Category Archives: Beef

Pasta Bake

Ground Beef Dilemma and Solution #3: Kid Loving Pasta Bake

There it was…staring at me from the shelf in the freezer.  Just like it always does.  ”Whaddya gonna do with me, huh?  You sick of me yet?”  I swear they’re taunting me, those darn packages of ground beef.  But this time, I had a quick solution!

This Kid Loving Pasta Bake turns ground beef into an almost italian sausage with the spices I use and when I add them during the cooking process.  I love it!  I’m turning the mundane into a masterpiece with ease and simplicity.  Here’s how you can do it too:

Kid Loving Pasta Bake


1 16 Oz. Box Rotini Pasta
1 24 Oz. Jar Spaghetti Sauce
½ Cup Water
1 Lb. Ground Beef
1 Med. Onion (diced)
1 Clove Garlic (minced)
½ tsp. Season Salt (see our recipe)
½ tsp. Oregano
½ tsp. Basil
½ tsp. Parsley
1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
1 Cup Colby Jack Cheese (shredded)
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)


1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Spray 9×13” baking pan with cooking spray.

2. In a medium pot, boil rotini pasta according to package directions and set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, combine ground beef, onion and garlic.  Sprinkle season salt, oregano, basil and parsley evenly over ground beef.  Mix well.  Cook ground beef until browned.

4. Add jar of spaghetti sauce to ground beef mixture along with ½ cup water.  Stir to combine.  Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

5. When done simmering, stir sauce into ground beef mixture.  Add ½ cup Mozzarella cheese, ½ Cup Colby Jack cheese, and all of parmesan cheese.  Stir to combine.

6. Pour into prepared 9×13” baking pan.  Sprinkle remaining ½ cup Mozzarella cheese and ½ cup Colby Jack cheese evenly over pasta.

7. Bake uncovered for 15 -20 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Tip: If you’re a cheese lover, feel free to add more cheese to this recipe.  And change it up with your favorite kinds of cheeses!

Makes:  approx. 10-12 servings

Serve it up with bread sticks and/or a green vegetable and your masterpiece is complete.  My kids scarf this down like nobody’s business!  And honestly, the adults enjoy it just as much as the kids do :)

Lookin’ for more ways to spice up that same old ground beef? Check out these other recipes from us:

Bacon Cheeseburger Mac & Cheese
Asian-Inspired Meatballs
Family Pleasing Meatloaf

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Asian-Inspired Mini BBQ Meatballs

So this last week I found myself with my freezer full of ground beef and wondering what to do with it. I usually make a pasta sauce or burgers, but I like to try and mix things up a bit. At least once a week, there’s a new thing cookin’ up in my kitchen, and last week these were the experiment -and a huge success! :)

These perfectly yummy little meatballs are great for adults and kids alike. Pair them with rice or mashed potatoes for dinner. Or serve them at your next party with toothpicks for a yummy hors d’oeuvre!

Asian-Inspired Mini BBQ Meatballs

1 Lbs Ground Beef
1 Tbs. Ginger powder
1 Clove Garlic minced (or 1 Tbs. Garlic Powder)
1 Quarter med. Yellow Onion minced (or 1 Tbs. Onion Powder)
1 Tbs. Paprika
1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (or double for extra kick)
2 Tbs. Soy Sauce
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Panko

Combine all of the above ingredients with your hands in a bowl until fully incorporated (do not over mix).

Use a small scoop or eyeball small meatballs about 1″ or smaller in diameter. Lightly press the meatball mixture into balls until they just hold their shape. Place raw meatballs on a plate while you form them.

Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat for approx 3 minutes, lightly coat with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan or cooking spray.

Place all of your meatballs in the skillet and brown on one side for approx 1-2 minutes. Then turn the meatballs to the other side and brown for approx 1-2 minutes. Cover meatballs, and reduce heat to finish cooking inside for approx 2-3 minutes. Meatballs will cook up more quickly the smaller they are. They are done when there is no pink in the center of a meatball.

A not-so-Asian BBQ Sauce

1/4 Cup Favorite spicy BBQ Sauce (I use Jack Daniels Steakhouse)
2 Tbs. Teriyaki Sauce (I used Kikoman)
1 Tbs. Soy Sauce
1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper (again, add more or less for more or less heat, you may want to leave this out if you’re cookin’ these up for your kids)
1 Tbs. Sesame seeds (optional, you can even just throw the seeds on top after you plate)

Ok, in all honesty I just threw together what I had left in my fridge for this sauce. So if you don’t have everything, don’t worry about it, just use what you have and make it to your taste. The meatballs are already super flavorful, so simply adding teriyaki sauce would be just fine.

I just combine all of the above ingredients into a separate small pan on medium heat and heat up for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally because we don’t want it to burn. Then transfer the meatballs into the sauce using tongs or a fork (you don’t want all of the drippings and fat that have cooked off of the meatballs to thin your sauce, so leave that stuff in the other pan that they cooked in). Coat the meatballs thoroughly with the sauce, and serve! You can use the tongs if you don’t want your meatballs swimming in sauce or pour everything out onto the plate.

Enjoy these fun little meatballs, the next time you’re thinkin’ of Cookin’ Up some yummy food in your kitchen! You can even get the family to help you form these mini treats, and of course help you eat them all. This makes about 3 servings, double or triple the recipe as needed!