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Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake

This post is sponsored by RAGU but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Italian food and I have partnered up with RAGU to introduce you to their thickest boldest sauce yet – Check it out here!

The easier I can make a dish, the better! This Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake is simple and keeps so well in the fridge so it’s a perfect weeknight meal and it’s perfect for leftovers! It’s full of cheesy goodness and it’s made with the new Homestyle Thick and Hearty Ragu Sauce. It’s Ragu’s thickest sauce and it really hugs every nook and cranny of the pasta!

Here’s what you need to make the Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake: (And don’t let this list scare you, this dish comes together very easily!) 🙂

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green pepper – chopped
  • 1 yellow onion – chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper (for the beef)
  • 1 jar of Ragu Homestlye Thick and Hearty Sauce
  • 1 box of rotini pasta (1 lb.)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups Italian cheese blend (reserving 1/3 cup for the top)
  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream (light works fine too)
  • 6 slices of provolone cheese
  • 1 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper (for the cheese)
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • Chopped basil for garnish (totally optional)

First chop up your pepper and onion. I like to chop mine fairly fine because my daughter freaks out if she can see large chunks…and for some reason, I accommodate for this 🙂

Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake

Heat your olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add in your onions, peppers, beef, salt, and pepper. (While your beef is cooking, go ahead and put your pot of water to boil for your pasta) Cook your meat until it’s browned throughout and then drain any excess grease.

Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake

Once your meat is browned, add in your entire jar of Homestyle Ragu.

Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake

Stir the sauce in with your meat and reduce the heat to low. You’ll be amazed at how thick this sauce is! Let it simmer while your make the cheese mixture. Your water is also probably boiling by now so go ahead and drop in your pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.

Now for the cheese sauce. In a medium sized bowl, mix together your cream cheese, Italian cheese, parmesan cheese, sour cream, salt & pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasonings. (Note: if your cream cheese isn’t softened, just cover it and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds.)

Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake

Your pasta should be done by now so go ahead and drain it and you can start layering in the 9×13 pan! First put a few spoonfuls of the Ragu Homestyle Sauce & meat mixture into the bottom of you pan so your noodles won’t stick. Then add in half of your noodles.

Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake

Then you’re going to add your cheese mixture. You can just plop spoonfuls on and spread it out as best you can. It’s impossible to spread it perfectly even but it will melt and spread itself out when you bake it.

Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake

Now this next step just takes it over the top! Take your provolone cheese slices and lay them on top of your cheese mixture. covering the whole pan.

The Cheesiest Italian Pasta Bake

Now pour in the rest of your pasta and cover with the rest of your Ragu Homestyle Sauce & meat mixture. See how thick it is!?

The Cheesiest Italian Pasta Bake

Cover your pan with foil and bake for at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. after the 30 minutes is up, take out your pan, sprinkle it with the remaining cheese.

The Cheesiest Italian Pasta Bake

Then leave the Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake uncovered and bake for another 15 minutes to melt the cheese on top. And that’s it!

The Cheesiest Italian Pasta Bake

Thank you to Ragu for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me pass on my family traditions!

Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green pepper - chopped
  • 1 yellow onion - chopped
  • 1 lb . lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper for the beef
  • 1 jar of Ragu Homestlye Thick and Hearty Sauce
  • 1 lb box of rotini pasta 1 .
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups Italian cheese blend reserving 1/3 cup for the top
  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream light works fine too
  • 6 slices of provolone cheese
  • 1 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper for the cheese
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • Chopped basil for garnish totally optional
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put a pot of water to boil for your pasta and cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. While your water is boiling, chop your onion and green pepper.
  4. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and add your olive oil, chopped onion, chopped green pepper, ground beef, salt, and pepper.
  5. Cook until the beef is browned throughout.
  6. Drain if necessary.
  7. In a medium sized bowl, combine your cream cheese, sour cream, Italian cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasonings. (make sure to reserve one cup of the italian cheese for the topping later)
  8. Your pasta should be done by now so go ahead and drain it and set it aside.
  9. Begin layering in the baking dish:
  10. Add a few spoonfuls of you'r sauce mixture to the bottom of you pan,
  11. Then add in half of your pasta.
  12. Then spoon in all of your cheese mixture of the noodles.
  13. Layer your provolone slices over the cheese mixture.
  14. Then add in the rest of your noodles,
  15. Pour the remaining sauce over the noodles.
  16. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  17. After the 30 minutes, remove your pan from the oven, uncover and top with remaining cheese.
  18. Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.
  19. Enjoy!
The Cheesiest Italian Pasta

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  • Megan Marlowe
    August 9, 2016 at 9:12 am

    I love the addition of cream cheese in here. It looks extra creamy and you can never have enough cheese in my book! Delicious!

    • Coco and Ash
      August 9, 2016 at 9:32 am

      Thank you!! I LOVE anything with cream cheese! 🙂

  • Mercedes
    August 9, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    YUM!!! This looks delish!!!! and Easy

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