Staying on Budget

For people who love money.

Italian Hot Dish

Italian Hot Dish is a great combination of spices along with green pepper, onion, and mushroom in tomato sauce. Best of all baked cheese!

Italian Hot Dish is a simple and delicious baked pasta. If I am feeling a little spicy I will add a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies as well as red pepper flakes. Experiment with ingredients you like!

I originally found this recipe in my Taste of Home Light and Tasty 2007 Annual Recipes Cookbook. 

Cost Per Serving $4.96 as of July 2022

If you have ZERO ingredients then this recipe will cost about $19.82.

If you have a fully stocked pantry this dish will cost about $15.86.

  • Cost per serving reduces to $3.97.

I am assuming you have salt and pepper and do not add it into the recipe total cost.

Stove Top and Oven

Recipe serves: 4

Serving size: 1/4 of dish

Equipment needed: large pot, skillet, 8″ baking dish

Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes


Let's grocery shop!

I am assuming you have salt and pepper. It is not included in pantry and spices. If you have a stocked pantry you will save about $3.96.

Pantry & Spices

Total: $3.96 as of July 2022

  • garlic powder $0.98
  • onion powder $0.98
  • dried oregano $1.00
  • dried basil $1.00


Total: $15.86 as of July 2022

  • 1 - box small shell pasta $0.92
  • 1 - green pepper $0.78
  • 1 - pound ground beef $5.88
  • 1 - onion $0.40
  • 1 - sliced mushrooms $1.98
  • 1 - can tomato sauce 15 oz $0.72
  • 1 - block mozzarella cheese $2.00
  • 1 - parmesan cheese $3.18

Let's prep!

Let's cook!

  1. Complete the prep from the prep tab above.
  2. Cook 1.5 cups of pasta to package directions
  3. Brown beef and vegetables until the beef is brown; drain if needed.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and spices then bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium low; cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350° F
  6. Spray the 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray or use oil with a napkin. Then add in this order:
    • Drain and add the pasta.
    • Meat sauce.
    • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
    • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
    • 2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
  7. Cover and bake for 35 minutes then uncover and add 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese. 
  8. Continue to bake uncovered for 5 – 10 minutes. Enjoy!

This recipe can also be found in Weekly Dinners for 2 under $45 – Menu 1

Side Options

© 2022 Staying On Budget LLC is owned and operated by Staying On Budget LLC.

Staying On Budget LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and earns from qualifying purchases. 

Related articles

Basil and Mozzarella Burgers

Basil and Mozzarella Burgers are probably one of the best tasting burgers I have ever had. The sun-dried tomato mayo really elevates the taste!

Single Serve Meat Loaves

Single Serve Meat Loaves really changed my mind about meat loaf. I love that they are individual portions and packed full of flavor.

Salisbury Steak

Salisbury Steak in this onion soup gravy is the best recipe I have found. It is best with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.

Christin Lee


It is fun to think that there might be a short cut but the reality is planning plus diligence equals financial freedom.

My Favorite Articles