete household.

No grumbling about dinner? Hiya. Signal me up. This tacky pasta bake checks all of the bins. And it makes a stellar make-ahead meal.

scooping serving of weeknight pasta bake out of white 9X13-inch pan

Sauce, Pasta and Cheese

To maximise your time, whereas the pasta cooks (simply till al dente!), begin on the fast, do-it-yourself meat sauce.

As soon as the tomatoes are added to the cooked floor beef, the sauce solely wants a couple of minutes of simmering motion.

It’s wonderful how easy components can nonetheless promise depth of taste!

wooden spoon scooping red sauce with ground beef in stainless pan

Toss the cooked and drained noodles with the sauce.

After which stir collectively the ricotta and parmesan cheese.

Professional Tip: if you happen to don’t have ricotta and/or don’t just like the typically grainy texture of ricotta, you'll be able to mix up cottage cheese to sub in for the ricotta cheese.

penne noodles in pan with red sauce and ground beef

Assembling the Pasta Bake

Pending a very unanticipated distraction (children? pets? an impromptu nap in between layers?), this assembling step shouldn’t take longer than a couple of minutes.

  1. Half the noodles and sauce
  2. All the ricotta + parm
  3. Half of the mozzarella cheese
  4. Remainder of the noodles
  5. Mozzarella cheese to complete
assembling pasta bake with noodles, red sauce, ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese

Make-Forward Freezer Meal

After meeting is full, you've got a few choices.

  • Bake instantly
  • Cowl and refrigerate for as much as 24 hours
  • Cowl with a double layer of greased foil and freeze

The pasta could be baked straight from the fridge or from the freezer. {I’ve included notes within the recipe under with baking directions for these choices.}

It makes a incredible take-in meal as a scorching and effervescent eat-it-now pasta bake OR as a freezer meal for the recipient to bake and eat later.

serving of cheesy pasta bake on white plate with focaccia bread

It could not win any awards for Fanciest Dinner on the Planet, but it surely wins all of the awards in my ebook for a meal that makes the entire household comfortable.

Additionally: hello, fancy pants dinners are extremely overrated once you’re an actual particular person with an actual household dwelling in an actual world on a median Tuesday evening when life is, belief me, something however glamorous. I depend it successful if most of us can discover matching socks 56% of the time. ?

I’m a sucker for any scenario that entails additional tacky pasta, and this simple weeknight pasta bake is 100% incredible! Hope you adore it.

fork taking a bite of penne noodles with red sauce on white plate

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scooping serving of easy cheesy weeknight pasta bake out of white 9X13-inch pan

Straightforward Tacky Weeknight Pasta Bake

  • 16 ounces penne pasta (see word)
  • 1 pound floor beef or floor turkey
  • ½ cup chopped onion or 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch black pepper
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese (see word)
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Preheat the oven to 375 levels F. Frivolously grease a 9X13-inch baking dish. Put aside.

  • Deliver a big pot of evenly salted water to a boil and prepare dinner the pasta till al dente, in accordance with bundle directions. Drain and put aside.

  • Whereas the pasta is cooking, prepare dinner the bottom beef, onion, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, in a skillet set over medium warmth, breaking the meat into small items because it cooks. Cook dinner till the meat is not pink. Off the warmth, drain the grease.

  • Return the pot to medium warmth and add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, brown sugar, basil, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Deliver to a mild simmer and prepare dinner for 5-7 minutes. Season to style with extra salt and pepper, if wanted.

  • Take away the skillet from the warmth and add the cooked and drained noodles and stir to coat evenly with the sauce (if the skillet is simply too small, mix the noodles in sauce within the now-empty pasta pot).

  • In a small bowl, stir collectively the ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese.

  • To assemble, unfold half of the noodles within the backside of the ready pan. Dollop the ricotta combination excessive and unfold right into a largely even layer. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Layer the remaining noodles excessive adopted by the remainder of the mozzarella cheese.

  • Place the pasta bake on a foil-lined half sheet pan to catch any spillovers and bake for 30-35 minutes till effervescent and heated by way of. Let relaxation for 10 minutes earlier than serving.

Pasta: any tube-shaped pasta ought to sub effectively for the penne. 
Sauce: you might simply sub in a 32-ounce jar of your favourite marinara sauce rather than the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and seasonings.
Ricotta Substitution: a number of occasions if I don’t have ricotta, I mix cottage cheese and it really works brilliantly effectively as a sub for the ricotta (and it has a creamier, much less grainy texture).
Make-Forward/Freezable: this pasta bake could be made forward of time, assembled, lined with foil and refrigerated for as much as 24 hours earlier than baking. Add 15-20 minutes onto the baking time if baking straight from the fridge. To freeze, assemble the pasta bake. Cowl with a double layer of greased aluminum foil (so the cheese doesn’t stick). Bake, lined, straight from the freezer at 350 levels F. for 90 minutes. Uncover and bake one other 30-45 minutes till scorching and effervescent.

Serving: 1 serving, Energy: 1181kcal, Carbohydrates: 190g, Protein: 65g, Fats: 29g, Saturated Fats: 12g, Ldl cholesterol: 88mg, Sodium: 6028mg, Fiber: 39g, Sugar: 92g

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