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Cheesy Beef Pasta

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Number of Servings: 8


  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef (15% fat)
  • 1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 jar (24 to 26 ounces) tomato-based pasta sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 12 ounces rotini pasta (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion, garlic and zucchini over medium-high heat (350 °F in an electric skillet) until meat is browned and broken into pieces. Drain any fat*.
  3. Add the pasta sauce, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes, if desired. Bring to a simmer and cook on medium low (275 °F in an electric skillet) for 15 minutes.
  4. Cook the pasta in boiling water according to package directions.
  5. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce in the skillet. Stir in the cheese and cover until the cheese is melted.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.


  • Substitute broccoli for zucchini. Cook fresh broccoli with the pasta in step 3 or add frozen broccoli in step 2.
  • *Pour fat from cooked meat into a metal container. Let it cool, then dispose of it in a garbage can.

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