Our family loves lasagna — however, I don’t always love making lasagna because it seems like I get SO many dishes dirty and make such a huge mess of the kitchen. Plus, a full pan of lasagna makes way too much food for our little family — which means we end up eating lasagna leftovers for the next week or more (unless I freeze it).
So in an effort to please the family and make life a little easier on myself, I came up with this “lasagna-like” recipe. It’s a simple, delicious recipe that tastes just like lasagna but without all the work!
If you like traditional lasagna I’m almost positive you’ll love this recipe too!
Recipe for Lasagna-Like Pasta Bake
Makes one 9″ x 13″ pan or 2 smaller pans.
- 16 oz. box of your favorite pasta (I would choose a bite-size noodle over the longer spaghetti noodles)
- 16 oz. tub of cottage cheese
- 1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey (optional and not pictured above)
- 6 oz. can of tomato paste
- 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1.5 oz. package pasta sauce seasoning (usually in the aisle with spices, gravy mixes, etc)
- 2 c. water
- 8 oz. shredded Italian-style cheese
- Preheat oven to 350*F
- In a large pot, boil pasta until tender. Drain (but do not rinse).
- Dump entire container of cottage cheese over hot noodles and stir until combined. Set aside.
- While noodles boil, brown meat in a large frying pan. Drain grease and return pan to stove.
- Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, pasta seasoning and water to the frying pan and simmer until thick and bubbly.
- Add cooked meat into the tomato sauce and stir.
- Dump noodles + cottage cheese mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan (or 2 smaller pans)
- Pour sauce over noodles
- Top with cheese
- Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes — or until cheese is melted.
- Eat and enjoy!
I can usually get this meal in the oven in about 20 minutes (even less time if I already have the meat cooked up in the freezer) so it’s definitely faster and easier than traditional lasagna recipes. Plus, I only have 2 pans and a spatula to wash!
I often make the meal in the morning and simply refrigerate it until dinner time — and yes, it freezes wonderfully. Oh, and I should mention that it definitely does NOT need to be made in a round pan — I was just running low on square pans so I used a 9″ in cake pan instead 🙂
This is a real kid-pleasing recipe and is also great for pot-lucks or other group meals.
Of course, you may feel free to play with the ingredients to fit your tastes. Maybe use your favorite pasta sauce, add a few seasonings or spices, play with various cheeses — I really don’t think you can mess this one up!
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