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cheese and pasta in a pot for a crowd

Cheese and Pasta in a Pot (for a Crowd)

  • Author: Sweetpea
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: oven-baked
  • Cuisine: american


  • 2 lbs. Ground Beef
  • 2 medium Onions, chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, grated
  • 1 14-ounce jar of Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1, 16 ounces can of Stewed Tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 8-ounce Shell Macaroni (cooked according to the package)
  • 1.5 pints Sour Cream
  • 1/2 lb. Provolone Cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 lb. Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
  • Optional: 1, 3-ounce can of sliced mushrooms


  1. Cook and drain the ground beef in a large skillet.
  2. Add the onions and saute with the ground beef until soft.
  3. Grate in the garlic and mix around until fragrant.
  4. Pour in your 14-ounce jar of Spaghetti Sauce, the 16-ounce jar of Stewed Tomatoes, and the 3-ounce jar of drained mushrooms if you are using them.
  5. Simmer all of this together for 20 minutes. It’s best to make the sauce the night before, but that means a longer baking time for the casserole.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Cook the Shell Macaroni according to the package.
  8. Spray your DEEP baking dish (I used an oven-safe Dutch Oven) with cooking spray, and dump half the cooked shells in the bottom.
  9. Cover with half the tomato meat sauce.
  10. Spread 1/2 the sour cream over the meat sauce, and top with provolone.
  11. Layer the rest of the noodles, the meat sauce, and the rest of the sour cream, and finish with the mozzarella on top.
  12. Cover and cook at 350˚ for 35-40 minutes (if your sauce is hot going in!).
  13. After 35+ minutes, remove the top and brown the top either with the broiler or extra cooking time. Be sure to observe if you decide to broil.
  14. Let this casserole sit for a good 12 minutes before digging in!


If you make the sauce the night before, and you’re layering from cold, add 20-30 minutes of baking time.


This casserole freezes well! If you want to do that, freeze the entire baking dish BEFORE you bake it. Just remember how deep your dish needs to be, and how much room that takes in a freezer. 😆 I like to make the sauce and freeze just the sauce. Then, I’ll assemble everything else. You’ll want to let this completely thaw in the fridge before baking it. Takes about 2 days of thawing. Then, I’ll add it to a COLD oven, and allow the pot and contents not to get shocked by high heat.

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