Pantry Beef Casserole

I took a trip today to Whole Foods to restock my gluten-free items. I have a bad habit of looking in other people’s carts in Whole Foods to see if they are also buying gluten-free. I always feel compelled to start a conversation about going gluten-free. I never do, but maybe I should? Hearing other people’s experiences and tips is always interesting to me. However, today I was the subject of stares in the Whole Foods. My newborn, Dan, was audibly purring in his Native Carrier, which earned us looks from everyone in my path. He loves being squished in this thing- I suppose it reminds him of the womb. I really need to get a picture of him in it before he begins to look less like a newborn. Speaking of growing up, my Jude got his first haircut this week. I hated to cut those blond curls off! It was time though. His Grandma cut it because I knew she wouldn’t cut it too short. The haircut was an all-day affair that included several bribes. With all of this going on it is hard to find time to make anything but fast meals. Tonight I made what I have dubbed “Pantry” Beef Casserole because it is easy to make and a crowd pleaser. It is a good way to get kids and husbands to eat vegetables, so if you have them put them in! I could only come up with mushrooms, onion, and green pepper tonight.

pantry beef casserole Pantry Beef Casserole


1 lb. gr. beef, gr. turkey, or soy crumbles

1 onion

1/2 green pepper

8 oz. sliced mushrooms

28 oz. can Muir Glen crushed tomatoes w/ basil

12 oz bag of Tinkyada rice penne

1/2 teaspoon of oregano

salt to taste

red pepper to taste

pinch of sugar

3 oz. mozzarella

5-6 oz. mild cheddar


Bring a pot of water to boil to cook the penne. Brown the gr. beef. Drain the excess fat. Add the vegetables and cook for about 8 minutes or until tender. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, red pepper, and oregano. Simmer for 15 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, cook the penne and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the sauce and penne noodles are done, layer them in a 3 qt. casserole dish. Start with 1/2 the sauce, then all of the noodles, then a layer of cheddar cheese, then the rest of the sauce, and top with cheddar cheese and mozzarella. Bake for 30 minutes.

My husband is still sore that I did not post his BBQ chicken when he was cooking a lot after the baby was born! Armed with my wordpress password, he snuck this into my post so I am going to leave it! He made an amazing BBQ chicken using Bone Suckin’ sauce (a great gf sauce) and BBQ corn with a number of different butters.
bbq chicken and corn Pantry Beef Casserole

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