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From the Oven to Your Heart: The Joy of Sharing a Friendship Casserole
Friendship Casserole is a great freezer meal or to share dinner with a friend. Ground beef, egg noodles, pasta sauce, seasoning, and parmesan and mozzerella cheese make up this easy dinner!
Have you ever had a Friendship Casserole? This is one of my favorite casseroles to make for my family and friends. If you’ve already tasted this casserole considered yourself blessed, if not, let me explain what it is.
PREP TIME: 30 MINCOOK TIME: 35 MINTOTAL TIME: 1 H & 5 M
2 lbs ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 48 oz jar good quality spaghetti sauce or use homemade
1 16 oz pkg medium egg noodles (I prefer no yolk dumplings)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 16 oz pkg shredded mozzarella or shredded Italian cheese blend
2 13 x 9 inch disposable aluminum pans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, add the ground beef and brown, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Drain off any fat.
Add the green pepper, onion and mushrooms and saute with the meat for an additional 5 minutes. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 20 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking start cooking the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions for (al dente). Drain and toss with butter, garlic, powder, onion powder and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
Spray two 13 x 9 inch pans with non-stick spray.
In each baking pan add half of the meat sauce, divide the pasta equally between the two baking pans.
Add the remainder of the meat sauce in each pan (over the pasta). Top each of the baking pans with shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese blend.
Cover with foil that has been sprayed with non stick spray and bake for 35 minutes.
Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.
For Gifting: If gifting the second casserole present it unbaked. This way if the person you are giving the casserole doesn’t want to eat it right away, they can freeze it. Wrap the casserole in double plastic wrap and a add layer of foil. Add a bow or ribbon around the whole baking dish and slide a wooden spoon under the bow along with a recipe card with baking instructions
If you’re freezing the second casserole prepare and assemble both casseroles. Bake one and then wrap the second one unbaked with plastic wrap (I use double plastic wrap), then cover with aluminum foil, label, date and place the casserole in the freezer for another day. When ready to use remove from freezer, thaw completely and bake.