Simple Pasta Casserole with Bechamel Sauce

November 16, 2018
Looking for comfort food? Then try this easy and cheesy pasta casserole. This french inspired dish with a slight twist on classic Macaroni casserole, is a delicious pasta dish rich with meat sauce, cheese and a creamy Bechamel sauce. This is what you are looking for if you need a make-ahead meal. Nothing satisfies a hungry crowd like pasta casserole. 


For the casserole

400g spaghetti

500g minced chicken (Or beef)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic paste
1 large onion (finely chopped)
2 medium sized tomaotes (blended)
1 carrot (grated)
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 dried bay leaves
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp soya sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup stock water 
1 tsp sugar
Grated cheddar cheese for sprinkling 

For the Bechamel sauce

3 cups whole milk

5 tbsp butter
5 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Cook pasta according to the instructions in the packet. 
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add onion and then add the garlic paste and grated carrot and cook until softened.
  3. Turn the heat to high and add the minced beef/chicken. Cook, breaking it up finely.
  4. Next add the stock water. Bring to simmer and cook for 3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan.
  5. Bring the heat to medium and add boiled and blended tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, bay leaves, oregano and soya sauce and bring it to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes closed and then open the lid and let it simmer for 10 minutes. (Add water if the sauce gets too thick for your taste) Stir occasionally.
  6. Once the meat sauce is thicken, add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. 

Directions for the Bechamel sauce

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. As soon as it melts, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps.
  2. Increase the heat to medium-low and add the milk slowly, stirring constantly and continue until the sauce begins to thicken. When it starts to thicken add the grated cheese and stir well.  (It should be creamy without being too thick.)
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in oregano, salt, and pepper and set aside until ready to use. (I usually add grated cheddar cheese to this sauce while it is hot and then stir well, it gives a cheesy flavour to the sauce)

Preparation of the Casserole
  1. Grease an ovenproof casserole dish with butter. Pour a layer of Bechamel Sauce. 
  2. Then put a layer of pasta. On top of that put the meat sauce. 
  3. Sprinkle a layer of grated cheddar cheese. Repeat this process again.
  4. End the ;layer with meat sauce and sprinkle some additional grated cheese. (If any Bachamel sauce is remaining pour over it)
  5. Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Take the Casserole out of the refrigerator one hour before baking. 
  7. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top layer becomes brown. 

  • You can assemble all the ingredients for your casserole and then freeze it unbaked.
  • If you want to freeze a baked casserole, let it cool before wrapping it and freezing.
  • To bake a frozen casserole, you can first thaw it in the fridge overnight and bake it  loosely covered with foil the next day. 

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