Easy Lasagna in One Pan (No Boil)

This Easy Lasagna is made in just one pan for an incredibly delicoius meal! Forget all those pots and pans and hours in the kitchen, in this recipe you’ll need just one pot, no boiling required!

Layers upon layers of a hearty meat sauce, lasagna  noodles and cheese are baked until bubbly and golden. Serve this amazing dish with a fresh Italian Salad and some 30 Minute Dinner Rolls slathered in homemade garlic butter.

Skillet lasagna fresh from the oven topped with fresh parsley.

The only thing better than homemade lasagna is when it’s an easy lasagna in just one pan without a whole sink filled with dirty dishes!

How to Make Lasagna in One Pan

Make sure you have a big pan/dutch oven for this recipe or a really deep skillet. I used a 3qt dutch oven (10″ across and about 3″ deep) but a deep frying pan the same size would work well too.  If you don’t have a pan or dutch oven large enough, you can still prepare this as directed and layer/bake it in a 3qt (or 9×13) casserole dish.

Even though one-skillet lasagna is cooked mainly on the stove top, it is topped with mozzarella cheese, covered and baked in the oven so make sure your pan is oven safe!

A dutch oven full of cooked ground beef and onions ready to be layered into skillet lasagna.

How Do You Layer Lasagna?

Making lasagna using fresh noodles (from the refrigerated area of the grocery store) means no boiling required! Saves a ton of time (and dishes). Layering this one pan lasagna is really easy. To Make One Pan Lasagna:

  1. Brown meat and onion. Drain any fat and add in pasta sauce.
  2. Remove most of the sauce, leaving 1 cup in the bottom.
  3. Layer the following over the meat sauce in the pan 3 times:
    • Lasagna Noodles (cut to fit if needed)
    • Ricotta Cheese
    • Meat Sauce
    • Mozzarella Cheese
  4. Top with Parmesan Cheese and parsley. Cover and bake.

Skillet lasagna being assembled with layers of meat sauce, lasagna noodles, and ricotta filling.

It’s important to make an even meat layer on the bottom. You don’t want the noodles sitting on the bottom while they cook, or they’ll stick to the pan!

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How Long to Cook Frozen Lasagna

You can freeze this easy lasagna, and you don’t need to thaw it before reheating. Place it in a baking dish, cover with foil and cook at 375°F for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Ten minutes before it’s done, remove the cover, and serve when it’s bubbling and browned on the top.

Skillet lasagna fresh from the oven with a piece removed from it.

What to Serve with Lasagna

Lasagna is classic Italian. Serve your homemade skillet lasagna just like they do in your favorite Italian restaurant, with a side of warm garlic bread and a fresh green salad with Italian vinaigrette dressing. I also love serving this skillet lasagna with caesar salad!

One Pan Lasagna

An easy zesty lasagna made in just one pan!

  • 1/2 lb italian sausage
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic (, minced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 24 oz marinara (or pasta sauce)
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes (canned, drained)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (, divided)
  • 1 large egg
  • 12.5 oz fresh lasagna noodles ((not dried noodles))
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. In large ovenproof skillet (11″), cook sausage, ground beef, onion and garlic until cooked through. Drain any fat.

  3. Add marinara sauce and drained tomatoes. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove 2 cups of the sauce and set aside.

  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine ricotta cheese, egg, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and salt & pepper to taste.

  5. Place 1/3 fresh noodles in the pot on top of the sauce in the pot (cut to fit if needed).

  6. Top with 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, 1 cup of sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers ending with noodles & sauce.

  7. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, loosely cover with foil.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes or until bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.


This easy skillet lasagna recipe is definitely a family favorite. We love making this easy dinner on weeknights! #spendwithpennies #onepotlasagna #lasagna #skilletlasagna #italian #easylasagna #lasagnadinner
This easy skillet lasagna recipe is definitely a family favorite. We love making this easy dinner on weeknights! #spendwithpennies #onepotlasagna #lasagna #skilletlasagna #italian #easylasagna #lasagnadinner

American Goulash (Just Like Grandma’s)

finished american goulash in white bowl

This Easy Goulash Recipe is full of flavor and the perfect way to feed a crowd as it makes a huge batch! A simple skillet dinner with tomatoes, beef and macaroni noodles in a zesty tomato sauce creates the perfect comfort food on a budget!

Serve it alongside some cornbread, and add more or less liquid to make it the perfect consistency!

Cheesy Goulash in a white bowl

American Goulash – Easy and Delicious

Call it American Goulash, call it American Chop Suey…  it doesn’t matter what you call it, you’ll just want to call it tonight’s dinner! This is a delicious and easy meal that the whole family loves!

Beefy Macaroni with a savory yet simple seasoned tomato sauce!  I’ve been making this amazing goulash recipe for years, not only does it taste great but it’s a really quick and inexpensive way to feed a crowd (and so much easier to put together than lasagna!)

What is Goulash?

American Goulash is not the same thing as goulash in other parts of the world are not the same thing! This is NOT the same dish as a traditional Hungarian GoulashHungarian Goulash is which is made with chunks of meat, peppers, paprika and other spices to create a traditional soup.

This particular version is often called Goulash or even American Chop Suey.  It’s similar to a Chili Mac but is more of a tomato sauce flavor (and I skip the chili powder).

close up of American Goulash in a bowl.

When to Add the Macaroni

  • Thicken the sauce: I personally prefer a nice thick goulash so I usually let the meat sauce boil down for a little bit before adding the macaroni.
  • Add Your Favorites: This american goulash recipe is versatile and you can easily add whatever you like. Extra veggies like mushrooms or shredded zucchini, swap out ground beef for other ground meats add extra Italian Seasoning or Chili Powder.
  • Add the Macaroni: If you’re short on time (or prefer your goulash a little bit of a soupier texture) you can certainly just add the macaroni in right away.
  • Top With Cheese: I top this with sharp cheddar to make a cheesy goulash that my kids can’t get enough of! Any kind of cheese will work. If you’d prefer, put it under the broiler for a few minutes until bubbly.

Goulash in bowls at the table

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What To Serve With Goulash

We serve it up with some 30 Minute Dinner Rolls and a fresh Italian salad for a complete meal!  To make it extra yummy, serve it topped with a little bit of sour cream!

The great thing about this goulash recipe is that it’s one of those dishes that tastes just as good the next day (or even better). It keeps well in the fridge for a few days but it also freezes perfectly for lunches or meals later in the week!

Can You Freeze Goulash

You can! Goulash will generally freeze pretty well, apart from the pasta. Once reheated, pasta will often become mushy and overcooked.

If you plan to make a big batch of American goulash to freeze some, cook the pasta separately and add it in as you serve the portions.

Grandma's Goulash

This easy American goulash recipe is full of flavor and the perfect way to feed a crowd as it makes a huge batch! A simple skillet dinner with tomatoes, beef and macaroni noodles in a zesty tomato sauce creates the perfect comfort food on a budget!

  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 jar tomato based pasta sauce (approx. 26 oz.)
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (6 oz tomato paste)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 green bell pepper (optional)
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups macaroni noodles (uncooked)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  1. Cook ground beef, onion and garlic over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  2. Add pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, seasonings, bay leaves and green pepper. Simmer covered for 15 minutes.
  3. Add in the in the macaroni and continue to simmer, covered, stirring occasionally until pasta is tender (about 20 minutes).
  4. Remove & discard bay leaves. Top with cheese and replace the lid. Let sit about 5 minutes or until melted.

This EASY Goulash recipe is a family favorite and quick to prepare.Lean beef is simmered in a deliciously fast tomato sauce & topped with cheese for a comforting dish everyone will love! This makes a huge batch and is perfect to feed a crowd.

The Best Homemade Pasta Sauce

Cooked spaghetti on a plate with homemade pasta sauce on top

Homemade Pasta Sauce is one of our all time favorites and perfect on any type of pasta from spaghetti to Baked Rigatoni!

I’ve made this literally hundreds of times and it’s perfect every single time with tender meat and a silky flavorful sauce that is perfect on any kind of pasta dish!

Homemade pasta sauce over a plate of spaghetti noodles

Healthy, Homemade and Delicious!

This is hands down the BEST homemade pasta sauce I’ve ever had and even better, it’s totally healthy (shhh… nobody will ever know)!!

This pasta sauce starts out with a base of lean ground turkey or beef cooked with some aromatics including onions and garlic but the real secret lies in the spice mixture.

The combination may seem a little bit unusual but they’re the same seasonings I put in my homemade turkey sausage patties and it’s delish! Once combined, I mix the seasonings into the meat before I even cook it and it adds amazing flavor to the dish. You can use lean beef or pork but I almost always use ground turkey in this recipe!

Achieve That Perfect Texture

I find that using a meat chopper tool (what do I even call that thing?) is the best tool for this dish!

Not only does it make the meat the perfect texture, but it also can help chop the tomatoes slightly (in fact, I never make any ground meat without it)!

As with most tomato based recipes, this is just delicious leftover if you’re lucky enough to have any left… I usually double (or triple) the recipe and freeze the leftovers for a perfect quick weeknight meal!

Tips For Perfect Homemade Pasta Sauce

  • Mixing your seasonings into the raw meat infuses flavor into every bite.
  • While I use ground turkey, subbing in 1/3 lb ground beef, veal or pork will add additional flavor.
  • Canned tomatoes provide excellent flavor and are a staple in authentic Italian cuisine (learned a lot about this in cooking classes in Italy). Choose a good quality as this is the base flavor for your sauce.
  • Time = flavor.  In the case of this delicious homemade pasta sauce recipe, the flavor changes and is incredible after it’s simmered for at least one hour.
  • No matter how much flavor your sauce has, don’t forget to salt your pasta water.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter just before serving to add a bit of richness to your sauce.

Fork full of spaghetti with Homemade Pasta Sauce

More Tips for your Homemade Pasta Sauce

If possible, use fresh herbs in this recipe for the best flavor. Of course they cook down so I always throw a handful in right before serving and a little sprinkle on top too!

The longer you cook this homemade pasta sauce, the thicker it will get so cook it as long as needed.

I’ve served this over spaghetti but as you’d expect, this homemade meat sauce is very versatile. It’s amazing used as a sauce for homemade lasagna or if you’d like to keep it low carb, serve it over spaghetti squash or Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)!

Once you try it, this will be the very last pasta sauce recipe you will ever need!

Love easy pasta dishes? Here are a few more of my favorites:

The Best Homemade Pasta Sauce

Homemade Pasta Sauce is one of our all time favorites! I’ve made this literally hundreds of times and it’s perfect every single time with tender meat and a silky flavorful sauce that is perfect on any kind of pasta dish!

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 large green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (28oz diced tomatoes)
  • 1 can (approx. 28 oz tomato sauce)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped)

Meat Seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons sage
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon teaspoon allspice
  1. Combine seasoning & ground meat until well mixed. Brown meat, onion & garlic over medium heat making sure to break up the meat very well. (Drain any fat if needed).
  2. Add remaining ingredients (except parsley & basil) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 1 hour or until desired consistency.
  3. Stir in parsley & basil.
  4. Remove bay leaves and serve over hot pasta

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The BEST Homemade Pasta Sauce! This is literally the BEST Homemade Pasta Sauce you'll ever have! Made with ground turkey or beef, this rich tomato sauce is perfect over spaghetti or in lasagna!
Homemade Pasta Sauce is one of our all time favorites!  I've made this literally hundreds of times and it's perfect every single time with tender meat and a silky flavorful sauce that is perfect on any kind of pasta dish! #spendwithpennies #pastasauce #homemadepastasauce #homemadesauce #easyrecipe #dinnerrecipe #fromscratch #groundbeefrecipe

Fresh Pasta Primavera!

Delicious pasta primavera on a green plate with a gold fork

Pasta Primavera: This pasta primavera is the best! It is so easy to make and is loaded with fresh vegetables in a parmesan sauce.

Cheese tortellini is used in place of traditional primavera pasta choices as they’re the perfect accompaniment with a rainbow of veggies.

Delicious pasta primavera on a green plate with a gold fork

This pasta primavera recipe is an easy one pot dish, as the pasta is cooked in the same skillet you cook the rest of the meal in. I love skillet dishes, like this skillet teriyaki chicken. Just like orange chicken, this pasta primavera is quick, simple, and absolutely delicious.

We are obsessed with tortellini over here. This Greek Tortellini Salad is like this Greek Cucumber Salad, but with delicious tortellini. I think tortellini makes everything better, which is why I love adding it to pasta primavera.

Cheese pillows are how I describe tortellini to my kiddos. They get so excited about this creamy pasta primavera bulked up with warm vegetables and parmesan cheese. The taste delights them, the beautiful veggies delight me, and remind me of Spring.

But don’t worry, it is hearty and filling enough for the cold winter, but light and fresh enough for the heat of summer. This dish is so yummy you won’t want to wait until the equinoccio de primavera as they say in Italian. You ‘ll eat this all year round.

Pasta primavera with a white and green napkin and parmesan chunks

What Does Pasta Primavera Mean?

Let’s get a little 🎵linguistical, linguistical 🎵.  In Italian, “primavera” means spring. Literally it means the first “prima” green “vera.” Throw a little pasta in the mix and you’ve got the first greens and pasta.  A spring like pasta.

What is Pasta Primavera Sauce?

Every cook has their opinion about what should go into a pasta primavera sauce.  Some are purists and like to keep things to only spring veggies like broccoli and peas, others don’t mind adding in tomatoes or zucchini. Some think it should be angel hair pasta used, some say it’s not that important.

What it boils down to is there’s a load of veggies, a cream and butter based sauce with your favorite hard cheese–parmesan– and spices. As long as it’s a delicious and it’s a good primavera pasta recipe.

A green plate with pasta primavera and a gold fork

What Vegetables are in Pasta Primavera?

Commonly you’ll find broccoli, bell peppers, summer squash, peas and carrots. But the list doesn’t stop there. Add in any other veggie that you enjoy and make it your own!

I love my pasta primavera to be vegetarian, but one of the wonderful things about this recipe is you can easily add whatever protein you want.

Adding a little protein to this primavera pasta balances it out nicely.  We enjoy pasta primavera with chicken or shrimp. To make pasta primavera with shrimp, just add the shrimp to the skillet right from frozen! It cooks quickly.

This pasta is excellent served with cheesy garlic breadsticks and a Classic Wedge Salad or Easy Kale Salad.

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Pasta Primavera

Delicious pasta primavera filled with spring vegetables and a parmesan cream sauce. Made in a single skillet!

  • 16 ounces cheese tortellini (cooked)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup zucchini (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup asparagus (trimmed)
  • 1/2 cup red pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 cup carrots (diced)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup petite peas
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  1. Cook pre-made cheese tortellini according to package directions and set aside. 

  2. In a large skillet add butter, and melt over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for a minute.

  3. Add zucchini and water.  Stir it all together, let cook for 1 minute. 

  4. Add broccoli, asparagus, red pepper, and carrots, and cover, and steam for 3-4 minutes. 

  5. When veggies are cooked, and tender, but still crisp, remove the lid and add chicken stock, and heavy cream.  Leave on the heat.

  6. Make a slurry by combining one tbsp of cornstarch with some of the liquid from the pan. Add the liquid to the corn starch in a small bowl, and mix together. 

  7. Pour slurry into skillet, and add the two kinds of peas. Add parmesan, and stir it all up. 

  8. Add your pre-cooked cheese tortellini, and stir it all together. Leave on heat until sauce reaches your desired thickness, about a minute.  Serve immediately. 


This pasta primavera is a delicious and simple one skillet dish that combines cheese tortellini, a rainbow of veggies and a delicious parmesan sauce. #spendwithpennies #pastaprimavera #easyrecipe #easypastarecipe #pasta #cheesetortellini #onepanmeal #easyskilletrecipe #withveggies
This pasta primavera is a delicious and simple one skillet dish that combines cheese tortellini, a rainbow of veggies and a delicious parmesan sauce. #spendwithpennies #pastaprimavera #easyrecipe #easypastarecipe #pasta #cheesetortellini #onepanmeal #easyskilletrecipe #withveggies

Lazy Lasagna in the Slow Cooker

Lazy Crock Pot Lasagna is a family favorite and so quick and easy to make! A delicious meat sauce layered with cheese and spinach filled ravioli and loads of gooey cheese and cooks up perfectly in the slow cooker. A meal that everyone will agree on. Did I mention how easy this lasagna is to make?

Lazy Crock Pot Lasagna With Cheese And Sauce On Plate

Easy Easy Easy

This Lazy Crock Pot Lasagna is a family favorite!  It seems we’re always off at some activity or event and some nights it seems like everyone is going through a revolving door.  This is perfect because it’s quick to make and we can have it ready for when we get home from soccer practice.

We love lasagna and although there are a lot of steps involved in making a lasagna from scratch, the results are always worth it!  This Lazy Crock Pot Lasagna uses a few shortcuts to make a lasagna dish that takes just about 15 minutes of prep and then cooks in the slow cooker but has the same great flavor.

Easy Lasagna in Slow Cooker (Crock Pot)

Saucy Lasagna In Your Slow Cooker

The key to making this taste amazing is to use a high quality pasta sauce, the better the sauce, the better the dish!

Cheese and spinach filled ravioli (or you can use just cheese ravioli) replace the traditional layers of pasta and ricotta cheese making it super simple to put together and no boiling required. Adding the cheese on top right at the beginning of the the cooking allows it to get that yummy crusty edge that I love!

This recipe makes a large batch and I would suggest a 6 quart slow cooker or larger.

Lazy Crock Pot Lasagna made with ravioli on a plate.

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Lazy Crock Pot Lasagna

Lazy Crock Pot Lasagna is a family favorite and so quick and easy to make!

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion (, diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (, minced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 large jar ((45 oz) high quality pasta sauce)
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large package ((25-30 oz) cheese & spinach filled ravioli (uncooked))
  1. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  2. Stir in Italian seasoning and pasta sauce. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Spray the inside of a 6-7 qt crock pot with cooking spray. Layer sauce, ravioli and cheese.
  4. Repeat layers ending with cheese. Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours.

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Lazy Crock Pot Lasagna is a family favorite and so quick and easy to make! A delicious meat sauce is layered with cheese and spinach filled ravioli and loads of gooey cheese and cooks up perfectly in the slow cooker. This is one meal that everyone will agree on.

The BEST Chicken Lasagna Recipe

This chicken lasagna recipe is one of our favorite comfort foods. Tender chicken is layered with veggies, cheese, and lasagna noodles in a rich creamy alfredo inspired sauce. Serve it alongside a caesar salad and garlic bread for a comfort meal that’s perfect for any time of the year!

Having simple dinner recipes that I can make during the week and that reheat well to make a few meals is a complete game changer. Cue, this chicken alfredo lasagna recipe!

A slice of cheesy chicken lasagna on a white plate topped with fresh parsley.

Chicken Lasagna Alfredo

I love using leftover roast chicken for this recipe, but poached chicken, grilled chicken breasts, or even store bought rotisserie chicken work great in a pinch. If you have leftover frozen turkey, that is a great substitution too!

Making the sauce homemade alfredo style sauce adds so much flavor to this white lasagna recipe. It makes it so creamy, dreamy, and delicious!

Chicken lasagna being layered with chicken and veggies in a baking dish.

How To Make Chicken Lasagna

Lasagna has a few steps but this dish is worth every second! To make this chicken lasagna recipe:

  • Make the cheesy cream sauce
  • Combine cottage cheese, parsley, eggs, and spinach for the cheese layer
  • Layer noodles, sauce, cheese, vegetables, and chicken, end with a noodles and sauce layer
  • Bake for 40 minutes covered
  • Uncovered, top with cheese, and bake for an additional 20 minutes

When you layer lasagna, the trick is to keep things as even as possible throughout the dish to ensure even baking. The lasagna noodles should be cooked al dente as they’ll cook a little bit longer in the oven.

A slice of white chicken lasagna on a white plate ready to eat.

What Temp To Bake Lasagna

I bake this chicken lasagna at 350°F for about 60 minutes in total. Adding the cheese towards the end of baking ensure it doesn’t fall into the rest of the dish or overcook and crisps up nicely.

If you notice the cheese isn’t as browned and bubbly as you’d like, turn the oven to broil right before you remove the chicken lasagna from the oven.

Alternatively if the topping is done to your liking and you still have some cooking time left, cover the lasagna with foil to prevent further browning while it finishes off.

A cheesy white lasagna fresh from the oven in a casserole dish.

As with all Lasagna recipes, make sure you let this casserole sit at least 10-15 minutes before cutting. This gives it a chance to set up.

Serve this lasagna alongside a fresh kale salad for the perfect meal!

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Chicken Lasagna

A delicious chicken lasagna with a creamy cheese sauce is a family favorite!

  • 12 lasagna noodles (cooked and cooled)
  • 4 cups cooked chicken
  • 3 cups vegetables (cooked and cooled)
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and squeezed dry)
  • 2 cups cottage cheese (or ricotta cheese)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 4 cups mozzarella (divided)
  • 2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (divided)


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano


  1. To make the sauce, melt butter, onion and garlic over medium low heat. Cook until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.

  2. Reduce heat to low. Combine milk and broth. Add a small amount at a time whisking to thicken. The mixture will become very thick, continue adding a little bit of liquid at a time whisking until smooth.

    Once all of the liquid has been added, stir in cream cheese until melted.

  3. Remove from heat and add in 1/3 cup parmesan and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.


  1. Combine cottage cheese, eggs, parsley and spinach. Set aside.

  2. In a 9×13 pan, layer 4 noodles, sauce, cooked vegetables and half of the chicken. Sprinkle with 1/2 mozza, 1/4 cup parmesan and 1/3 of the sauce.

  3. Add another layer of noodles, chicken, cottage cheese mixture, sauce.  Top with noodles and sauce. Cover and bake 40 minutes.

  4. Uncover, top with cheese and bake 20-30 minutes more.

For cooked vegetables I use steamed broccoli and carrots. Any combination of veggies works in this recipe, mushrooms, asparagus, bell peppers or zucchini are great choices.


The Best Mac & Cheese You’ve Ever Had!

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Homemade Mac and Cheese is a rich, creamy casserole that is truly a show stopper!

Not only is this creamy macaroni and cheese recipe easy to make it, has a special ingredient making it extra delicious!

This dish has so much velvety cheese in a quick homemade sauce that, once you try it, this is going to be the only baked macaroni & cheese dish you’ll ever need!

Scooping mac and cheese out of a white casserole dish

Follow Spend With Pennies on Pinterest for more great recipes!

Hello, my name is Holly and I am addicted to Macaroni and Cheese.  It is literally my favorite thing to eat on the whole planet! It doesn’t even have to be fancy, I love crock pot mac & cheese, stove top mac and cheese or even out of a little blue box.

Of all of the mac and cheese recipes, *this* little gem right here is like striking mac and cheese gold. It is definitely the best mac and cheese recipe ever and always gets rave reviews! Take it from me, I definitely should know!

How to Make Homemade Mac and Cheese

Making homemade macaroni and cheese (including this 5-star recipe) is surprisingly easy and quick!

This mac and cheese casserole starts with tender macaroni noodles that are slightly undercooked so they don’t get mushy when it’s baked.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese on Plate next to serving dish

About This Mac and Cheese Sauce

The sauce for this easy homemade mac and cheese is a classic roux based cheese sauce.  Roux sounds very fancy but truthfully once you make a roux, you’ll realize how easy it is! It’s just butter and flour cooked and then milk added so don’t let it scare you away!

The results of creating a roux based sauce means your macaroni and cheese is going luscious and velvety smooth every single time. This allows the cheeses to melt in evenly and perfectly for this casserole.

To add to the creaminess of this dish, I combine a little bit of milk and a little bit of light cream (I use a cream that is about 10-12%MF or half and half).

Homemade mac and cheese in serving dish with scoop taken out

What Cheese Is Best For Mac and Cheese?

Now, this recipe has a special ingredient that is a little bit unconventional but makes it extra yummy…  AND it is optional.

The addition of cheddar soup makes the sauce a little bit extra velvety and just adds a little something.

Mac and cheese with Velveeta, I personally prefer to make it without!  The addition of the cheddar cheese soup to this recipe is something you definitely should try!  (You can find it at your local grocery store with the other condensed soups or online here).

If you don’t happen to have cheese soup on hand (or if you just don’t want to use it), this baked mac and cheese recipe is still ridiculously great without.

You might be wondering what cheese is best for mac and cheese, and it’s one with lots of flavor!

I generally use a sharp cheddar in this recipe as I love the flavor however you can certainly use your favorite cheeses in this recipe too. Sometimes I mix up the cheeses and use a bit of gruyere, or even pepperjack for a little kick. If you have bits of cheese leftover, you can combine them all together in this easy homemade mac and cheese sauce.

I would suggest buying a block of cheese and shredding it yourself as pre-shredded cheeses don’t melt the same way as they have additives to keep them from clumping/sticking.

Making Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is not difficult but below are a few simple tips to make sure it turns out absolutely perfectly every single time!

A serving spoon of gooey macaroni and cheese with on the table

Tips to Make Creamy Mac and Cheese

  • Cook your pasta al dente (firm) as the noodles cook extra in the sauce and you don’t want them mushy.
  • Don’t forget to salt your pasta water.
  • While not everyone agrees with rinsing the pasta after cooking, in this particular recipe it stops the noodles from cooking and the sauce is created with a texture that pairs perfectly with the rinsed noodles.
  • A sharper cheddar cheese will add a stronger cheese flavor.
  • Pre-shredded cheeses contain additives to keep it from sticking together which affects the way it melts.  The sauce is best if you shred your own cheeses.
  • Allowing the baked macaroni and cheese to rest for a few minutes after baking will thicken the sauce.
  • Most importantly of all… Do not over bake this recipe.

When cooking your macaroni noodles, cook them according to the package directions but you want them to be still firm.  If your package says 6-8 minutes, just cook them 6…  you get the idea. I choose not to top this baked macaroni casserole with a bread crumb mixture but if you really like bread crumbs on your macaroni and cheese, by all means, add some!

How to Make a Bread Crumb Topping for Mac & Cheese

Combine the following and sprinkle over your casserole before baking.

  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs (Panko Bread Crumbs are best)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (optional)

This recipe makes an extra saucy creamy macaroni.  Do not over-bake this recipe.  You want it creamy and rich, over-baking will cause it to dry out.

I find that 20 minutes was perfect in my oven…  note that the recipe will thicken slightly while standing.

More Macaroni Recipes You’ll Love

Homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole

This homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole is the best you’ve ever had. Tender noodles in a velvety sauce for the perfectly irresistible dish!!

  • 12 oz dry macaroni
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup light cream (about 10-12% MF)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 can condensed cream of cheddar soup (optional 10.75oz)
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar (divided)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour and let cook 2 minutes while stirring. Slowly whisk in cream, milk, mustard powder and onion powder. Cook over medium heat while stirring until thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese & 3 cups cheddar cheese until melted. Add soup if using.
  5. Toss cheese sauce & macaroni noodles together. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake 18-24 minutes or until bubbly. Do not over cook. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

Creamy Mac and Cheese Casserole

This Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole is a show stopper! It's easy to make with tons of rich cheese sauce and a specail ingredient making it extra delicious!

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Baked Rigatoni Pasta

This easy baked Rigatoni Pasta is made with a homemade tomato-based meat sauce and tons of mozzarella cheese!

This easy rigatoni recipe is great to prepare ahead for busy nights throughout the week – simply refrigerate this Rigatoni Pasta bake until you’re ready to cook and serve! Serve it with a Classic Wedge Salad and some 30 Minute Dinner Rolls with Homemade Garlic Butter and you’re all set for dinner!

baked rigatoni pasta in a white casserole dish overhead

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love pasta.

It’s easy to prepare, it’s hearty, it’s comforting and it can even be relatively healthy! When the cooler weather hits, this is my favorite of the Rigatoni Pasta recipes that warm me back up from the inside out.

There is just nothing that brings people together more than cheesy pasta! I know I definitely don’t have a hard time getting everyone to the table when the best rigatoni recipe is on it ;)

If your family is the same, you might also enjoy this Sun Dried Tomato Pasta, this Beef Taco Pasta Skillet, this Hamburger Helper, or this Chicken Spaghetti – they’re all super cheesy and comforting!

baked rigatoni pasta scoop with the baked rigatoni in a white dish in the background

I wanted to keep this baked rigatoni recipe as simple as possible, but if you’d like to round out the meal, feel free to add in some extra veggies to the sauce: mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini would work perfectly!

What is Rigatoni Pasta?

Rigatoni noodles are short, tubular pasta that is widely available. It’s larger than penne pasta, and not cut on a diagonal.

The shape and large size of rigatoni noodles make them the perfect vehicle for a chunky, meaty sauce like this one! It holds so much flavor in every bite.

Tips for making this Rigatoni Pasta:

  • Don’t have Rigatoni pasta? Totally fine! Any type of pasta will work in this recipe, but I recommend something on the larger end, and something that will be able to grab that thick and hearty sauce.
  • Want to spice it up? Swap out Italian sausage for the ground beef to turn this into a sausage rigatoni recipe, or add in some crushed red chili peppers while you’re cooking the sauce for a blast of heat.
  • To freeze this baked Rigatoni Pasta, cover first in plastic wrap, then in tin foil and label with the name and date. Place in the freezer for up to 3 months. To bake, simply place in the oven at 350 degrees F, covered only with foil, and bake until heated through (this can take 60 to 90 minutes, but you will need to keep an eye on it to be sure). If your baking dish is not freezer-to-oven safe, leave the dish out on the counter for at least 1-2 hours before placing in the oven.
  • To make ahead: you can simply cover in plastic wrap or foil, then refrigerate up to 3 days before baking and serving. It’s perfect for your weekend meal prep, meaning you can make Tuesdays (or Wednesdays or Saturdays) dinner when you have time. (*Tip: if making ahead, pour 1/2 cup water over the pasta, then cover and bake. As it sits, the pasta soaks up the moisture and this prevents it from becoming drier in the oven.)

rigatoni pasta with meat sauce on a white plate with a casserole of rigatoni pasta in the background

More Baked Pasta Dishes You’ll Love

Rigatoni Pasta

This easy baked Rigatoni Pasta is made with a homemade tomato-based meat sauce and tons of mozzarella cheese!

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 cups tomato pasta sauce (about 2 jars)
  • 1 lb Rigatoni pasta (about 500 g)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. In a large saucepan, crumble and cook ground beef and onion over medium heat until browned and onions have softened. Drain any juices.
  2. Add Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute.
  3. Add the pasta sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat, for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add rigatoni, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook just until al dente (it will continue to cook in the oven).
  5. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain. Stir pasta water into meat sauce.
  6. Combine pasta and pasta sauce in saucepan. Pour into a lightly greased 9×13″ or similar baking dish.
  7. Cover with a lightly greased piece of foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until heated through.
  8. Optionally, cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Bake at 350 degrees F until heated through, about 30-40 minutes.
  9. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes, until cheese has started to brown.

REPIN this Delicious Pasta Recipe

Baked Rigatoni Pasta in a white baking dish

This easy baked Rigatoni Pasta is made with a homemade tomato-based meat sauce and tons of mozzarella cheese! #spendwithpennies #easyrecipe #pastadinner #easydinner #pastarecipe #withbeef #casserole #easycasserole #pasta

Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti is a favorite casserole around here!  A quick zesty meat sauce is combined with tomatoes and spaghetti and topped with cheese.  This spaghetti casserole is baked in the oven until hot and bubbly.

Just like stuffed shells, this easy recipe is perfect served with  crusty bread, homemade Garlic Butter and a Caesar Salad.

Easy Baked Spaghetti

This easy baked spaghetti casserole is a family favorite that is loaded with flavor!  We love Italian flavors from Easy Meatballs to a simple bruschetta and this cheesy casserole is no exception!

While Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole contains a lot of cheese in the spaghetti mixture (like cream cheese, cottage cheese or ricotta), this recipe is simple has pasta and sauce with a little bit of cheese on top.

How to Make Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti Casserole is easy to make, simply prepare the meat sauce, toss with spaghetti and bake until bubbly. The prep can be done then night before and then baked before serving making this baked spaghetti the perfect potluck dish!

  1. Brown beef and onions. Add veggies and tomato sauce and simmer.
  2. Stir in spaghetti and place in a dish.
  3. Top with cheese and bake!

The cheese on top gets golden and crusty making for amazing flavor! Make sure your spaghetti is cooked al dente as the noodles do cook a bit more in the oven and you don’t want them to get mushy.

One great thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever you like to the sauce. If you don’t like green pepper, skip it and add diced mushrooms or zucchini.  You can easily adjust this to your liking and add more or less sauce if you’d prefer.

How Long to Bake Spaghetti

Since the pasta and the sauce are warm when I put this dish together, it usually takes about 25 minutes or so to bake in the oven.  If you prep it ahead of time and refrigerate, it’ll take a bit longer.  Remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before baking and bake about 35 minutes or until hot in the centre.

Do You Cover Baked Spaghetti

I never cover baked spaghetti because the  crusty cheese on top is my favorite part!  Covering this dish also makes it steam which can overcook the spaghetti.

Serve this with a side salad and garlic toast for an easy meal.  This easy casserole is great leftover and freezes perfectly!

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Baked Spaghetti

This easy baked spaghetti casserole is a family favorite that is easy to prepare!

  • 16 oz spaghetti (cooked)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese


  • 1 lb ground beef (or italian sausage)
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 green pepper (diced)
  • 32 oz pasta sauce
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown meat, onion, garlic, seasoning and green pepper over medium heat making sure to break up the meat very well. (Drain any fat if needed).
  3. Add pasta sauce, Italian seasoning and tomatoes to meat. Simmer 5-10 minutes uncovered. Stir in spaghetti and parsley.

  4. Spread into a  9×13 pan, top with cheeses and bake 25-30 minutes or until hot and cheese is browned and bubbly. Cut into squares to serve.

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The Best Homemade Pasta Sauce Pizza Pasta Bake! This easy cheesy dish layers up pasta with a zesty fully loaded sauce & tons of gooey cheese!

Pizza Pasta Bake

Baked Spaghetti Casserole! Delicious and easy, this casserole is a great twist on a family favorite! Spaghetti noodles combined with a quick & easy fully loaded sauce & tons of gooey cheese!! @spendpennies

The post Baked Spaghetti appeared first on Spend With Pennies.

Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad combines my favorite Greek Salad recipe with protein packed quinoa for the perfect make ahead lunch, side or main dish!

Made with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, peppers, black olives, feta cheese and of course quinoa, this quinoa salad is light, fresh and loved by everyone.

Greek quinoa salad topped with feta and olives

The flavors of a Greek salad are so fresh that I am continuously creating new dishes with this combination! From Greek Tortellini Salad to Easy Greek Pasta Salad, it seems that nobody can get enough!

I often make a yummy Black Bean Quinoa Salad which has my favorite southwest flavors like cilantro and cumin but my family also really loves this Greek salad twist on quinoa salad! Juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, salty creamy feta cheese.

What is Quinoa?

While most people think it is a grain, Quinoa is actually a seed and is prepared in a similar way to rice or barley. It has a slightly nutty flavour which can be served plain or you can add it to salads or even replace the noodles in soup like Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.

It is gluten-free which makes it a popular choice for folks who either have a gluten intolerance or allergy (ensure your brand specifically lists that it is GF).

Fresh ingredients for a homemade Greek Quinoa Salad

How to Cook Quinoa for Salad

Making quinoa for quinoa salad is easy.  The preparation is very similar to cooking rice, only slightly faster.

  1. Rinse the quinoa
  2. Add water in a 1:2 ratio of quinoa:water.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes until water is absorbed.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.

Some people toast the quinoa by cooking it in a bit of olive oil before adding the water. This brings out the nutty flavour of the quinoa.

Bowls of Greek Quinoa Salad are the

How to Season Quinoa Salad

In this easy quinoa salad I add my favorite Greek salad ingredients so I season very simply with salt and pepper and then use Greek salad dressing for flavor.  I prefer homemade but I use store bought from time to time as well! Remember to be generous with the dressing as the quinoa will soak it up.

Fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro perfect added to quinoa salad along with almost any roasted or fresh veggie.  We sometimes add diced Oven Baked Chicken Breasts to this salad as well!

More Main Dish Salad Recipes You’ll Love

Greek Quinoa Salad

Fresh greek salad tossed with protein packed quinoa for the perfect meal!

  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked )
  • 2 cups water (or broth)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 cup red pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 cup green pepper (diced)
  • 1 cup cucumber (diced (about 1/2 long english cucumber))
  • 1/2 cup black olives (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup red onion (diced)
  • 3 oz feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup greek dressing (or homemade below)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped, fresh )
  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Cool.

  2. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, red and green peppers, cucumber, olives, red onion and feta cheese and dressing. Toss to coat evenly.
  3. Add cooled quinoa and combine.
  4. Garnish with fresh parsley on top.

For a homemade dressing whisk together the following: 

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil

Where can you find quinoa?

It is typically found in the rice and grain section of your grocery store, but you will find it in health food and bulk food stores as well.

REPIN this Easy Salad Recipe

A white bowl filled with Quinoa Salad

Greek quinoa salad topped with feta and olives is one of our favorite meals! It's perfect for lunch or as a light make ahead dinner! #spendwithpennies #greeksalad #greekquinoasalad #quinoasalad #cucumbersalad #tomatosalad #cucumbertomatosalad

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