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Eight-Layer Casserole

Eight-Layer Casserole: A Hearty Family Favorite

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Looking for a delicious and satisfying meal that’s easy to make and loved by the whole family? Look no further than this Eight-Layer Casserole recipe! Packed with flavorful ingredients and layers of goodness, this comforting dish is sure to become a staple in your recipe collection. Join us as we explore the ingredients, step-by-step instructions, cook notes, variations, and even keto and low-carb versions of this classic casserole. Let’s dive in and discover the layers of flavor in this hearty and delicious dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups rotini pasta, uncooked
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Ground Beef Mixture:

  • In a large skillet, cook the ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until the beef is browned and the onion is tender. Drain off any excess fat.

2. Add Tomato Sauce and Spices:

  • Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, basil, salt, and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Cook the Pasta:

  • Meanwhile, cook the rotini pasta according to package directions. Drain well.

4. Prepare the Cottage Cheese Mixture:

  • In a small bowl, combine the cottage cheese and lightly beaten egg.

5. Assemble the Casserole Layers:

  • Spread half of the cooked pasta in a greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Layer with half of the beef mixture, half of the cottage cheese mixture, and half of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers.

6. Add Spinach and Bacon Layers:

  • Sprinkle the thawed and well-drained spinach evenly over the top of the casserole. Then, sprinkle the cooked and crumbled bacon on top.

7. Finish with Parmesan Cheese:

  • Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the bacon layer.

8. Bake:

  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.

9. Serve:

  • Let the casserole cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy the layers of flavor in every delicious bite

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Vegetarian Option: Omit the ground beef and bacon for a vegetarian version of this casserole. You can also substitute with plant-based meat alternatives.
  • Cheese Variations: Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese, such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or provolone, for added flavor.
  • Herb Substitutions: If you don’t have dried basil on hand, you can use other dried herbs such as oregano or Italian seasoning.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use a different type of pasta? A: Yes, you can use any type of pasta you like in this recipe, such as penne, macaroni, or fusilli.

Q: Can I make this casserole ahead of time? A: Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Simply cover it tightly with aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers? A: Yes, this casserole freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer individual portions to freezer-safe containers or resealable plastic bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake in a preheated oven until heated through.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

Keto:

  • Cauliflower Substitution: Replace the rotini pasta with cauliflower florets for a lower-carb option.

Low-Carb:

  • Zucchini Noodles: Substitute zucchini noodles (zoodles) for the pasta to reduce the carb content of the casserole.

Eight-Layer Casserole is a hearty and satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion. With its layers of flavor and simple preparation, it’s sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or meal prepping for the week ahead, this comforting casserole is sure to become a favorite in your household. Give it a try and enjoy the deliciousness of each layer

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healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

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