Friday, December 4, 2009

Cottage Casserole

It's nice to have an easy and tasty casserole to go to when things get hectic. I try to always have one in my freezer that I can just pull out and pop in the oven. It's so relaxing this time of year, when you've been out Christmas shopping all day and you know that dinner is already put together. No need to pick up burgers or walk in the door and immediately start cooking.

Cottage Casserole is one of the "regulars" in my freezer. The addition of cream cheese and cottage cheese really makes the sauce sing, as strange as it may sound. If you do freeze it, don't add the shredded cheese on top until you're ready to bake. Also add an additional 15-20 minutes to the cooking time for a frozen casserole. For families of more than 4, make a double batch and stick one in the oven and one in the freezer. Families of 4 or less, divide the batch into 2 8x8 casserole dishes, keeping the cooking times the same.

You can check out more of my casserole recipes HERE

Cottage Casserole

1 package egg noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1lb Ground Beef
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cans tomato sauce, 10 oz (or 2 1/2 cups)
1 4oz package cream cheese, cubed
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups Colby-Jack Cheese, shredded

Boil noodles according to package instructions. Drain, toss with olive oil and set aside. Brown ground beef and onions in a large saute pan, drain as needed. Stir in tomato sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cottage cheese, cream cheese and green peppers. Cook over low heat until cream cheese has melted and incorporated into tomato sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Spread half of cooked noodles in a lightly greased, large glass baking dish, cover with half of the beef sauce. Top with remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle Colby-Jack cheese over sauce.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, remove foil and continue cooking an additional 5 minutes.


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