Make-Ahead Cheese-and-Hamburger Casserole

Photo: Oxmoor House

Tips: The penne doesn't have to be cooked beforehand because it absorbs the liquid when refrigerated overnight. If you want to make it the same day, cook the pasta before combining with all the ingredients. For convenience, use precrumbled feta and preshredded mozzarella.

Yield: 8 servings
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 412
  • Calories from fat: 23%
  • Fat: 10.8g
  • Saturated fat: 5.5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9g
  • Protein: 27.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 51.1g
  • Fiber: 3.2g
  • Cholesterol: 60mg
  • Iron: 4.9mg
  • Sodium: 448mg
  • Calcium: 286mg

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground round
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups 2% low-fat milk
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 4 cups uncooked penne (tubular-shaped pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preparation

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet; cook over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add tomato paste and next 5 ingredients (tomato paste through whole tomatoes); stir well. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Place flour in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Place over medium heat; cook 10 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Stir in cheeses; cook 3 minutes or until cheeses melt, stirring constantly. Reserve 1/2 cup cheese sauce. Pour remaining cheese sauce, beef mixture, and pasta into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, and stir gently. Drizzle reserved cheese sauce over pasta mixture. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.
  4. Bake at 350°, covered, for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated and pasta is tender; sprinkle with parsley, if desired.
Note:

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

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