Monday, May 20, 2013

Hamburger Pasta Casserole

Hamburger Recipes
Pasta, pasta, pasta!!  So easy to make, so versatile to use. The possibilities are endless especially when you have a plethora of leftovers that need to be eaten and the family is hungry. I had this challenge earlier this week. So where did that evenings culinary adventure take me? It took me to a casserole dish that combined an earlier spaghetti recipe with a pound of hamburger and some leftovers and turned it into a delicious dinner that can also be a freezer meal for a later date. But that did not happen here since hubby gobbled up the leftovers. So no freezer meal for me. 

Ingredients
8 oz Angel Hair pasta
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb lean hamburger meat 
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 of a 15 oz can of tomato sauce
3/4 cup fat free sour cream 
Half of a 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup low fat cheddar cheese, divided
3/4 cup low fat Monterrey jack cheese, divided

For complete nutrition information, click the magic button  

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to package directions. I usually put a teaspoon of olive oil and some garlic in the boiling water. The oil keeps the pasta from sticking and the garlic adds flavor. Drain and set aside.
Casserole
In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil and add the chopped garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add the ground beef and crumble it while cooking. Drain any excess fat before going on to the next step.

Stir in the tomato sauce (you can use jarred pasta sauce too if you would like), the sour cream, thyme and salt and pepper. Stir until beef is covered with the sauce mix.
Spaghetti Recipe
Mix 1/4 cup of each cheese with the pasta and arrange the mix in the bottom of a large baking dish. 
Spaghetti recipe
Next, layer the spinach on the top of the pasta then the beef mix.  Top with the remaining cheese and the panko bread crumbs. 

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. I like my panko topping golden brown, so I turned on the broiler to high and cooked it an additional 3 minutes. Perfect!!
Spaghetti Recipe
Boy was this good! My original plan was to freeze half of this for a later date, but hubby made sure that wasn't going to happen!! With this dish, it's an all in one meal. You've got your meat, veggies and pasta. The cheese within the pasta base gave it more flavor and the chunks of spinach was delicious. This meal is sure to please the entire family, even those who are not spinach fans. 
Spaghetti Recipe

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