Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Make-Ahead Meal"--Sour Cream Noodle Bake

I'm sending out a big thank you to my loyal and dear friend, Andrea, from Pie Birds, Buttons and Muddy Puddles, for sending me a wonderful make-ahead recipe that I can't wait to make :) Congratulations on winning the Target gift card!

Here's another great "make-ahead meal". I love the layers in this dish and the flavor is wonderful. My family loved it. This can either be baked right away or refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Here's the recipe:

Sour Cream Noodle Bake
(generously adapted from the pioneer woman)

3/4 package whole wheat egg noodles (or 3/4 package regular egg noodles)
1 1/4 lbs ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2- 15oz cans tomato sauce
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 1/4 cups fat-free cottage cheese
1 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese or cheddar/Jack blend (freshly shredded is better)

Cook the egg noodles according to package directions to al-dente, then drain and return to pot, off of heat; set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook for a few minutes. Add the onion and garlic and continue to cook until beef is done. Drain. Reduce heat to low, then add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp of the salt and black pepper. Let simmer for a few minutes, then remove from heat.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the olive oil, sour cream, cottage cheese, 1/4 tsp salt and parsley. Then add to the pot with the noodles and mix well.

To assemble: Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Add half of the noodle mixture to the baking dish. Then layer with half of the meat mixture. Sprinkle half of the cheddar cheese over the meat. Repeat with remaining noodles, meat, and finishing with the cheese.

Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 2 days). When ready to bake, remove from fridge to warm for about a half hour or so (to decrease cooking time a little, but not required--just adjust cooking time). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap/foil and bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Serve with crusty bread and Enjoy!


  1. wow, I won? cool! I am on a streak this month :)

    this meal looks great. Do you taste the cottage cheese in it? Wonderful if I could substitute ricotta?

  2. You really can't taste the cottage cheese, but the texture of it shows through a little. My husband hates cottage cheese, but loved this dish. You can substitute ricotta, but that has a much stronger flavor (and is drier) then the cottage cheese so you would probably want to use a little less of the cheese and bit more of the sour cream. You want the sour cream flavor stronger then the cheese. If you try it, let me know how it comes out!