Cook/ Easy Weeknight/ Weekend Feasting

Ground Beef and Tomato Pasta Bake

November 7, 2020

Last Updated on November 7, 2020 by Slow The Cook Down

If you are looking for a hearty and comforting meal, I’ve got you covered with this beef and tomato pasta bake. Pasta is baked in a rich tomato sauce and topped with cheese for an easy dinner that the whole family will love!

Baked ground beef pasta bake in a glass dish on a wooden chopping board.

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We are quickly heading into comfort food season, but I’m not too mad about that, as it means Christmas is just around the corner!

As soon as the temperature start to drop, my mind turns to soups, stews and all of the carby cheesy foods! This beef and tomato pasta bake is perfect for weekend feasting and you’ll have leftovers to enjoy for easy weeknight dinners.

Loaded with flavor, this dish is pretty simple to put together, and you’ll have most of the ingredients to hand already.

If you are after more pasta bakes, be sure to check out my equally delicious Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Shells and Vegetarian Pasta Bake.

Ingredients

  • Pasta: You can use any short pasta you like for this dish. Fusilli, rigatoni, macaroni and penne all work well. You can make this dish gluten-free with a GF pasta like corn or red lentil.
  • Oil: For cooking. I used olive oil, but canola, vegetable or avocado will all work well.
  • Fresh vegetables: Garlic, onion, green bell pepper and cherry tomatoes.
  • Ground beef: Use lean ground beef for this recipe. If you can, buy grass-fed.
  • Seasonings: Salt and pepper.
  • Cream cheese: Use a full fat cream cheese for a creamy texture for the sauce.
  • Tomato paste and crushed tomatoes: For a rich and flavorful sauce.
  • Shredded cheese: I used a blend of mozzarella and cheddar for a delicious melted cheese topping.
Close up of the pasta bake with a spoonful taken out of it.

How to make this ground beef pasta bake recipe

Be sure to scroll down for the full recipe!

  • Saute the onions, garlic and green bell pepper (photo 1).
  • Add the ground beef and cook through (photo 2).
  • Stir in the cream cheese, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste (photo 3).
  • Mix the sauce with cooked pasta, top with cherry tomatoes and cheese (photo 4).
  • Bake!
Four photos to show how to make the recipe.
Beef pasta bake in a glass dish ready to serve.

Recipe Variations

This beef and tomato pasta bake is pretty damn tasty as it is, but you can easily mix things up to get it just to your taste.

  • Add in some other veggies like mushrooms or carrots, or use a different colored bell pepper.
  • Add some herbs, a tablespoon of Italian seasoning or try a teaspoon of red chili flakes.
  • Use another type of ground meat like bison or veal.
  • Feel free to go ahead and add more shredded cheese to the top!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make it ahead of time?

This recipe will make enough for six very hearty portions, but the good news is is that the leftovers taste amazing! They will keep covered in the fridge for 4 days. To reheat, cover with foil and place in an oven at 350F / 180c for 15 to 20 minutes until warmed through.

What do you serve it with?

This beef pasta bake is pretty hearty, so it’s great to serve with a fresh side salad. You can, of course go full out and serve it with some garlic bread if you are in the mood for some carbs!

Do you need to cook the pasta first?

Yes, if you are using dried pasta, then you need to cook it al dente. If you put it in as is, you’ll end up with uncooked pasta. You can also use fresh pasta in this dish, if you do, there’s no need to cook it first.

A serving of ground beef pasta bake on a white plate with a fork.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Chop and dice your veggies fairly small so that they combine well with everything in the dish.
  • I used a 13.5 x 9.5 inch glass casserole dish for this recipe, and one like this will work well. 
  • Don’t overcook your pasta before adding it to the sauce. It will continue to cook in the oven so cook it al dente.
  • If reheating, cover with foil so that the top doesn’t burn.
Overhead shot of some of the pasta served on a white plate.

More Easy Pasta Recipes

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Tomato and beef pasta bake in a glass dish topped with melted cheese.

Ground Beef and Tomato Pasta Bake

If you are looking for a hearty and comforting meal, I've got you covered with this beef and tomato pasta bake. Pasta is baked in a rich tomato sauce and topped with cheese for an easy dinner that the whole family will love!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 599kcal

Ingredients

  • 17.5 ounces dried pasta (500g)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 16 ounces lean ground beef (450g)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4.5 ounces cream cheese (125g)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes (790g)
  • 12 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 2 ounces shredded cheese (55g)

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 360F / 180c.
  • Cook your pasta al dente, drain and set to one side.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a skillet on a medium high heat.
  • Add the chopped garlic, onions and great pepper and cook until the onion starts to soften (5 minutes).
  • Add in the ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook through.
  • Once the beef is cooked, add the cream cheese, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine and bring to the boil. Take off the heat.
  • Place the cooked pasta in a large oven proof casserole dish. Add the beef and tomato sauce and stir well to combine.
  • Top with the halved cherry tomatoes and shredded cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.

Notes

  • Chop and dice your veggies fairly small so that they combine well with everything in the dish.
  • I used a 13.5 x 9.5 inch glass casserole dish for this recipe, and one like this will work well. 
  • Don’t overcook your pasta before adding it to the sauce. It will continue to cook in the oven so cook it al dente.
  • If reheating, cover with foil so that the top doesn’t burn.

Nutrition

Calories: 599kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 501mg | Potassium: 1068mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 955IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 5mg
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