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Lasagna Casserole

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A slice of pizza
Our delicious lasagna casserole is full of cheesy, meaty goodness and will be on the table in no time.
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Table of Contents
  1. LASAGNA CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS
  2. Lazy Lasagna Casserole Substitutiosnand Additions
  3. HOW TO MAKE THIS LASAGNA CASSEROLE
  4. How to Serve This Lasagna Casserole Recipe
  5. Easy Lasagna Casserole Storage Tips
  6. Why Casserole Lasagna is the Best
  7. Baked Lasagna Casserole Frequently Asked Questions
  8. More Great Recipes You'll Love
  9. JUMP TO RECIPE
  10. More Popular Favorites to Try

This easy lasagna casserole recipe (or baked rotini as it’s also called) is as simple as it is delicious. This recipe combines tender pasta, spices, hearty ground beef, tomato sauce, and plenty of cheese. It’s a family favorite dinner at our house for busy nights. And if you happen to have leftovers, those heat up for an incredibly comforting meal the next day. 

A plate of food, with Casserole and Cheese

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MORE EASY CASSEROLES:
Cowboy Casserole | Hamburger Casserole


LASAGNA CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS

A tray of food, with Casserole and Pasta

You will need:

  • 2 cups rotini pasta
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 large sweet onion diced
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 24-ounce jar of pasta sauce
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

Lazy Lasagna Casserole Substitutiosnand Additions

This easy meal is the perfect option for a hearty dinner at the end of a busy day. There are several great options for customizing this simple pasta recipe:

PASTA: We really like the rotini noodles but shells, bowties, elbow macaroni, penne pasta, or rigatoni noodles will work in this recipe. You could also give mafalda pasta a try.

If you don’t have traditional pasta on hand, you could make the meat and cheese mixture and serve over egg noodles.

You can even forgo the entire pasta additions and use spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for a similar taste.

SAUCE: You can use your favorite jarred spaghetti sauce or make our homemade pasta sauce recipe.

You can take this mixed-up lasagna in a different direction by using an alfredo sauce instead of the more traditional pasta sauce, too.

SPICES: Additions include garlic powder, minced garlic, basil, fennel, oregano, Italian seasoning, dried onion, red pepper flakes, and parsley.

VEGGIES: In the mom-wants-you-to-eat-more-veggies category, spinach, parsley, olives, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, and bell peppers have been met with different levels of satisfaction at our house. The trick seems to be to add only an amount of veggies that will not overpower the tomato-cheese flavor.

COTTAGE CHEESE: You could easily substitute ricotta cheese in place of cottage cheese or combine them to make a cottage cheese and ricotta mixture.

CHEESE: Many kinds of cheese will work in this hearty meal. Mozzarella is the traditional choice for Italian meals, but you could also experiment with sharp cheddar, Colby, or pepper Jack for a little heat. You can add extra cheese as well if you’d like!

MEAT: In place of the ground beef in this easy recipe, you could use ground pork, chicken, or Italian sausage.

Another delicious alternative is using ground sausage in place of half of the beef. I’ve made this with both mild and spicy sausage and they are equally delicious!

If you use the sausage mixture or don’t use lean ground beef, be sure to drain the excess grease before mixing your casserole together!

HOW TO MAKE THIS LASAGNA CASSEROLE

STEP ONE: Boil rotini al dente, according to package directions.

PRO TIP: Al dente is the ideal consistency for pasta. The pasta will be tender and will still have a slightly firm texture when you bite into it.

A tray of food on a table, with Casserole and Spaghetti

STEP TWO: Brown ground beef with diced onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat; season with salt and pepper to your taste.

PRO TIP: For an even quicker cooking time, ground beef can be cooked ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to a month.

STEP THREE: Once the meat is no longer pink and the onion is soft, stir in the cottage cheese, tomato sauce, and cooked pasta.

A plate of food with a slice of pizza

STEP FOUR: Spoon pasta mixture into a greased 10 x 15-inch baking dish and top with mozzarella cheese.

STEP FIVE: Bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

You can add an extra dash of parmesan cheese before serving as well!

How to Serve This Lasagna Casserole Recipe

I usually add a quick salad like our classic caesar salad recipe, or simple sauteed vegetables. Pair it with cornbreadbeer bread, or cheese biscuits! Our cheesy pull-apart bread would be great, too.

Easy Lasagna Casserole Storage Tips

IN THE FRIDGE: Leftover lasagna casserole will last for three to four days in the fridge. The leftovers are excellent!

You can reheat individual servings in the microwave or heat back up in the oven at 325°F until warmed.

IN THE FREEZER: Adding to the diversity of this easy lasagna casserole, you can make a double batch and freeze half to serve at a later date. Make sure it is wrapped very tightly with aluminum foil or a freezer bag. Thaw in the fridge for a couple of days before you are ready to serve it to ensure it thaws right to the center.

PRO TIP: If you do thaw and eat it the same day, add extra baking time and check to be sure you’re not burning the edges.

Why Casserole Lasagna is the Best

This easy pasta recipe is often considered a favorite dish by many for several compelling reasons:

Rich Flavor: Lasagna casserole combines a variety of ingredients such as cheese, tomato sauce, ground meat, and herbs, which blend to create a rich and satisfying flavor.

Texture Variety: The layered structure of lasagna offers a delightful mix of textures. The softness of the pasta, the creaminess of the cheeses, and the heartiness of the meat sauce make each bite interesting.

Versatility: Lasagna is incredibly versatile. It can be adapted to suit various dietary preferences and restrictions, like vegetarian or gluten-free options.

Comfort Food: Many people consider lasagna to be comfort food. Its warm, cheesy goodness can be very soothing and satisfying, especially in cold weather or on special occasions.

Feeds a Crowd: Lasagna is ideal for feeding a large number of people, making it a go-to dish for family gatherings, potlucks, and parties.

Leftovers Taste Great: Lasagna often tastes better the next day, as the flavors have more time to meld together. This makes it a great dish for meal prep or for enjoying leftovers.

Customizability: You can easily add or substitute ingredients in a lasagna to cater to different tastes or to make use of what you have on hand. This flexibility makes it a practical and creative dish to prepare.

A slice of pizza


Traditional lasagna recipes, while delicious, can be time-consuming. This lazy lasagna has tons of flavor just like classic lasagna but takes much less time to get it on the dinner table. Pasta casserole dishes are great because they are versatile, easy to cook, and economical.

Baked Lasagna Casserole Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe and freeze it before baking?

This recipe is a great option for a freezer meal. Assemble the dish and freeze it before baking. Thaw fully and bake according to the recipe directions.

What kind of pasta is best for this recipe?

Our recipe calls for rotini but any pasta would work well. Bite-size pasta is a perfect size but you could also take actual lasagna noodles and break them into pieces as a fun alternative.

Can I use a different kind of meat than ground beef?

Italian sausage, chicken, ground pork, or ground turkey would all work fine in this recipe.

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A slice of pizza

Easy Lasagna Casserole Recipe

5 from 54 votes
Our delicious lasagna casserole is full of cheesy, meaty goodness and will be on the table in no time.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups rotini pasta
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 large sweet onion diced
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 24- ounce jar of pasta sauce
  • Salt pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions
 

  • Fry ground beef with diced onion; add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Boil rotini al dente, according to package directions.
  • Add cottage cheese to hamburger/onion mix.
  • Pour pasta sauce over mix.
  • Stir in cooked pasta.
  • Scoop mixture into greased 10 x 15 casserole dish.
  • Top with mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

Video

Notes

TIP: Al dente is the ideal consistency for pasta. The pasta will be tender and will still have a slightly firm texture when you bite into it.
TIP: For an even quicker cooking time, ground beef can be cooked ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month.
TIP: If you do thaw and eat it the same day, add extra baking time and check to be sure you’re not burning the edges.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

This recipe was developed, tested, cooked and photographed by the Spaceships Kitchen. From our dinner table to yours, we hope you think it's out of this world!

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  1. Amanda Boyd says

    5 stars
    This is a wonderful recipe!!! I used a jar of Prego Roasted Garlic Parmesan sauce, more mozzarella cheese and sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on top before I baked it. I will do this again!!!!!! Thanks for this twist to lasagna!!!!!!

  2. Tricia Swanstrom says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now… It’s sooooo delicious! I use Italian sausage and ricotta. I’ve started moving ricotta into regular pasta dishes as well. It adds a nice creaminess to the dish. Thanks for the recipe!!!!

  3. debbie says

    I have YET to make this delish recipe. JUST wanted to know if you could substitute RICOTTA cheese instead of cottage????? HELP!

  4. Kathleen says

    5 stars
    Super fast and easy! I followed the recipe, I put a dollop of sour cream on the servings.
    Definitely will make it again and add garlic, black olives. I know the left overs are going to be even better!

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