Everyone needs at least a few go-to casserole recipes. A casserole is a whole meal in one dish. It’s the perfect dish to make when you want to prepare something ahead of time to free you to be with your guests. Make it the night before and then bake it right before everyone comes over. Or, of course, you can make a casserole when someone you love needs a meal. Perfect drop-off food for couples with a new baby, new neighbors, or when you want to make a busy friend’s day. Casserole and comfort food are synoymous.
This spaghetti casserole is super yummy and fairly easy and inexpensive to make. I have made it three times in the last month.
1 pound dried spaghetti (most boxes are 1 pound)(you can use brown rice spaghetti if following a gluten free diet) – cooked according to package directions
1 jar of your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce (about 25 oz.)
1 small can of tomato sauce (about 6 oz.)
1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 – 8 button or cremini mushrooms, chopped or sliced
2/3 cup ground veggie burger
1 tsp. each of basil, oregano, crushed red pepper and parsley
Optional: layer in a small sprinkling of reduced fat mozzarella cheese or daiya Vegan mozzarella cheese between each layer and sprinkle cheese on top, if desired. You won’t miss the cheese though if you leave it out. I’d even go so far as to say, it’s better without the cheese
1) In large sauce pan, heat 1 or 2 tbsp. of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and sauté about 8 minutes, until tender.
2) Add chopped green pepper and sauté another 5 minutes. Add veggie burger and stir in with the onion and pepper. Saute a minute or two.
3) Add garlic and sauté a minute more. Then add mushrooms and sauté a couple of additional minutes. Add more olive oil, as needed.
4) Pour in tomato sauce and pasta sauce. Add all spices. Stir and simmer about 10 minutes.
5) Grease a large, deep casserole dish with olive oil. Ladle enough sauce into the bottom of the dish to cover the bottom. Add a layer of spaghetti, and then another layer of sauce.
6) Repeat layering 3 or 4 times until you have used all of your ingredients.
7) Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 20 minutes.
Serves 6-8 people. Reheat leftovers in microwave. Makes good leftovers.