Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, cubed
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, brown ground beef, onion, and garlic in heavy saucepan, stirring to break up ground beef. Add green bell pepper when beef is almost cooked; continue to simmer until beef is done. Drain well. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, and dried Italian seasoning and stir well to blend. Let simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors.
Meanwhile, cook elbow macaroni as directed on package. While macaroni is cooking, combine cream cheese and milk in medium bowl. Cook in microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Remove from microwave and stir with wire whisk until sauce thickens and blends to form a smooth sauce. Drain noodles and add to cream cheese sauce along with sour cream and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; stir to combine.
In 2 quart casserole dish, place all of cream cheese mixture. Top with all of the ground beef mixture and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until casserole is bubbly.
To freeze, add 1 Tbsp. cornstarch to the cream cheese sauce. Prepare casserole as directed, except instead of baking, chill in refrigerator. Wrap well and freeze up to 3 months. To thaw and reheat, thaw casserole overnight in refrigerator. Bake, covered, for 25-35 minutes, then uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer until bubbly.