Whole wheat pasta bake

A dish of baked pasta with cheese and meat sauce
Recipe credit

University of Minnesota Extension Department of Family, Health and Wellbeing

About this recipe

Serving size
1/6 of prepared recipe
Time to make
10 minutes preparation; 1 hour and 10 minutes cook time
Special criteria


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 15-ounce cans of tomato sauce (no salt added)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 cups dried whole wheat rotini or similar pasta
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 
  2. Add hamburger to a large fry pan or skillet. Cook over medium heat until the meat is browned. 
  3. Drain the meat mixture.
  4. Stir in the Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, bell pepper, and tomato sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Spray a 9” x 13” casserole dish or cake pan with cooking spray.
  6. Place the dry pasta into the dish or pan and top with the prepared sauce.
  7. Pour the water over the entire mixture and stir well.
  8. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove the dish or pan from oven and stir well. Top evenly with cheese
  10. Return the dish or pan to oven and bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Tips and variations

  • Substitute ground turkey, chicken, pork, bison, or reconstituted textured vegetable protein for the beef in this recipe.
  • Increase the nutritional value by adding additional chopped vegetables to your sauce. Try broccoli, carrots, zucchini or summer squash, or greens.
  • Serve the pasta bake with a garden salad and glasses of skim milk for a complete meal.

Nutritional info

Total fat
19.8 g
Saturated fat
8.2 g
75.3 mg
302 mg
Total carbohydrates
64.8 g
Dietary fiber
10.6 g
34.4 g
Total sugar
8.6 g