Easy Recipes With Ground Beef
In my quest to find more freezer cooking friendly meals I decided to try some easy recipes with ground beef. My husband loves beef, so finding a casserole that I could easily freeze and cook on busy nights was a priority. After cooking a big batch of ground beef in the crockpot, I jumped into this super easy recipe I found online from here.
Here’s the ingredients you will need. (I tripled this to make four half size pans to freeze.)
1 lb ground beef
26 oz spaghetti sauce
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
8 oz ricotta (you can also use cottage cheese)
1/2 cup butter
16 oz penne pasta
8 oz sharp cheddar shredded cheese
You will also need aluminum pans if you plan to freeze this recipe. You can find the best deal on pans here.
UPDATE: Some of you noticed that I used cottage cheese but listed Ricotta. I tried both, the pictures just came from the cottage cheese trial. I definitely think the ricotta did better in the freezer and had a creamier taste which is why I chose to list the ricotta on the recipe. I definitely use the recipes I share here and try them out first. That means freezing them for at least a few weeks and then serving them to my family. 🙂
1. Cook the ground beef. When I know I’m going to do do some freezer cooking in a big batch, I cook the ground beef in the crockpot easily the night before. Once it’s completely cooked, drained and cooled, I place it in the a container in the refrigerator. The next day, it’s really easy to pull together a recipe like this one.
But anyways, once the ground beef is cooked. Set it aside.
2. Boil the penne pasta and drain once fully cooked.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese. It’s much easier to mix them together if you let the cream cheese soften first.
4. Add half of the pasta to the containers you’re using. In this case, since I had tripled the recipe, I used four half containers. If you’re making only one batch, I would use a 9×13 pan.
5. Top the pasta with the cream cheese mixture. Spread it evenly around the pan.
6. Top the cream mixture with the rest of the noodles.
7. Cut the butter into slices and top the noodles.
8. Top the butter with the ground beef.
9. Top the ground beef with the spaghetti sauce. Straight out of the can, man.
10. Add cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees Faranheit for 45 minutes.
If you’re freezer cooking, you can top it with foil and add it to the freezer. Once thawed in the future, you can bake it for the same time. Personally, I think when you freezer cook with pasta, it sometimes soaks up the sauce. I like to add some sauce to the casserole before cooking it.
Let me know what you think!
If you plan to do a lot of freezer cooking, make sure to grab these pans! You won’t find a better deal!
Handi-Foil 120-Ounce Half Size Steam Table Pan (Case of 100)
Million Dollar Casserole
- 1 lb ground beef
- 26 oz spaghetti sauce
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 8 oz ricotta
- 1/2 cup butter
- 16 oz penne pasta
- 8 oz sharp cheddar shredded cheese
- Cook the ground beef.
- Boil the penne pasta and drain once fully cooked.
- In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese. It much easier to mix them together if you let the cream cheese soften first.
- Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Add half of the pasta to the containers you're using. Top the pasta with the cream cheese mixture. Top the cream mixture with the rest of the noodles.
- Cut the butter into slices and top the noodles. Top the butter with the ground beef. Top the ground beef with the spaghetti sauce. Straight out of the can, man. Add cheese.
- Bake at 350˚ F for 45 minutes.
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Looking for another casserole to try? You will love this recipe for Chicken Enchilada Casserole or this Spinach Rice Casserole recipe or even this Green Bean Casserole recipe!
What are some of your favorite easy recipes with ground beef?
Comments & Reviews
It was very good. Added more ricotta cheese to make it creamier.
M. Elaine Holland says
This sounds awesome and I plan on making this recipe for a Santa’ s Elves Casserole contest” for the Nursing and Rehab Nursing Home in the town I live in. The contest is this Sunday Thanks for sharing.
Awesome! I hope it was a winner!
This looks amazing! Do you cook this covered or uncovered?
If I plan to freeze this, do I cook it first then freeze, or freeze it without cooking. I want to make it to store in the church freezer for our people in need.
Hi! You do not need to cook it as a casserole first. Make the casserole as instructed and then put a layer of saran wrap and then foil. I like to write on the foil the baking time. Store in freezer and then let thaw before baking as instructed when ready to enjoy.
How do you cook ground beef in a crock pot?
This might be a silly question, but is this 16oz or pasta (a whole box) or 16oz cooked pasta? If I am tripling the recipe, will I need 3 whole boxes of penne?
No silly questions! It’s 16 oz of pasta before it’s cooked. So yes, typically that’s an entire box.