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Soccer is in full swing here, and that means that dinner time will be rushed. One thing I have learned over the years is to plan ahead of time to make preparing dinner easier on those nights. Stocking up on essentials like ground beef, pasta, Kraft cheese, and spaghetti sauce is a winning game plan in my book.
I like to go to Walmart and pick up my Italian kitchen staples (mentioned above). Then on those busy weeknights, I have all that I need to make dinner in a flash.
For Cheesy Penne Pasta, I boil pasta according to the direction on the box. I don’t use the entire box, but rather enough for six servings. (I find that one jar of sauce is great for six servings, but not quite enough for eight.) While the pasta is cooking, I brown ground beef. Once the beef is thoroughly cooked, I add spaghetti sauce and basil. I let it simmer for about 10 minutes while the pasta finishes cooking.
I add the pasta to the meat mixture and stir.
It wouldn’t be cheesy if it didn’t have Kraft Naturals Italian cheese added, so I pour about half of the package into the pasta mixture.
I stir it all together and then place it in my baking dish. I top it all with the rest of the cheese and then sprinkle it with French fried onions. I place it in my oven which has been preheated to 400 degrees and bake it long enough to melt the cheese on top – about 5 minutes.
Cheesy Penne Pasta Dinner
- 1 box penne pasta
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 16 ounce package Kraft Naturals Italian Shredded Cheese
- 1 24 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 teaspoon basil
- French fried onions for topping
Prepare pasta according to directions for six servings.
Brown ground beef in skillet until thoroughly cooked. Drain excess fat from pan.
Add spaghetti sauce and basil to ground beef and simmer on low for 5-10 minutes while pasta is cooking.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Drain pasta and add to meat mixture and stir to blend.
Add half the package of Kraft Naturals Italian Shredded Cheese into the meat mixture and stir well.
Pour pasta into large casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with French fried onions.
Bake for 5-7 minutes or until cheese on top has melted.
I like to round out the meal with a simple salad – American lettuce blend with thinly sliced red onion, some black olives, pepperoncini, and a little Kraft Parmesan cheese. I serve it with Italian dressing and croutons on the side.
If we are having company, I like to prepare an antipasto platter with olives, cured meats, and blocks of Kraft Natural Chunk cheese. It’s so simple and yet elegant.
Cheesy Penne Pasta Dinner
Be sure to check out the game time demo at your local Walmart on September 26th.