Beef and Pasta Casserole

This is a casserole to serve a crowd! Make it ahead of time and store it, unbaked, in the fridge, then add 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time.

Serves: 10Hands-on: 40 minutesTotal: 2 hoursDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 10


  • 1 1⁄2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef stock, divided
  • 3⁄4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 1⁄2 cup bulghur wheat
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. arrowroot
  • 1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 3⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 cups low-fat cottage cheese, puréed
  • 1 lb. cooked ziti


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large skillet, brown beef, stirring to break up beef, until partially cooked. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until beef is done and vegetables are tender. Drain thoroughly.
  • Add 1 cup beef stock, wine, and tomato paste and stir until tomato paste is blended. Add bulgur, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine arrowroot and remaining 1 cup beef broth; stir to blend.
  • Add evaporated milk and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir with wire whisk until thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1⁄2 cup Parmesan cheese and the cottage cheese. Add pasta to cheese mixture.
  • Spray 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Layer half of the pasta mixture and half of the meat mixture in pan. Repeat layers, then sprinkle with remaining 1⁄4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until casserole is bubbling and cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Let stand for 10 minutes, then serve.