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Cheesy Beef and Shells Casserole

Prep time 20 min
Cook time 53 min
Total time 1 hr 13 min

Prep time 20 min
Cook time 53 min
Total time 1 hr 13 min


Here’s a hearty dinner recipe that fills up even the hangriest of hangry at your dinner table. Yes, even growing teenagers! 

It falls under the category of “health-ier″ as it is more calorie-dense and filling than most of my dinner recipes. 

Still when we get into the nitty-gritty of comparing the ingredients below to traditional beef and noodle casseroles, you’ll quickly see that this one is healthier and better for us:

* The Shells: we are using Banza shells made from chickpeas, which are lower in calories, higher in protein and higher in fiber than traditional pasta shells.

* The Cream: we are using plain Greek yogurt, rather than sour cream, which saves us calories and increases the protein content. 

I’d also like to mention the Pumpkin Spice - No that’s not a typo! This favorite flavor of the fall beautifully complements the white balsamic vinegar for a warm and enticing flavor that’s sure to please everyone in your family. Enjoy! 

Serves 12

2 (8oz) boxes of Banza shells

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 yellow Onion

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 (25 oz) jar spaghetti sauce (for extra saucy use 2 jars)

6 ounces colby jack cheese, shredded

1½ cups Plain Greek Yogurt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 casserole pan with olive oil.


Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box. Drain, rinse and set aside.


In a large skillet place the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often.


Add the ground beef and cook, breaking the beef into small pieces, until the pink is nearly gone. Drain excess oil and liquid from the pan. Return to medium heat.


Add the vinegar, pumpkin spice and sea salt to the ground beef. Stir in the spaghetti sauce. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.


Layer evenly in the prepared casserole dish in this order: 1/2 of the shells, all of the Greek yogurt, half of the meat sauce, the remaining shells, the remaining meat sauce, and topping it off with the cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Enjoy!


Calories: 489
Fat: 29g
Carbohydrates: 24g
Sodium: 346mg
Fiber: 4g
Protein: 30g
Sugar: 3g

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