Pasta in a Pot

Layered meat sauce, pasta, and cheese baked in one dish. Pasta in a Pot is a filling meal that can be prepared in advance.

Pasta in a Pot - The Foodie Affair

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a photo of pasta?? Maybe it’s just me and the fact that after two years of food blogging, I’m still pretty much winging it when I take photos. It could be a setting on my camera that’s off. Auto setting isn’t ideal for all pictures I’m noticing, and I know there is definitely a lighting issue (lack of natural light) that I have to deal with, but even with those challenges, I’ve tried to photograph this dish three different times, and each time the photos went into the digital trash bin!

I’m still not pleased with what I’m sharing today, but I NEED to quit being so critical and just share this recipe with you! This a great dish to serve when you’re feeding a lot of hungry bellies. Don’t you have more meals to make around the holidays when everyone is on vacation? It seems like I do!

Pasta in a Pot - The Foodie Affair

Pasta in a Pot is a recipe from my mother-in-law. She serves it when the family gets together. It’s one of those dishes that looks effortless when served because it can be assembled ahead of time. While everyone is gathered in the kitchen, you can nonchalantly pop the casserole dish it in the oven!  No one will notice dinner is cooking until they start to smell the aroma of  tomato, garlic, pasta and cheese!

I suggest that when someone asks what they can do to help, you immediately delegate the salad making duties, then sip on some wine, and prop your feet on the living room table 🙂

Pasta in a Pot - The Foodie Affair

Mom Karen uses pasta shells, and I do too, but I’ll mix it up with penne and rigatoni pastas, depending on what I have in my pantry. Pictured is wheat pasta (shhhhh, no one knew!). I also add some Italian sausage to the meat sauce for some extra flavor.

This recipe will feed 6-8 people. We love having leftovers of this dish. The flavors seem to continue to develop after a couple of days.

Close up shot of pasta in a pot recipe

Pasta in a Pot

Pasta in a pot casserole dish is a family favorite meal with meat sauce and layers of cheese. Serve with a salad for a complete meal.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Pasta
Keyword: cheese sauce, Italian, pasta
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Calories: 560kcal
Author: Sandra Shaffer


  • 1 16 ounce medium sized pasta shells, penne or rigatoni
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ lb Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 24 ounce jar pasta sauce like Ragu
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 1/2 package provolone cheese, sliced
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large skillet, cook ground beef and sausage until browned. Drain fat. Add onions and garlic, sautéing with meat until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Add pasta sauce, diced tomatoes and mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Cook pasta according to package, drain water, and rinse with cold water. Pour ½ of cooked pasta in a deep casserole. Cover pasta with half tomato meat sauce mixture, then half sour cream over the meat. Top with provolone cheese. Repeat the second layer; pasta, sauce, sour cream, ending with mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes.


Add a 4 ounce can of sliced mushrooms if you would like. Sometimes I also vary the ingredients, swapping the sour cream for ricotta cheese.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 560kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 751mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g


Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.

Hugs Sandra Signature

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    1. I’ve never tried it, but instead of putting in the oven, I bet it would turn out great in the crockpot! Let me know if you try it. I would live to hear how it came out 🙂

  1. I do like the sound of pasta in a pot – how easy is that especially when it comes to the washing up. Some foods are just so difficult to shoot. I have trouble making meat look colourful rather than just grey xx