Lady brought this famous ‘8-Layer Casserole’ to a party. This dish stole the show!.

Immerse yourself in the heartwarming embrace of the Midwest with this Eight-Layer Casserole, a dish that epitomizes comfort food at its best. Perfect for chilly evenings, family gatherings, or whenever you crave something deeply satisfying, this casserole is not just a meal—it’s an experience of warmth and joy. Its versatility means you can make it ahead, freeze it for later, or bake it fresh when you’re ready. Paired with a crisp salad, steamed vegetables, or crusty bread, it’s a feast that feeds both the body and soul.
Servings: 8-10
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 cup water
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups rotini pasta, uncooked
1 cup cottage cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions:Preheat Oven: Set to 350°F (175°C).

Brown Beef: In a skillet, cook ground beef with onion and garlic until browned. Drain excess grease.

Prepare Sauce: Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, basil, salt, and pepper to the beef. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Cook Pasta: Boil rotini until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Cottage Cheese Mixture: Combine cottage cheese with the beaten egg in a bowl.

Assemble Casserole: In a greased 9×13 inch baking dish, layer as follows:

Half the rotini

Half the cottage cheese mixture

Half the meat sauce

Two cups mozzarella cheese

Repeat layers.

Top Layers: Add drained spinach, then bacon, and finish with Parmesan cheese.

Bake: Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes until cheese bubbles and browns.

Rest: Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Variations & Tips:

Substitutions: Ground turkey or a plant-based meat alternative can replace beef for a lighter or vegetarian version.

Add-Ins: Incorporate leftover roasted vegetables or a teaspoon of smoked paprika into the meat sauce for added depth.

Make-Ahead: Assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze. Adjust bake time if cooking from frozen.

Smoky Twist: A teaspoon of smoked paprika in the meat sauce adds a deliciously smoky flavor.

This Eight-Layer Casserole is more than just food; it’s a hug in a dish, promising comfort, flavor, and a bounty of memories with every bite. Whether it’s a weeknight dinner, a special occasion, or meal prep for the week, this casserole is sure to become a cherished recipe in your home.

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