KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Those cold winter days will be here before you know it. Warm up with this family-friendly recipe from culinarian Lauren Lane.


  • ½ lb. extra lean ground beef
  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped (or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 ½ cups (about 5.5 ounces) dry elbow macaroni pasta (NOT cooked)
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella, provolone or cheddar.
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce (I like Raos for store-bought or homemade is fine)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or ground oregano)
  • Extra cheese for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 2-quart (about 8 or 9-inch square) baking dish with cooking spray. Add the uncooked ground beef to the dish, breaking it up into small pieces with your fingers.
  3. Place onion, garlic, uncooked pasta, grated cheese, marinara sauce, water, and Italian seasoning in the dish and stir to combine.
  4. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Stir, add additional cheese if desired, and return to oven for about 15 more minutes, or until pasta is tender and beef is cooked through.