Freeze It Meatball Casserole
Freeze It Meatball Casserole
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
1 lb. raw extra-lean ground beef (4% fat or less)
1 cup finely chopped brown mushrooms
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup egg whites (about 2 large) or fat-free liquid egg substitute
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper
3 cups chopped cauliflower
4 1/2 oz. (about 1 1/4 cups) uncooked high-fiber rotini pasta
1 cup light/low-fat ricotta cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 cups low-fat marinara sauce
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet and a 9" X 13" baking pan with nonstick spray.
Thoroughly mix meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Evenly form into 18 meatballs and place on the baking sheet, evenly spaced. Bake until just cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place cauliflower in a large microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water. Cover and microwave for 4 minutes, or until mostly softened. Drain excess liquid, and re-cover to keep warm.
Remove sheet from oven, but leave oven on. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
In a medium-large pot, cook pasta per package instructions, about 8 minutes.
Drain pasta, and stir into cauliflower.
In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, Italian seasoning, and 1 cup marinara sauce. Mix well. Add to the bowl of cauliflower and pasta, and stir to coat.
Transfer pasta mixture to the baking dish, and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with basil.
Add meatballs in an even layer. Evenly top with remaining 1 cup marinara sauce, and sprinkle with mozzarella.
Cover pan with foil, and bake for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Uncover and bake until cheese has completely melted, about 5 minutes.
To freeze: Let cool completely, about 1 hour. Distribute single servings into sealable microwave-safe containers that are freezer safe. Seal and store in the freezer for up to a month.
To reheat: Vent lid, and microwave one serving at 50 percent power for 4 minutes. Microwave at full power for 1 1/2 minutes, or until cheese has melted and entire dish is hot.
MAKES 6 SERVINGS
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Publish Date: 2016-12-23