Low-Calorie Baked Pasta — Husband Approved!
I recently combined a few recipes to create what I just call “Baked Pasta.” It’s low calorie and my husband LOVES the dish! When it comes to baked pasta dishes, he can be tough to please. So I take this as a resounding win! The recipe is a combo of cheese, pasta and hamburger, with some good spices mixed in. Here’s a photo of my plate before I ate it. I’m not a great photographer, so this may only look semi-appetizing:
It makes four servings, and each serving is less than 600 calories (depending on whether you choose the lean and low-fat ingredients, like I do, or not.) I bake it in a small round casserole dish (about this size) because I’m just making a small amount for my husband and me.
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef (try for 97% lean or higher)
- 1.5 to 2 cups of macaroni (I use whole grain macaroni)
- 1 tablespoon red wine
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup sour cream (I use low-fat or fat-free sour cream)
- black olives
- 1 teaspoon or so of sugar
- 1 tablespoon or so of tomato paste
- 28 oz tomato sauce
- half a can of cream of mushroom soup (I use the 98% fat free kind)
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I use the low-fat or skim-milk cheddar to cut calories) (you can substitute or add in mozzarella if you prefer)
- salt & pepper
- Montreal steak seasoning (optional)
Boil the macaroni so it is “al dente.”
Cook the hamburger meat until it’s very well done. While cooking, add garlic and salt & pepper to taste. Throw in some Montreal steak seasoning if you want it a little more flavorful. After the hamburger’s cooked, drain and add the tomato sauce, red wine, and enough tomato paste to get it to a nice consistency (it won’t take much.) Add more spices if you’d like it more flavorful (like oregano, basil, parsley, etc.) Add the sugar to cut the tartness of the tomatoes. Add the dijon mustard. Mix well and let it simmer until you’re ready for it.
In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream, cream of mushroom soup and more garlic.
Layer the ingredients into a small round baking dish. Start with just a small layer of sauce to keep the pasta from sticking. Then add a layer of pasta, a layer of sour cream mix, some cheddar cheese, then more pasta. Repeat. Sprinkle a little extra cheddar on top. Top with sliced black olives.
Bake on 350 for about 30 to 40 minutes. The dish should be bubbling when you take it out.
Bonus Note: Pink Bakeware Links
I used to have a super cute collection of pink (officially “cranberry”) glass bakeware. The glass dish I use is the last of it. If you’d like to buy your own pink bakeware, you can still find a few items on Amazon. I’ve put some examples in my “pink bakeware” Amazon store, along with a list of other recommended pink cooking products. Visit my store and check it out!