Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cooking With Mom's The Word: Quick and Easy Casserole Dish

Welcome to another Cooking With Mom's The Word!  Today we're making Penne Pasta Casserole.  Are you ready? Let's get cooking!

This is a yummy meal and a favorite with our family and it's super easy to make!  You can make it ahead and stick it in the fridge for a few hours or stick it in the freezer for another time.  I get requests from the kids in the church youth group to bring this whenever there's an event where a meal is needed. 

I found it on Hunts and here is a link to their recipe.  I make mine a bit different as I'm using the original recipe that I found in a magazine awhile ago, so be sure and check their updated recipe too.

3 cups dry penne pasta
1 pound lean ground turkey (or ground beef)
2 cans (14.5 oz) basil, garlic and oregano diced tomatoes (also known as Italian Style), undrained
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
4 cups of mozzarella cheese (reserve one cup)

Boil the penne pasta according to the package.  Turn on your oven to 350°F.

Brown the lean ground turkey, drain as needed. Forget to take a picture of it and so grab a blog photo that you've used before.  Feel the need to explain that the meat was previously frozen and that's why it's in that shape.  Realize that people don't really care but tell them anyway.

Once the meat is browned, stir in the diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer (uncovered) for 8 minutes.  Be sure and let a little slop over because it makes a really cute polka-dot effect on your stove.  Stress over whether you should use affect or effect.  Hope no one notices if you chose the wrong one.

Drain the pasta and return it to the same pot.  I would suggest that you spray the bottom of the pot with a little cooking spray first.  You might also want to use a wooden spoon or spray your spoon with cooking spray as well, as the cheese grabs hold and just doesn't want to let go!  Kind of like a toddler with a sucker minus the screaming, tantrum part.

Add the meat mixture to the pasta and stir.  Salivate a little but make sure that you don't drool into the pan.  That's gross.  Stir it well. (The pasta and meat mix, not the drool).

Add only 3 cups of the mozzarella cheese (save the remaining 1 cup) and mix well.  I always add a little at a time and stir it before adding more, but you can do whatever you want.  I promise the mozzarella police will not come out to your home and arrest you.

Put your dirty frying pan into the sink and add some hot sudsy water so you can clean as you go.  Make sure that your husband comes home and asks you why you are taking a picture of your frying pan.  Then make sure that he says "never mind" because he's used to you taking strange pictures for your blog.

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and add the meat and pasta mixture.  Spread it out and then add the remaining one cup of mozzarella cheese on top. Bake in the oven at 350°F, do not cover.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. 

You now have 20 minutes or so to finish cleaning that kitchen, so wash your dirty pots or place them in the dishwasher and rinse and toss those cans into the recycling.  Then go play on facebook or pinterest or leave me a comment or something.

Tell your family that dinner is ready.  Realize that you're not going to be able to take a "finished" picture for your blog because your family is racing you to the kitchen.  Say "oh well" and enjoy!

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I am linking up with these blogs today:


A Bowl Full of Lemons and also WholeHearted-Home and We Are That Family


  1. What a recipe!!!! I love it! I'm Italian, this is one of the most yummy recipe we eat a lot. We call it Pasta al forno, it's our Sunday lunch! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh wow, you're Italian? So is my sister-in-law! I love Italian food but it doesn't love me as much so I have to be careful, lol!

  2. Mmmm....Yummy! Where was my supper invitation?! :) I will have to try this recipe. I don't usually cook with turkey, but this would be a nice change.

    Thanks, Nan, for sharing.


    1. I cook with lean ground turkey instead of ground beef. It's just cheaper and I think it's healthier too. The texture is a bit different but no one noticed when I made the change when the kids were little. They all liked it and asked for more so after that, I just said goodbye to ground beef, lol!

  3. I am Pinning this for later!! I just might take it to church on Sunday as some peeps are likely bored with my mundane ziti :-)

    Thanks for taking the time so that I can be lazy!!!!

    1. It is really yummy and just so easy to make. Thank you for pinning it! Have you shared your ziti recipe on your blog? I'd love to have a copy of it.

  4. Why is it we find ourselves either saying or thinking "Oh, well," many times a day? I love your tutorial and the casserole looks delicious. And I remember 30 years ago getting points off an English paper because I used "effect" instead of "affect." Or was it the other way around? Oh, well.

  5. Seriously, we should count the number of "oh well's" we say in a day, lol! Oh well! ;)

    I still don't know whether I used the right word or not and I don't care enough to look it up, haha!

  6. I laughed about your husband's reaction to you taking a pic of the pan in the sink. My husband wants to sabatoge my blog and write about what it's like to live with a blogger. But, at least you got dinner done AND still published a blog. Good for you! That reminds me, left hamburger on the burner......

    1. I hope the burner wasn't on, lol! Hey, you should totally let your husband do it, I'll bet it would be funny, lol!

  7. Mozzarella makes everything so much better! I'm going to save this. Definitely family friendly.
    What a hilariously written post, Nan. Hilarious!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Oh yes, I looooove mozzarella and yes, it IS a yummy family favorite.

  8. Oooh! Looks yummy and I'm all for the easy and quick part.
    My husband sees my camera and kinda groans... "Uh oh, Mom's working on a blog again." (I think he secretly likes it because sometimes I swear he poses!)

  9. Hahahahaha! Love the "secretly poses" comment, lol! Yep, quick, easy and yummy recipe.

  10. the added humor during the instructions kept me laughing the entire time! Thanks so much for making cooking more fun!

    1. I'm glad! Hope you try it sometime, it's a yummy dish!


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