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Nov 18

Layered Pasta Bake

Layered Pasta Bake

I have been meaning to make this Layered Pasta Bake all week. In fact, I thought about making it Monday. I bought all the ingredients Tuesday. I planned on making it Wednesday. Finally Thursday came along and I finally got my act together. I blame Daylight Savings time. When I get out of work and it’s pitch black out it’s so hard to do anything besides change into my pajamas and curl up on the couch. 5 PM suddenly seems like 9 PM for some reason and it zaps all my motivation! I need to ease back into this whole “almost winter” thing.

Luckily, this recipe was worth the wait. Anything with meat, cheese and pasta is usually a winner in my book, but the sour cream layer in this dish added a tangy twist that I really liked. The cheese on top of my pasta bake browned a tiny bit more than I would have liked because I accidentally put it in the top half of the oven instead of the middle rack. Keep that in mind and yours should reach a perfect light golden color. The servings for this are huge and it was super filling. Darkness Schmarkness, I think I got my cooking mojo back!

To view your WW PersonalPoints for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, click here!

Layered Pasta Bake

Layered Pasta Bake

Sour cream gives this meaty, cheesy Layered Pasta Bake a tangy twist!


  • 1 (13.25 oz) box of wheat penne
  • 1 lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup fat free sour cream
  • 4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded 2% Mozzarella cheese


  • Pre-heat the oven to 375. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Cook pasta according to directions on box, then drain and set aside.
  • While water heats for the pasta, in a large sauté pan, cook the ground beef over medium heat, breaking up beef until it is completely browned. Drain grease from pan if necessary. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, basil, oregano, salt and water. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese and egg and mix together until smooth and thoroughly combined. Add in the chopped scallions and stir.
  • Spread a thin layer of the sauce mixture across the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top this with a layer of the cooked penne. Spread half the sour cream mixture over the top of the pasta. Top with a layer of the meat sauce. Repeat the layers again starting with the pasta. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the top. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.


To view your WW PersonalPoints for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, click here!
Nutrition Information:
384 calories, 47 g carbs, 9 g sugars, 10 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 26 g protein, 7 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)
MyWW SmartPoints per (1/8th of the recipe) serving:(SP calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Green: 10 SmartPoints/ Blue: 10 SmartPoints/ Purple: 6 SmartPoints
Weight Watchers Points Plus:
9 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Layered Pasta Bake

52 comments on “Layered Pasta Bake”

  1. My super-picky husband LOVED this!! I didn’t have any ff sour cream, so I used ff plain greek yogurt & didn’t include the scallions (he doesn’t like those). HUGE hit! I made it into 2 8×8 containers & froze one for later. Thanks, Emily!

  2. So glad it was a hit! Great idea to freeze half for later.

  3. Yum! Made this a few days ago and have been looking forward to the leftovers each time! This pasta bake hit the spot without making be feel guilty – bonus! Keep up the great recipes!

  4. I love indulging, guilt-free! Thanks Lauren, glad you loved it!

  5. Since it’s only me and my hubby we halved your recipe and used rotini 🙂 Delicious and on the menu for this week again!

  6. I made this yesterday and everyone loved it. I love the fact I can cook filling meals for everyone even though I am the only one that needs to watch my weight. I also love that my husband (who is skinny as a rail) doesn’t even know it is a lighter recipe with the FF substitutes. I am new to WW and started at the 1st of this year, I don’t even remember how I stumbled onto your recipes but I love them….printed off 6 to try this week.

    I was wondering if your recipes are already in the recipe builder on WW site so I don’t have to recreate it?

    Thanks again for taking your time to make my life easier! 🙂

  7. Absolutely Loved this recipe 🙂 Just made it for dinner tonight and it is a hit especially since I don’t have to go over my points to enjoy some delicious pasta!

  8. I made this last night for the family. My daughter, a college student, requested a pasta bake with cheese so I searched your site and this was the perfect dish. I made it as directed but put the layers into my crockpot as we weren’t going to be home to stick it in the oven. I cooked it on low for about two hours and it turned out absolutely perfect! I can’t thank you enough for this keeper!!

  9. Hi Emily! Loving your recipes! Question – what sauce do you put on the bottom? The meat sauce? Thanks so much! Looking forward to making this on Thursday!

  10. I made this twice! Yum

  11. Seriously YUM! I even made it early in the day and baked it later. Turned out perfect!

  12. This recipe is my favorite weight watchers friendly meal ever! So perfect, huge hit.

  13. This is sooooo delicious!!!! It’s one that I love to prepare in Sunday then just pop in the oven and bake on Monday night after work!!! Thanks for all your hard work!!!

  14. Made this tonight. Didn’t turn out as pretty as your picture but it was still tasty. 🙂

  15. Absolutely loved this. I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful recipes that help us to have such wonderful meals and stay within our points. Sooooooo appreciate all your hard work!

  16. Made this last night and LOVED it! So-o-o-o yummy.

  17. Wonderful comfort food! A keeper!

  18. We had this for dinner last night and it was delicious!! Even my 3 year old ate it and she is at a stage of not wanting to eat things. I had her help me make it and she had so much fun. Great recipe!

  19. Making this week and wondering if anyone has tried ground turkey instead of ground beef??

    • hi, I’m Melanie and I was a caterer & chef at Whole Foods. I often substituted ground turkey for beef. I wiuld suggest getting the ground dark turkey. – its from the dark meat of the turkey. It is moister and. has more flavor. I find the ground white meat to get dry. Hope this helps

  20. This was so great! My whole family loved it and we plan to have the leftovers later this week. Thank you so much for your awesome site. It’s wonderful to be able to diet and feed my family without making separate meals for them. We all eat the same dinner and it makes me fell good to know that they are eating a healthy meal. Thanks again Emily. . .you totally rock!

  21. Just finished making and eating this for dinner. It is AMAZING! Thank you for this delicious recipe. I did make a few changes…I used 99% fat free ground turkey for the ground beef, fat free cream cheese for the 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese (couldn’t tell the difference), and added sautéed vegetables (1/2 red onion, 1/2 red pepper, small yellow squash, small zucchini. Sautéed them in 1T extra virgin olive oil until tender. Once cooked, put 3/4 of veggies aside in a bowl. The other 1/4 leave in pan while cooking ground turkey. Once turkey is cooked add rest of veggies back in and cook for a few more minutes before adding sauce). Same points plus value of 9. Huge portions! Thank you for the motivation to try a new dish!

  22. This is sooooo good! Thank you so much for the recipe and the nutrition information. I love love love you blog!

  23. lol dumb question, but little t means teaspoon, right?

  24. I found this site on pintrest. So glad I did, I love food blogs that have pluspoint or nutrition value!!!!! I will be visiting often.

  25. What’s the serving size?

    • Hi Tracy, the number of servings/size is listed directly below the recipe title in the recipe section 🙂

  26. I realize this recipe is a few years old so I hope I can get my question answered before I make this tomorrow night for dinner! Do you have any insight about freezing? If I were to split this into 2 8×8 pans and freeze one like the first commenter did, would I bake it first then cool and freeze, or freeze before baking? Once frozen, would I thaw then bake, or bake from frozen? There are only 3 of us and I would like to freeze half for a 2nd meal during the week. Let me know your suggestions, thanks!

  27. silly question… how do I know what your serving size is

  28. Made this tonight- it was incredible! I didn’t have any scallions on hand, so I substituted fresh parsley. My husband loved it and couldn’t even tell that I used whole wheat pasta and low-fat ingredients.

  29. Hi,

    I see where it says where each serving = 9 points, but what is a serving size? I saw you answered back two other people with the same question. I still do not see it. Thanks! I am cooking it at this exact moment 🙂

  30. would love to try this! One of my kids is allergic to egg though, would the recipe still work without egg? If so would that change the points value ?

  31. Hi Emily, love this recipe. Making it for dinner tonight. Question about the serving size though. You say there are 8 servings but you don’t say what the size of the serving is. Is it a cup, 3/4 cup?

  32. I made this last week and it was delicious, a lot better than I expected. I followed the recipe closely but made a few changes by added diced onion and green peppers to the beef while cooking it. I follow Kristine (I lost big and so can you) from Instagram, and she’s always posting your recipes, so I finally decided to try for myself. Looking forward to making many more!

  33. This recipe is delicious! 🙂

  34. Made this tonight and husband liked it so much he went back for seconds and thirds. The addition of the cream cheese and sour cream really amped up the taste from my previous healthy versions of various pasta bakes. This ones a keeper! Thanks Emily!

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