Million Dollar Mac Bake

This little recipe needs to be tucked away for that moment dinnertime has snuck up on you. A semi-stocked pantry and fridge should have just about everything you need to get this yummy, satisfying meal on the table in under an hour — AND with just the effort of boiling some pasta, mixing in a few ingredients and baking to bubbly, gooey perfection.

So here’s what you’ll need ::

  • 1 lb pasta, slightly undercooked (I used strozzapreti)
  • 2 c cottage cheese
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 c crushed tomatoes
  • ½-1 t salt
  • 3-4 T prepared pesto*
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar
  • 8 oz shredded monterey jack 
  • 1 lb browned ground beef drained and lightly seasoned with s & p

I pretty much always have these ingredients on hand. If I happen to be missing one (like beef), then I just omit it. You could sub browned ground sausage, or rotisserie chicken for the ground beef if you prefer.

Rather than using the pesto, I used the leftover (unused) 10 Herb Marinade found HERE.

Drain the boiled pasta and then combine all ingredients (reserve about half of the cheese to sprinkle over the top) in a large bowl, stirring to combine.

Pour everything into a 9″x13″ prepared baker, sprinkle remaining cheeses on top and bake for 30-40 minutes (until bubbly) in a preheated 350° oven.

The combination of cheeses with the tangy crushed tomatoes and the fresh, flavorful garlic herb pesto turn a simple bag of dried pasta into a delicious dinnertime solution. Now, to this busy momma with a house full of hungry humans — that’s worth a million bucks. (not exactly a million bucks – but at least $30! hah!)

Million Dollar Mac Bake
Serves 8
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb pasta, slightly undercooked (I used strozzapreti)
  2. 2 c cottage cheese
  3. 8 oz cream cheese
  4. 2 c crushed tomatoes
  5. ½-1 t salt
  6. 3-4 T prepared pesto*
  7. 8 oz shredded cheddar
  8. 8 oz shredded monterey jack
  9. 1 lb browned ground beef drained and lightly seasoned with s & p
Instructions
  1. Drain the boiled pasta and then combine all ingredients (reserve about half of the cheese to sprinkle over the top) in a large bowl, stirring to combine.
  2. Pour everything into a 9"x13" prepared baker, sprinkle remaining cheeses on top and bake for 30-40 minutes (until bubbly) in a preheated 350° oven.
  3. Serves 8
Notes
  1. Rather than using the pesto, I used the leftover (unused) 10 Herb Marinade (link in body of post).
Food for a Year: https://foodforayear.com/

In true show & tell form: "I am open for questions & comments"

 
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