A good pasta bake is a dinnertime classic for a good reason. Perfect for a lazy weeknight meal, a good pasta bake is the thing to fill you up after a long day.
Rather than buying spaghetti sauce why not use this Marinara Sauce to make your own? You could also make your own Italian Seasoning to use in your pasta bake!
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A good, classic pasta bake should be filling, flavorful, and packed with nutrients.
It should have tons of cheese, vegetables, and sauce, and every bite should be savory and delicious.
Thanks to the use of some beef, sausage, mushrooms, and plenty of different kinds of cheeses, you should have no problems making a pasta bake perfect for the whole family to enjoy.
Can You Use Fresh Mushrooms?
This recipe calls for the use of some canned, sliced mushrooms, primarily because of how incredibly convenient they are.
While canned mushrooms are certainly a little bit oddly textured, they are also incredibly convenient when it comes to using them in a recipe like this.
However, if you can get your hands on some cheap fresh mushrooms, there is nothing stopping you from using them instead.
Just make sure to fully wash and trim the mushrooms first, before you chop them up for this pasta bake.
One of the biggest advantages of using canned mushrooms is that all of the unseemly gooey parts or other assorted dirt is already really nicely cleaned, so make sure to do the same to your fresh mushrooms.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Three Different Types Of Cheese?
There are three different kinds of cheeses in this recipe: shredded provolone, melty mozzarella, and some Parmesan cheese.
While being asked to buy three different kinds of cheeses might seem a bit much for a seemingly simple pasta recipe, the variety of flavors and textures that the three kinds of cheese provide together is imperative to making this dish perfect.
The mozzarella cheese acts to introduce that stringy, gooey, cheesy texture throughout every bite, whereas the provolone provides the majority of the actual cheese flavor.
The Parmesan is perhaps the most important, as it provides that incredibly nutty, savory cheesiness that without it, you would absolutely notice its absence.
While it might seem a bit of a bother, it is totally worth it to go out and get the additional types of cheeses. At the very least, you could keep the leftovers for another meal in the future! Parmesan, for example, keeps super well in the fridge.
How To Reheat Leftovers The Next Day
Just like pretty much all great casseroles or pasta dishes, this is one of those things that gets even better the next day.
As long as you wrapped it up tightly the night before with some plastic wrap, you can expect your pasta to have slightly solidified and come together into a tighter clump, as well as really intensify all of its flavors.
To reheat it for eating again the next day, you can either reheat just a personal portion by microwaving it, or you can bake the whole thing again in the oven.
To stop it from burning too much, try tenting it with a little bit of foil – however, the burned, blackened bits that form at the edges of the pasta bake as it reheats are easily the best part, so why lose that?
Could You Use Different Cheeses?
While the use of the three given kinds of cheese in this recipe is definitely recommended, you could substitute another cheese for any one of them, so long as you keep in mind their similar qualities. Nothing beats mozzarella’s meltiness, for example, except something like Oaxaca.
Oaxaca cheese is another great melting cheese that serves as the perfect way to add plenty of stretchy, gooey meltiness to your pasta bake.
- Monterey Jack Cheese
A great replacement for the provolone, Monterey Jack adds a lot of its own flavors, and you can even get some spicier varieties to add a ton of different flavors to your pasta bake.
Ricotta is definitely a more out-there cheese option, but if you use it in place of the Parmesan on top, you will end up with a gooier, if slightly less salty and tangy pasta bake.
Looking for more delicious Pasta recipes? Try these out:
• Penne with Vodka Sauce & Italian Sausage
• Healthy Crock Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs
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- Prep Time
- 10 minutes
- Cook Time
- 55 minutes
- Main Course
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound Italian sausage, regular or spicy (casings removed)
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- One 24oz jar spaghetti sauce
- One 14 oz can diced tomatoes (un drained)
- 1 can sliced mushrooms (drained)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3 cups uncooked medium pasta shells
- 3/4 cup provolone cheese (shredded)
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese (for topping)
- Over medium heat In a large skillet, cook the ground beef, ground sausage and onion until it is no longer pink and all large pieces are broken up. Add in the diced garlic and cook about one minute more.
- Drain the meat. Add in the diced tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, canned mushrooms and the Italian seasoning. Bring this to a light simmer uncovered so it thickens up a bit for about 15- 20 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering preheat your oven to 350°. Cook the pasta according to the package directions to al dente. Drain the pasta.
- Add the pasta to the beef mixture and gently mix.
- Pour the mixture into a 13×9 baking dish and spread out evenly. Sprinkle the mozzarella and provolone cheese on top, then top it off last with the Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for about 20 minutes covered with foil making sure it does not touch the casserole top. Then remove the foil and continue to bake for another 10 minutes until it is bubbling and browned nicely on top. If you want it more browned on top you can broil it on medium for 5 minutes uncovered.
- Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving garnished with a bit of fresh parsley and a slice of garlic bread on the side.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!
very disappointed to see u are using canned mushrooms, why – when fresh are plentiful?
you can give them a quick saute or they will cook enough in the sauce.
Karlynn Johnston says
Fresh is also about 4 times the price of canned, so you can use either one, there is absolutely nothing wrong with canned if that’s all someone can afford!
There is always the option for fresh, nothing to be disappointed about!