Dinner just got a whole lot easier with this dinner casserole. It’s a pasta casserole, hearty, with ground beef and fresh veggies. Say hello to a quick and easy dinner tonight with our Baked Spaghetti Casserole recipe. Grab the directions down below!
Baked Spaghetti Casserole
Spaghetti rhymes with Yeti for a reason, ’cause often we’re raising little Sasquatches with stomachs as bottomless as the Kola Superdeep Borehole, let our baked spaghetti save the day.
Okay, you know how this story goes because as parents we’ve all been here before, and if you haven’t, well, we can’t be friends. I mean, we just can’t. Sorry, not sorry. Because perfect parents don’t exist, and if you are one of those parents that’s on top of your parenting game 24/7 then you’re an anomaly and therefore unfit for this earth. Moving on. Where was I? Oh, yeah, it’s a typical school night, and somehow the time has slipped away and there’s nothing to eat for dinner. The kiddos are hungry, you are hungry, and the dog is looking at you sideways too! It is times like these that having a few reliable, and easy to prepare, pantry staples come in handy. Having such items around is kinda like having a food first aid kit on hand, just in case, because food emergencies happen.
Enough delicious food to feed an army, or at least your hungry brood of humans to get them through the night. Top with more shredded cheese and fresh green onions and you’re golden.
Items to always keep in your pantry:
- extra virgin olive oil
- rice, both long or short grain
- and dry beans
- good canned tomatoes sauces
- and canned tomatoes (whole, stewed, and diced)
- onions and garlic.
In the fridge:
- red pepper, green peppers, green onions, fresh parsley, and cilantro
- a variety of cheeses (block cheese tastes better but bags of shredded cheese and quick and easy)
In the freezer:
ground meets; turkey, chicken, and beef
Of course, these aren’t the only items to keep on hand but it is a start and having items which can be made into a nourishing and quick meal can save the day even when you don’t feel much like saving the day.
How to make Baked Spaghetti Casserole
- 1 pound spaghetti pasta
- 1 pound ground beef, chicken or turkey
- 1 can 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 jar 24 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 1/3 cup green onion, sliced
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- freshly cracked black peppercorns, to taste
- sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 350°, prep the green onions and peppers in the morning or the night before will save time when you are preparing dinner.
- Brown ground meat, if the ground meat isn’t thawed don’t worry, use your Instant Pot to cook the frozen meat completely through in 12 minutes. When the ground meat is finished cooked, vent and remove the lid and salt and pepper to taste.
- Sauté the diced peppers, green onions, and onions. Set them aside when they are finished cooking.
- Cook the pasta following the cooking directions on the package, drain the pasta when the pasta is al dente. Put the pasta back into the pot and toss with olive oil, Italian seasoning, freshly cracked black peppercorns, and a pinch or two of sea salt. Add the ground meat, and ssautéed vegetables. Pour in the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, and toss all of the ingredients together. Transfer the pasta mixture into a large Dutch oven or casserole dish, top with shredded Mozzarella cheese and bake in a 350° preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
Additional vegetables to consider:
- Kale, chopped
- carrots, shredded
- zucchini, cubed
- Arugula, chopped
- Caramelized onions
- Olives, chopped
Disclaimer. This is a recipe for all the moms and dads cooks out there up to their respective elbows and chin-deep in the ever-unpredictable boundaries of parent land, those who are constantly at war with raising little ones, and battling time in order to extract the most from any given day of the week, we offer these meager recipes. We feel your pain because we’re parents too. All clumsy witticisms, deep-fried sarcasm, penetrating insights, and whatnot are our own and we are so sorry in advance. Thanks.