A casserole and a salad is my favorite kind of meal. You can ask my mama, every year for my birthday, I ask for some kind of casserole and a salad. Casseroles are the perfect busy lady’s meal…they’re quick, convenient, can be put in the fridge until bake time, can be transported easily, can be made in advance, can be frozen, they re-heat well…they’re the perfect thing for me to make on a busy night. This is a spaghetti and meat sauce casserole…and don’t we all need another way to make spaghetti and meat sauce? You’ll have this on the table in no time. Happy supper!
1 pound pasta
1 pound ground beef, chicken or turkey (your choice)
1 onion, chopped
3-4 gloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flake (optional)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (I used white cheddar but you can totally use yellow)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salt and Pepper
**Now, I browned my meat in an oven-safe skillet and then transferred that into the oven when it was time to bake. If you you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, then you would transfer your mixture into a 9×9 inch casserole dish at bake time.**
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
In a large pot, bring water to boil for your pasta. Drop your pasta and cook until al dente (about 6 minutes).
In an oven-safe skillet, heat 2-3 tablespoons of EVOO over medium-high heat, add in your ground beef and brown. Once the beef is brown and crumbly, add in your onion and garlic and cook about 4 minutes. Stir in your red pepper flake and a pinch of salt and pepper for about a minute. Pour your spaghetti sauce into your ground beef mixture, reduce heat to low and simmer another minute.
Drain your pasta and incorporate it into your ground beef mixture. At this point, if your skillet isn’t oven-safe, transfer your mixture into a baking dish. Pour your cream of mushroom soup down over the top (don’t stir it in, just pour it on top) and top the soup with your cheddar cheese.
Bake uncovered about 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and brown.
That’s it! The perfect pot-luck pasta for fall, the perfect casserole for a chilly night, the perfect dish for my birthday (hint, hint Mom!). Enjoy your casserole tonight with a salad and think of me :). Then have a piece of bundt cake to follow and really think of me!