This ground beef casserole recipe is super easy to throw together and feeds a crowd! It's comforting and uses simple ingredients.
This cheesy beef and pasta casserole is sure to be a hit with the kiddos. It's also really easily adaptable based on what you've got in the fridge/pantry/etc. You could even throw in some extra veggies if you want.
I wasn't sure whether to call this a casserole or ground beef pasta bake or what. Basically, you just boil up some penne, and while that's cooking, you make a quick tomato and meat sauce. You then toss it together in a 9x13 dish, top it with cheese, and bake. Easy peasy.
Hamburger pasta casserole recipe notes & tips:
- Don't have marinara sauce? Any jarred tomato-based pasta sauce will work, or use a similar amount of tomato sauce or even a combo of tomato products such as diced tomatoes and tomato paste or crushed tomatoes (I'd then add in a bit of Italian seasoning or other herbs for more flavor). This recipe definitely can be adapted based on what's in your pantry.
- You can substitute the penne with whatever pasta you have on hand (or even use egg noodles like some casseroles do). I recommend slightly undercooking any pasta/noodles so it doesn't go mushy in the oven.
- The ingredient quantities don't have to be exact. A bit more or less beef will be totally fine. Want to add more sauce? Go ahead. Same with the cheese. 🙂
- If you want to put a Tex-Mex spin on this recipe, add in some beans, taco spices, and use a Tex-Mex cheese blend.
More tasty ground beef recipes:
- Ground Beef Gnocchi
- Beef Ramen Noodles (Stir Fry)
- Easy Hamburger Soup
- Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe
- Easy Creamy Beef and Shells
- Easy Cheesy Taco Pasta
Let me know if you'll give this easy ground beef pasta casserole recipe a try!
Questions? Leave me a comment below.
Ground Beef Casserole
- 1 pound uncooked penne
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1.5 cups marinara sauce
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat your oven to 400F and move the rack to the middle position. Grease a 9x13 baking dish (I use Pam spray).
- Boil a large, salted pot of water for the penne. Cook it for 10 minutes (it should be slightly underdone so it doesn't get mushy).
- Add the oil, beef, and onion to a skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat, breaking the meat up as you go along, for 10 minutes. Once it gets going, stir in the garlic. Spoon out excess fat if needed.
- Stir in the marinara sauce and warm through. Give it a taste and season with salt & pepper as needed.
- Drain the pasta and pour it into the baking dish. Pour the beef mixture over top and then toss until it's combined with the pasta. Top with an even layer of the cheese. If you want it extra cheesy, you can stir in an additional half cup of cheese prior to topping it with the rest of the cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes, uncovered, until the cheese is nicely melted. I then broil it for a few minutes (optional) to brown the cheese up a bit. Serve immediately.
- This is a very flexible recipe where additions/substitutions/etc. are fine. I have some tips within the blog post.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.