Ground Beef Zoodle Marinara Bake

What's better on a Sunday night than some great Italian food, red wine, and binge watching TV? Not much in my book! While lasagna or a baked italian casserole sounded amazing, we were trying to still be somewhat healthy, so I opted to try baking zucchini noodles instead of actual pasta. I'll be honest - I didn't even miss the pasta. This dish was very tasty, especially with the melted mozzarella and parmesan (we had to splurge a little)! In our attempt to be healthy, we did not have bread to go with this, but next time, garlic bread would be the perfect combo! This dish would serve 4 people, or you can have a date night and have great leftovers! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

18-24 oz zucchini noodles (I bought mine already prepared, so did not have to salt and let them drain)

~ 20 oz marinara (tomato, basil, garlic marinara; I used a 16 oz bottle plus about another cup)

1 lb ground sirloin (use whichever meat you prefer; I used 93/7 ground sirloin)

dash of cayenne pepper

dash of salt and pepper

dash of chili powder

1 tb olive oil

non-stick cooking spray

~ 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (I use the Creamy version from Sargento)

1/4 cup grated or shredded parmesan

1 tb fresh parsley, minced

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil (since this is a leaner ground beef) and brown the ground beef on medium-high heat until cooked through. Add the cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and chili powder. You shouldn't need to drain the beef since it's lean. Add the marinara sauce and stir well over medium-low heat. Add the zucchini noodles and mix until they're all coated. Transfer to the baking dish, top with the mozzarella and parmesan, and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. If the cheese starts to brown, cover with foil. Top with parsley and let set for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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