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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
  2. Lazy Lasagna Casserole Substitutiosnand Additions
  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
  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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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. We’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!


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

You can 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: 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 casserole 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


  • 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


  • 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.



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.


Calories: 278kcal
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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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    Recipe Rating


  1. Shannon says

    5 stars
    My family won’t eat cottage cheese, so used cream cheese instead… once the hamburger is done, just cut the cream cheese into cubes and add to hamburger and stir until creamy, and add a ladle of pasta water to mixture. I know it kind of changed the recipe up, but followed the rest of the recipe, and it was still good!

  2. Kim says

    5 stars
    I made this and I must say it was very easy and everyone in my house loved it. I added a bit more spaghetti sauce and some Parmesan to the mix with before adding to casserole dish.

  3. Chelle says

    5 stars
    I made this a few weeks ago using elbow macaroni as that was what I had on hand, and split it into two casserole dishes, as its just my husband and myself. One I baked right away, and the other I froze. The fresh baked on was delish! It was literally lasagna with out all the fuss! I took the other one out a week or so later, let it defrost in the fridge over night and baked it the next day. It was just as good as the fresh one! Holy moses! This is a keeper! I’m making it again tonight, and wanted to give a HUGE thank you!! Soooo good!

  4. Bree says

    This recipe looks so good! I am looking for a last minute recipe and I have everything on hand except the cottage cheese. Can this be left out or substituted with something else?

    Thank you!

  5. Wendy says

    5 stars
    I made this tonite & a couple months ago I used turkey & mixed the cottage cheese with ricotta I put garlic & oil from the garlic in there & a table spoon of brown sugar to cut the acid down this recipe is a hit my family loves it. Thanks

  6. Ryan says

    5 stars
    I loved your instant pot lasagna and I like the idea of this recipe using rotini pasta as a change-up. So, I’m wondering if you would suggest putting this together in a similar way to your lasagna, cooked in the instant pot? Place or layer the meat/pasta into a spring-form or Fat Daddio 7” round pan? Thanks for your advice.

  7. Cassidy says

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and I think it’s delicious! I added about 0.5 tsp of high quality dried basil with a sprinkling of oregano and parsley since I felt it needed a little more spice than what was in the sauce I used. I served it alongside garlic bread, and I can’t wait to eat more of the leftovers tomorrow!

  8. Darlene Hurrie says

    5 stars
    This is a very simple and quick delicious meal but I used Italian sausage. Mixed in with the ground beef

  9. Allene Williams says

    5 stars
    I would add diced tomatoes, fresh parsley flakes, Garlic powder, fresh basil, spaghetti sauce with the vegetables.

  10. Noreen says

    5 stars
    This just might be dinner tonight. I have some hot Italian sausage that I may add with the hamburger, spice it up a bit.

  11. Lori A Pennington says

    5 stars
    I have never made lasagna casserole but I will have to try it I would have a salad and cheese garlic bread with it……

  12. Christa says

    5 stars
    I would maybe use some mild Italian sausage to give it a little zing. I would definitely serve it with a side salad and broccoli on the side! Super easy and yummy recipe!

  13. Lori McIntosh says

    5 stars
    This recipe sounds great, I can’t wait to make it! I would serve it with a salad and cheesy garlic toast! Yum yum!

  14. Christine Desatoff Voisin says

    I Would add 1/2 a lb ground itialian sausage switch the cottage cheese for ricotta and add some mushrooms and red peppers.

  15. Tonya says

    5 stars
    I haven’t had the opportunity to make this yet, but it looks delicious. To make it a little healthier you could use ground turkey and I think I will add some Italian seasoning when I make it.

  16. Donna says

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! I added a 1/2 lb. of Italian sausage, browning it with the hamburger. I also add a few more spices to the sauce in a jar and a small amount of Worcestershire sauce.

  17. Debbie Shumaker says

    5 stars
    I think it sounds delicious!! It would go great with a lettuce salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and anything else you might want to throw in. I personally would put Italian dressing on my salad. Yum! Yum!

  18. NORMA SMITH says

    5 stars
    I haven’t tried it yet but if you are like me and just two people to feed I have found out that if you go and put it in the small disposable aluminum loaf pans–put this inside a zip lock bag–mark date and item==and stick in freezer–it makes it easier for us as meals

  19. Lauren says

    What type of protein would you add to this casserole? * I would use ground beef in this.
    What would you serve with this lasagna casserole? *I would serve side of salad and make garlic bread with this.
    Would you add any extra veggies or spices? I would add minced garlic and diced bell peppers along with diced mushrooms. YUMMO!

  20. Connie says

    5 stars
    This looks so yummy and goes together so easily! Much easier than all the layering and spreading out of those layers in traditional lasagna. I like the idea of adding sliced or shredded zucchini to it.

  21. Shirley says

    5 stars
    I made this but used ricotta instead of cottage cheese. It came out great. I served it with a tossed salad and garlic bread sticks.

  22. Beth Sutton says

    5 stars
    I made this for the weekly dinner at our church. It was scarfed! I traded part of the ground beef for sausage. I served it with a green salad and French bread. For dessert, a banana poke cake.

    No leftovers. : )

  23. Stephanie says

    5 stars
    I am definitely going to try this recipe as it looks yummy. I think I would dice some colored sweet peppers in this as well.😋😋😋

  24. MB says

    5 stars
    I will make this and plan and his and add some Italian sausage taken out of the casing and browned with the ground beef to add a little more flavor. Thanks for a great and versatile recipe.

  25. Cheryl says

    I add some carrots and other veggies, just cook them with the onions and such..until tender. I might use a really good chicken sausage instead of beef.

  26. Rebecca says

    5 stars
    I would use Turkey mince, add in about half a cup ot tomato sauce (ketchup) and 1/4 red wine to add an extra boost of flavour. I love serving lasagne with a simple garden salad to give it some texture enhancement. The crunch with the soft. Also a hint of paprika and chilli to enrich the flavours.

  27. Morgan says

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I think my kids will devour it if I substitute half of the ground beef with mild ground sausage. Sounds so easy and so good!

  28. Jamie says

    5 stars
    Since I don’t eat beef, I would use ground turkey. No I wouldn’t add veggies and my sides, I’ll have a spring salad and a baked sweet potato.

  29. Ferne Miller says

    5 stars
    I made this but detest cottage cheese, so I use ricotta. It was awesome everyone loved it and asked me to make it again soon. It is lasagna made in less time without the mess of boiling the lasagna noodles and layering.

  30. Anna Szabo says

    5 stars
    I made it several time, this is one of our favourite. I always put some extra cheese, usually Grana Padano, and to the top cheddar. That’s give more taste. I tried to mix into mushroom, very good! The canned or the fresh are both doing well. If I use fresh, that’s need to cook with the onion at first, and after I put the meat.

  31. 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!!!!!!

  32. 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!!!!

  33. debbie says

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

  34. 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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