I’m sharing my favorite recipe that tends to be a winner in this household. I make it with macaroni noodles so it will be easier for the kiddos to enjoy; without us parents to worry about breaking it down for them. Not to mention it is oh so delicious! I mean this is one-nice-cheesy-macaroni casserole with the taste of basil. Mmm.
This dish is perfect for a large family or a gathering. You can also freeze to save the leftover for another night when you have no time to cook😃.
Cook Time: 20 min
Baking Time: 25 minutes
What you will need:
- 1/2 package (8 oz) macaroni noodles
- 1lbs ground meat (I used turkey)
- 1/2 medium onion (diced) or 1/2 tsp dried minced onion
- 26 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
- 15 oz ricotta cheese (1 3/4 cups)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 4 teaspoons basil or 2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions for 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, brown meat with onion until throughly cooked. (I used turkey meat and dried minced onions).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Drain the meat mixture and put it back into the skillet.
- Stir in the spaghetti sauce into the meat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, basil, salt, and pepper. Set aside. (I used dried basil here for the pictures it’s all I had on hand😶)
- Toss hot pasta with meat sauce.
- In a 13″x9″ baking dish or two 9.5″ pie dish, spoon in a thin layer of pasta mixture to the dish.
- Spread cheese mixture on top.
- Layer the remaining of the pasta mixture.
- Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
NOTE: You can use this recipe as a “make ahead” meal. All you do is follow the instructions from 1-11. Just make sure you add the pasta mixture into a foil tin casserole dish and freeze till you need it. When you plan to have it for dinner, take the frozen casserole out the night before and put it in the fridge to defrost. Once defrosted, Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 20-25 minutes or till hot and bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes and serve.
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