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Layered Macaroni Casserole Recipe

"I concocted this quick-and-easy recipe over 40 years ago as a new bride. It's still one of my favorites," shares Virginia Cherry of Salinas, California. "I never wonder what to fix for potluck dinners. This dish is always popular."
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 70 min. Bake: 40 min. + standing YIELD:8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • TOPPING:
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Directions

  • 1. In a nonstick skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  • 2. Meanwhile, cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Add cottage cheese.
  • 3. In a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray, layer 1 cup meat sauce, a third of the macaroni mixture and a third of the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining meat sauce.
  • 4. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over sauce. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 40-45 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

One serving (1 cup) equals 379 calories, 10 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 34 mg cholesterol, 1,087 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 31 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 2 vegetable.

Wine Pairings

Full-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.