With the holiday season now behind us, we find ourselves settling back into normal day-to-day routines. The only thing that has changed is our desire to be in the kitchen. I mean after all – didn’t we spend enough time in the kitchen during the holiday season?

I use the New Year as a time to cook more quick and easy dishes, usually opting for slow cooker or casserole type meals. Of course, sometimes I will reach for the random frozen dinner by Compliments brand to throw in the oven. Because… Convenience!

Prior to the holidays, I had been often found shopping at FRESHCO simply for the fact that I love their commitment to low every day pricing. If you like to watch flyers, you will often find they have great deals that can beat out competitor’s pricing in every department.

In effort to keep my pocket book in line, I plan to continue visiting FRESHCO now that the holidays are over! In fact – I was just there the other day and bought ingredients for a week’s worth of dinners for my family of 6 for $60 (not including school snacks and breakfast items).

Some of the meals on my meal plan this week, include Hamburger HashBeef Enchiladas, several Compliments frozen meals (because at $6.99 for a chicken pot pie and lasagna – you really can’t go wrong), and Beef & Tomato Pasta Bake.

The Beef & Tomato Pasta Bake is a recipe that my mom made for me during my adolescence. It is one of those comfort dishes that you can make as simple as you want or you could amp up by adding other ingredients that you love. It’s versatile! The best part? My kids love it! It’s become an affordable weekly staple in our weekly meal rotation.

Just Like Mom's Beef & Tomato Pasta Bake Recipe

Just Like Mom’s Beef & Tomato Pasta Bake Recipe


  • 1lb extra lean ground beef
  • 3 cups medium shells
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground oregano
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cups shredded old cheddar cheese.


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, brown beef over medium-low heat. Drain off excess fat. Add diced tomatoes and spices to pan. Stir. Mix in cooked pasta shells.
  4. In a 9×13 casserole dish, add a layer of pasta. Sprinkle with some cheddar cheese. Repeat layers with the final layer being a good coating of shredded cheddar cheese.
  5. Transfer casserole dish to oven, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Just Like Mom's Beef & Tomato Pasta Bake Recipe

If you are looking to find a fresher, cheaper grocery experience delve into the FRESHCO grocery realm. It truly is a grocery store that is the smart choice for good food at affordable prices.

 Disclosure: This post has been generously sponsored by the makers of FRESHCO but the opinions expressed are my own.

7 Comments on Just Like Mom’s Beef & Tomato Pasta Bake

  1. Sharon McKenna
    January 21, 2017 at 11:31 am (1 year ago)

    Why baking soda?

    • Nicole
      January 24, 2017 at 9:00 pm (12 months ago)

      The baking soda helps to neutralize the acidity of the tomatoes. However, if you wanted to omit this ingredient you could.

  2. Debby
    January 21, 2017 at 11:46 am (1 year ago)

    The ingredients included baking soda but was not mentioned in the directions. Was that an error?? I’ve never heard of using baking soda in a dish like this.

    • Nicole
      January 24, 2017 at 8:59 pm (12 months ago)

      Whoops! Thank you for pointing it out that I omitted it from the directions. I will modify. I like to add the baking soda as it helps to neutralize the acidity of the tomatoes. However, if you feel like keeping the baking soda out that would be ok. It depends on each individuals taste.

  3. Mary
    January 21, 2017 at 8:59 pm (1 year ago)

    This is a dish that I like to make and take to our church for potluck’s

    February 3, 2017 at 12:40 pm (12 months ago)

    What’s wrong with using fresh chopped onion and minced garlic instead of the powders? Gives better flavour plus some texture and fibre. Three cheese blend also adds a variance of FLAVOUR!

    • Nicole
      February 7, 2017 at 8:25 pm (12 months ago)

      You certainly could add fresh chopped onion and minced garlic in place of the powders. Most of the time I do, and on occasion I will add other fresh veggies like mushrooms, zucchini, jalapenos or bell peppers. This recipe is very versatile and you can interchange the ingredients as you see fit. Next time I make this meal I will have to try your tip of adding a three cheese blend. I bet that would really rev up the flavours even more. Thanks for sharing.


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