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Garlic Lovers Beef Rigatoni Casserole – Freezer Friendly

Garlic Lovers Beef Rigatoni is packed full of bold flavours (a whole head of garlic), and is so easy to put together for dinner, a freezer meal or a make ahead meal prep recipe.

garlic_lovers_rigatoni in casserole dish

This recipe is a guest post from Carmy, a fellow Canadian food blogger behind carmyy.com and onepotonly.com where she shares simple delicious recipes that are family friendly and easy to make!

You can find her on Instagram and Youtube when she’s not on her blog! Want to learn more about meal prepping from Carmy? Check out her how to meal prep e-book for tips and tricks!

A Simple Baked Pasta Casserole

Garlic lovers Beef Rigatoni is one of those simple meals that can do so much! You can meal prep it, you can freeze it, you can gift it to a new mom so they don’t have to cook, it works for potlucks, and more!

It’s no secret that Carmy is obsessed with garlic so this is a garlicky version of her beef rigatoni (aka my go-to version!) uses a  whole head of garlic in the pasta bake.

However, if you’re not a garlicky type of person, feel free to decrease the amount.

What You’ll Need

garlic lovers rigatoni noodles flatlay

  • olive oil
  • onion
  • lean ground beef
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic – a whole head! 
  • jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • dry rigatoni noodles
  • shredded cheese – a simple cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan mix is a great option.

You’ll also need a pot to cook your pasta in as well as a large pan. Plus tinfoil. I used a 12 ¼ by 8 ¼ baking dish from Ikea.

How To Make This Garlic Lovers Pasta Casserole

how to make garlic lovers rigatoni step by step collage

  • Start by filling a large pot with water on high heat to boil. While the water is coming up to a boil, start on beef.
  • In a large pan on medium-high heat, add in the olive oil and onion. Sauté the onions for 2 minutes before adding in the ground beef.
  • Season the ground beef with salt and pepper as you break it apart with a wooden spoon. Give it a couple of stirs as it cooks in the pan.
  • After 3-4 minutes, add in the garlic. Continue to sauté everything in the pan.
  • At this time, your water should have reached its boiling point, add in the rigatoni and set a timer for 8 minutes to parboil the pasta.
  • Add a jar of pasta sauce to your beef and stir to combine. Let the mixture simmer on low while your pasta cooks.
  • Start your oven, set to 350F if you aren’t prepping this for the freezer.
  • Once the pasta is ready, add it to the pan. Add ¼ cup of pasta water. Stir to combine.
  • Grease a baking dish and transfer everything into it. Top off with cheese, and cover with a greased piece of tinfoil.
  • Bake covered for 15 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes. Broil for 1-2 minutes if the cheese needs some extra help.
  • Serve when ready.

How To Meal Prep a Pasta Casserole

Method 1:

  • When the pasta casserole is done cooking, portion it out and transfer into airtight storage containers. Let cool before storing in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Method 2:

If you have oven safe containers:

  • Before baking, portion out the pasta into small oven-safe glass meal prep containers. Top with cheese.
  • Decrease the baking time to 8-10 minutes covered with tinfoil and 8-10 minutes uncovered. Depending on the size of your containers.
  • Let cool before storing in the fridge for up to 4days.

How to Freeze Beef Rigatoni

This is one of those pasta dishes where if you’re making it, Carmy suggests doubling the recipe so you can have one for dinner immediately, and one to freeze for later!

To freeze this beef rigatoni, transfer the pasta to an aluminum pan, top with cheese, let cool, then cover and freeze for up to 2 months.

When ready to eat, let the frozen beef rigatoni thaw in the fridge overnight. Bake covered in tin foil for 30-40 minutes or until everything is baked through. Broil for 1-2 minutes at the end, uncovered if the cheese needs a little help.

Change Up the Flavour

This recipe is so versatile.

If you want to change it up and you’re baking it in smaller containers for meal prepping, you can customize each individual serving! Add some red chili flakes and hot sauce to one, swap the cheese for a different type for another, add in a handful of peas to another one, squeeze some lemon and lemon zest for another! The possibilities are endless!

 

More Recipes from Carmy You Might Enjoy:

or the No Boil Pizza Pasta Bake or Easy Cheesey Beef Stuffed Shells from here on the Meal Plan Addict Blog!

Garlic Lovers Beef Rigatoni Casserole

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pasta Bake, pasta recipe, Rigatoni recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 54 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Garlic Lovers Beef Rigatoni is packed full of bold flavours (a whole head of garlic), and is so easy to put together for dinner, a freezer meal or a make ahead meal prep recipe.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 lb 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 head garlic, minced fine
  • 700 ml jarred pasta sauce
  • 4 cups 4 cups dry, uncooked rigatoni
  • 1/4 cup pasta water
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (or preferred cheese mix)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F if you aren’t prepping this for the freezer
  • Start by filling a large pot with water on high heat to boil.
  • While the water is coming up to a boil, start on beef.
  • In a large pan on medium-high heat, add in the olive oil and onion. Sauté the onions for 2 minutes before adding in the ground beef.
  • Season the ground beef with salt and pepper as you break it apart with a wooden spoon.
  • Give it a couple of stirs as it cooks in the pan.
  • After 3-4 minutes, add in the garlic.
  • Continue to sauté everything in the pan. Take care not to burn the garlic.
  • At this time, your water should have reached its boiling point, add in the rigatoni and set a timer for 8 minutes to parboil the pasta.
  • Meanwhile, add the jar of pasta sauce to your beef and stir to combine.
  • Let the mixture simmer on low while your pasta cooks.
  • .Once the pasta is ready, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.
  • Add the drained pasta to the pot with the sauce and beef.
  • Add the ¼ cup of pasta water. Stir to combine.
  • Grease a baking dish and transfer the pasta, sauce, and pasta from the pot, to the baking dish.
  • Cover the pasta and sauce with cheese, and cover with a greased piece of tinfoil
  • .Bake covered for 15 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes. Broil for 1-2 minutes if the cheese needs some extra help.Serve when ready

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