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This recipe depends on how much pasta and meat sauce you have left after supper along with the amount of other ingredients you want to use. Since it so variable I'm leaving the serving amount and most of the ingredient amounts off. I normally use a third to a half of a package of Costco ground beef, maybe two to three pounds, and half a Costco-sized container of cottage cheese, about 1.5 pounds, along with two eggs. The ratios between each layer (meat, cheese, and pasta) are fluid based on your preferences so you can easily change the amount of each layer.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Leftovers, Oven, Stovetop
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour


  • pasta

Meat Sauce

  • ground beef
  • garlic, onion, basil, oregano, fennel seeds (seasonings) fresh, dehydrated, or powder
  • canned tomatoes diced, sauce, and/or paste
  • fresh or frozen spinach (optional)
  • kidney beans (optional)

Cheese Layer

  • cottage cheese (traditionally ricotta)
  • eggs a couple
  • cheddar cheese + extra for topping (traditionally mozzerella)
  • parsley (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)


Pasta and Meat Sauce

  1. Brown the ground beef in a large pot.

  2. Bring another pot with water to boil and add your pasta. Cook pasta according to the package's directions. If it's done and strained before the meat sauce is ready you can always add a bit of olive oil to help it not stick together.

  3. Once the ground beef is fully browned you next add any seasonings and stir it together. For us this includes dried garlic, onion, basil, oregano, and fennel seeds.

  4. Add any additional items and simmer it so the flavors meld. I normally add a can or two of diced tomatoes or, if out, tomato sauce and/or tomato paste. This is also the perfect time to use that extra spinach in your fridge. To stretch it further I've previously included a can or two of rinsed out kidney beans too.

  5. Suppertime! Enjoy your pasta and meat sauce. i sometimes add a sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese and/or Parmesan cheese on top.

Leftover Lasagna-ish

  1. Once you know the amounts leftover its time to figure out how much lasagna-ish you can or want to make and what size casserole dish(es) you want to use.

  2. Create your cheese layer by combining cottage cheese, eggs (you don't need a lot), grated (cheddar) cheese, and, optionally, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Break up the eggs and mix it all together.

  3. Assemble the lasagna-ish starting with a thin layer of meat sauce, followed by pasta, the cottage cheese layer, more meat sauce, and then finally a sprinkle of cheese. Remember to smooth each layer as you go.

  4. Seal your casserole dish and place it in the fridge, to eat in the next couple days, or freezer for later. If freezing remember to mark what it is, when you made it, and any extras you'll need to remember like if you left the cheese on top off.

  5. Bake it anywhere between 375 and 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember to factor in more baking time if it's still frozen.

  6. I stick a cutlery knife in the center, not touching the bottom, to check if it's hot, warm, cold, or still frozen. If it needs to cook faster I turn up the oven. If it's hot and needs the top browned I switch to broil and keep an eye on it.