Company Casserole

Lately we’ve been having so much company over, and unfortunately at the worst of times. Dinner.
Not saying I don’t mind company, but my kids aren’t the best at table manners so it’s possibly one of the worst times to stop by our house. Next to bedtime, dinner wars drain the very last bit of energy out of me.

When company either drops by or I know they will be stopping by, this is the casserole I prepare. Even without doubling, there’s easily enough for an extra plate at the table. It’s hearty, cheesy and easy to prepare.

Ingredients
2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
1/2 lb lean gound beef
1/2 lb Italian turkey sausage links, casing removed
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic glove minced
2 cans diced tomatoes un-drained (14- 1/2 ouch each) Or use fresh
1/3 cup tomato paste
3/4 tsp Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 oz sliced turkey peperoni
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Brown beef and sauce into a skillet along with onion and garlic. Cook while stirring over med. heat until meat is cooked through. Drain and stir in tomatoes, paste and seasonings. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes.
Drain pasta, stir in meat mixture and pepperoni. Transfer half the pasta into a  2qt. baking dish (I used a 8×13 dish) coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle some of the cheese, repeat to layer ending with cheese. Cover and bake at 350 F for about 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

Now, with casseroles like this, I honestly don’t find it necessary to put it in the oven at all, really, it’s already cooked. Your adding cheese to an already hot ,mixture, so it’ll melt on it’s own. This way your cutting out nearly a half hour of your time! If you want to use the oven have at it, pinched for time, skip it! Found this recipe in Taste of Home Healthy beef dishes.

Enjoy!

Look out for the Truffle Cakes this week 🙂

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