This recipe for Sicilian Casserole has always been a favorite at my house. I have been making this dish for decades; in fact, it was one of the first casseroles I ever made! And everyone I have ever made it for just loves it.
The cream cheese sauce and ground beef and tomato mixture combine for a fabulous casserole. The rich tomato and beef sauce is perfect with the velvety white sauce. Serve with a crisp green salad and some breadsticks or toasted garlic bread.
You can see how to make this casserole in a step by step photo tutorial.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, brown the ground beef, onion, and garlic in heavy saucepan, stirring to break up ground beef. Add green bell pepper when beef is almost cooked; continue to simmer until beef is done. Drain well.
Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, and dried Italian seasoning to the beef mixture and stir well to blend.
Let simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors.
Meanwhile, cook elbow macaroni as directed on package.
While macaroni is cooking, combine the cream cheese and milk in a medium bowl. Cook in microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking.
Remove the cream cheese mixture from the microwave and stir with wire whisk until sauce thickens and blends to form a smooth sauce.
Drain the macaroni and add to the cream cheese sauce along with the sour cream and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; stir to combine.
In the prepared casserole dish, place all of cream cheese mixture. Top with all of the ground beef mixture and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Bake the dish for 20-30 minutes until the casserole is bubbly.
To freeze this casserole, add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to the cream cheese sauce. Prepare the casserole as directed, except instead of baking, chill in the refrigerator. Wrap the dish well and freeze up to 3 months. To thaw and reheat, thaw casserole overnight in refrigerator. Bake, covered, for 25-35 minutes at 350°F, then uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer until bubbly.