Jun 30, 2011

Frugal Pasta Bake Recipe

If you are a reader of my blog, you know that times have been tough for my family's fiances. As the sole cook of the family, I've been on the lookout for cheap frugal and easy recipes. But I am not willing to feed my family junk. I look for recipes that are healthy and for the most part homemade. But this week as I was planning meals, I decided to make something semi homemade and without a recipe.

I got my inspiration in the pasta aisle when I saw that pasta was on sale for a dollar and sauce is $1.79. Now here is a little confession, I hate almost all jar sauces. I think they're too salty and I would rather make a huge batch of homemade sauce and freeze family sized portions it for later. But this price was too good to pass up since I'm out of sauce and I really don't want to spend the money to make a huge batch. (It's too much work for a single batch in my opinion.) So I thought I would add some ingredients to the sauce to make it taste a little better.

Frugal Pasta Bake
8oz pasta - .50
jar of sauce - 1.79
2 cloves grated garlic - .05
1 tsp red pepper flakes - .01
1 cup mozzarella cheese - 1.00
1 lb ground beef - .99

Cesar salad
lettuce - .50
dressing - .10

Total cost $4.94

1. Heat oven to 350.  Cook pasta 3 minutes less than the package directions.
2. Meanwhile simmer sauce with garlic and red pepper flakes. We like things spicy so you may need to use less red pepper.
3. Meanwhile brown ground beef in a pan. Drain and add to the sauce.
4. Drain pasta and add to the sauce and toss. Pour into 9'X13' pan and top with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly.

Originally I planned on this being meatless. I added the ground beef last minute because I found a package of frozen beef from a sale a few months back. So I actually cooked the sauce in the crock-pot since the beef was frozen solid. I don't think it would make much of a difference cooking it on the stove though. It did make the prep work easier so you could do it that way.

The Verdict
We all liked it! It was pretty darn good and really easy to make. My kids eat pasta really well and it is an easy way to sneak meat past Isabella who is super picky about meat. Plus there is enough left over for some lunch too.


  1. This looks Great!!! I will try it. How many did it feed?

  2. Yum!! Where do you get lettuce for 50 cents? Thanks for linking up at Tasty Thursdays.
    -The How To Mommy

  3. You're so awesome with your cooking. And Anina is so awesome with her sewing. I seriously need a talent. lol

  4. Hi Allison,
    This is a great recipe great flavors and easy. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon. I am your newest follower. Have a great week end!
    Miz Helen

  5. That looks delicious! Not only that, but it's completely affordable! Win-win, in this situation.

    Living So Abundantly: New meme coming this Thursday, July 7, 2011, Give Back Thursday--come join the fun!

  6. This recipe looks so good. I would love it if you came over to my party "Cast Party Wednesday" tomorrow and shared some of your recipes with us.
    I hope to see you there!


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