This easy cheesy Ground Beef Pasta Bake is a hearty, comfort food classic that the whole family will love. It’s got ground beef and pasta coated in a cheesy tomato sauce, topped with cheese and baked to golden brown perfection.
Cheesy Beef Pasta Bake
You really only need a few basic ingredients and less than an hour to throw together this hearty and delicious Ground Beef Pasta Bake. The combination of ground beef, pasta, tomato sauce, and melted cheese is pretty hard to resist, but super simple to make.
This recipe is also budget-friendly, easy to adapt, and can be made either the night before or as a simple freezer meal. If pasta bakes are your thing, you may also love our Meatball Pasta Bake made with both ground beef and meatballs. Top with a little fresh basil, serve with a side of garlic bread, and watch how quickly it disappears.
Ingredients in This Cheesy Pasta Bake With Ground Beef
- Pasta - you can use penne pasta, cavatappi, or whatever pasta you have on hand.
- Ground Beef - choose a lean ground beef, or substitute Italian sausage. Ground turkey would work, as well.
- Garlic - minced fresh garlic has the best flavor, but if you don’t like mincing garlic, the jarred kind will work in a pinch.
- Salt and Pepper
- Tomato Sauce - for the sauce, you can use your favorite spaghetti sauce, marinara sauce, meat sauce, or even tomato sauce seasoned with Italian seasoning. For homemade versions, try our Roasted Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes in the summer, or The Best Homemade Marinara Sauce throughout the rest of the year!
- Cream Cheese - you’ll need one 8 ounce brick of cream cheese for this recipe. In order to mix it into the beef and pasta mixture, you’ll want to cut it into ½” pieces.
- Parmesan Cheese - use freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, not the stuff from the can.
- Mozzarella Cheese - you’ll need a total of 1½ cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. Half will go into the mixture and half will be sprinkled over the top before baking.
How to Make Ground Beef And Pasta Bake Recipe
- Cook the pasta. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package instructions, then drain and set aside.
- Cook the beef. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the ground beef, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook while stirring until the ground beef is no longer pink.
- Make the beef mixture. Remove from the heat and add the cooked pasta noodles, spaghetti sauce, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and half of the mozzarella cheese. Mix to combine.
- Assemble. Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and add the pasta mixture.
- Bake. Top with the rest of the mozzarella cheese and bake uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese on top is lightly golden and the sauce is bubbling.
- Serve. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! This is a great make ahead recipe because you can prepare and assemble the entire thing the night before. Just cover, refrigerate, and pull out the next day while you preheat the oven. You can also freeze the assembled pasta bake for up to 2 months, then thaw overnight in the fridge before baking as directed.
Since pasta absorbs so much moisture, the best way to fix a dry pasta bake is by adding more sauce. This is especially true when reheating, since the pasta will continue to absorb some of the liquids as it sits in the fridge.
You’ll want to cook your pasta before baking because it won’t cook completely in the oven. Be sure to only cook until al dente and not until completely soft or the pasta will become overcooked and mushy once it has finished cooking in the oven.
Storing and Reheating
- Refrigerator: store leftover Ground Beef Pasta Bake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: unbaked pasta bake can be covered and stored frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before baking.
- To reheat: you can reheat in a preheated 350 degree oven by adding a little extra spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce. Or, reheat a small portion in the microwave.
Ground Beef Pasta Bake Recipe
- 16 oz Pasta penne, cavatappi, or your favorite
- 1 pound Ground Beef or Italian Sausage
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Pepper
- 24 oz Spaghetti Sauce or marinara
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese cut into ½ inch chunks
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese grated
- 1½ cups Mozzerella Cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook pasta to al dente, according to package instructions, then drain and set aside.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the ground beef, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook while stirring until the ground beef is no longer pink.
- Remove from the heat and add the cooked pasta, spaghetti sauce, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and half of the mozzarella cheese. Mix to combine.
- Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and add the pasta mixture, then top with the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
- Bake uncovered in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese on top is lightly golden and the sauce is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
More Easy Pasta Recipes To Try
- Meatball Pasta Bake
- Chicken Spaghetti
- Sun Dried Tomato Penne Pasta
- Slow Cooker Tortellini Pasta Bake
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Meatball Pasta Bake
- Easy Crockpot Lasagna with Ravioli
- The Best Marinara Sauce
- Sausage and Pepper Pasta Bake
- More Dinner Recipes
- More Pasta Recipes
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This easy Baked Pasta with Ground Beef is a simple, hearty, and delicious meal that the entire family will love. It's covered with cheesy tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella cheese, and baked until golden brown.