This easy casserole just might become your new family favorite. I’ve been making it for years and everyone loves it. And I love it for two reasons. One: it’s delicious. Two: it’s easy to make. It takes just a few simple ingredients and less than an hour for some good homemade comfort food. By using lean ground beef and reduced fat cheese, I never feel stuffed after my second and third helping.
Much of the flavor comes from the sauce and you can use a homemade marinara but I use store-bought sauce. Two that I like, but can’t always find, are Silver Palate Low Sodium Marinara but this time I couldn’t find it so I used Terlato Kitchen Pomodoro, also lower in sodium and it was fantastic. Not all jarred sauces are the same so I encourage everyone to read the label for the least number of ingredients as well as sodium. Even with a low sodium sauce, this recipe doesn’t even need salt or pepper.
And don’t be tempted to use more pasta. It will seem like it’s not enough when you put it together but it’s just the right amount for this easy family casserole. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
If you like lasagna you will love this easy casserole. Baked ziti is a classic Italian dish and my version is light and healthy, made with lean ground sirloin and part skim cheeses. If you’re tempted to buy pre-shredded mozarella for this dish you may be disappointed. Any cheese that is pre-shredded will never melt as well as real cheese that you shred by hand. That’s due to the stabilizers that are added to packaged shredded cheeses. It takes about a minute to shred your own cheese so just do it. You’ll be rewarded with a creamy, melty dish that’s as close to lasagna as I’ve ever had.
Homemade marinara sauce is great if you choose but for this dish, bottled sauce works really well. Ziti is not always available so you can use other shapes of pasta with penne being the closest. The man in my life recently had a birthday and I offered to make him anything he wanted for dinner and for his birthday cake. He could have had anything that I make and guess what he wanted? He asked for baked ziti for dinner and my fresh strawberry cake for dessert. Good call, since I was eating here too. To try my Easy Baked Ziti click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones