Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
I have been using this recipe for years. My family loves it. This also freezes well.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 3⁄4 cup water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
- 3⁄4 cup milk
- 1⁄3 cup sour cream
- 3⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef, onion and pepper in saucepan. Cook until beef is done. Drain well.
- Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, and dried Italian seasoning and stir well to blend.
- Let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook elbow macaroni as directed on package. While macaroni is cooking, combine cream cheese and milk in medium bowl. Cook in microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Remove from microwave and stir with wire whisk until sauce is smooth.
- Drain noodles and add to cream cheese sauce along with sour cream and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; stir.
- In 2 quart casserole dish, place all of cream cheese mixture. Top with all of the ground beef mixture and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until casserole is bubbly.
- To freeze, add 1 tablespoons cornstarch to the cream cheese sauce. Prepare casserole as directed, except instead of baking, chill in refrigerator. Wrap well and freeze up to 3 months.
- To thaw and reheat, thaw casserole overnight in refrigerator.
- Bake, covered, for 25-35 minutes 5 minutes longer until bubbly.
Let me start off by saying that my family found this anything but bland. The flavors in the meat sauce were really good (plus garlic powder) but the only downfall that we had was that there was entirely too much cream cheese. It was overpowering and I used 3 1/2 cups of macaroni noodles and I couldn't imagine how it would've tasted if I had used less. I think next time I will half the cream cheese and add some bread crumbs for some texture (it was kind of mushy). And I will definitely be doubling the meat that was called for. It seemed like it was all filler and not enough substance. But nonetheless, it flew off the table. I will be adjusting and trying it again!
The hubby and I loved this casserole. I did make a few changes to accomodate what I had on hand. I used Prego in place of the tomato sauce and I skipped the tomato paste (not a fan of it) and added a can of petite diced tomatoes. I salted the meat mixture to taste and added sliced black olives. I used about a half pound of sea shell pasta and cooked it in well salted water. I ran out of parmesan cheese so I used mozzarella and mexican cheese blend on top. It was really really good and I'll make it the same the next time.
This was OK. I added a lot of garlic and still found it bland. I like more of a tangy tomato flavor. The bottom macaroni/cream layer was very, very bland. I froze half of it and will eat it another time, but probably won't make it again after that.