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Baked Penne Pasta Casserole

This delicious baked penne pasta recipe is easy to put together and is a great alternative to lasagna. This delicious pasta dish goes well with salad and garlic bread.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, American
Servings 8


  • 1 pound ground beef or ground Italian sausage
  • 1 (16 ounce) box penne pasta
  • 1 (32 ounce) jar pasta sauce, or 3 1/2 cups homemade sauce
  • 1 (24 ounce) container cottage cheese (I used 4% milk fat)
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (I used part skim)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 13"x9" casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.

  2. Brown ground beef or sausage until no longer pink, drain excess fat.  Add pasta sauce and heat through.

  3. Cook penne pasta according to package direction until el dente (you want the pasta a little firm since it will continue cooking in the oven). Drain and return to pan.

  4. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate until needed.

  5. While pasta is cooking combine the cottage cheese, the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, the beaten eggs, Italian seasoning and salt.

  6. Pour cheese mixture into cooked pasta and stir to combine.

Layering Instructions

  1. Spread 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish. Top with 1/2 of the pasta mixture. Repeat with 1/3 of the sauce and top with remaining pasta mixture. Spread remaining sauce over pasta mixture.

  2. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Uncover, top with remaining cheese mixture and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and pasta is bubbly.

  3. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.