Cheesy Beef Stroganoff Pasta is a healthier, easier, and cheesier version of a classic! This stroganoff pasta is packed with seasoned ground beef, cremini mushrooms, perfectly aldente noodles and a creamy sauce made with Greek yogurt.
Cheesy Beef Stroganoff Pasta
Aside from Healthy Chicken Spaghetti and Spaghetti and Meatballs, Beef Stroganoff is one of those comfort food dishes I go absolutely crazy for. It’s not the prettiest or fanciest dish by any means, but man, is it good.
The one thing I don’t LOVE about traditional beef stroganoff though? The steak. Which admittedly, seems kind of backwards, seeing as steak is a pretty significant ingredient in most recipes, but hear me out.
For me, the allure of beef stroganoff isn’t the seared bits of meat itself, but the tangy, creamy, mushroom-laced sauce that’s smothered over perfectly cooked egg noodles. I could dip, drizzle, and spoon that sauce over just about anything… and I have.
Today’s version, is obviously sans steak, but I’ve stayed in the beef family, and used ground beef instead. I still packed in tons of mushrooms, because my favorite versions of stroganoff don’t skimp on them. Of course, we still have the same tangy and savory sour cream-based sauce laced throughout everything, because stroganoff is nothing without that delicious sauce.
Instead of serving it traditionally with the sauce spooned over dry egg noodles, I tossed the beef, sauce, and mushroom with toothsome rigatoni noodles, covered it in cheese, and then baked it until the cheese was all melty and delicious.
Now, beef stroganoff isn’t exactly in the healthy food category, so in addition to switching up the composition of it a little bit, I also wanted to lighten it up where I could without sacrificing flavor.
Because the ground beef, even when super lean still has a little bit of fat in it, I omitted the butter and oil altogether, and instead cooked the vegetables with the beef itself. I also swapped out sour cream for low-fat Greek yogurt for another boost of health and reduction in fat.
If you wanted to go even further with the healthiness, you could swap out the rigatoni noodles for whole-wheat.
Ground beef. Traditional beef stroganoff is typically made with beef sirloin tips or even filet mignon. However, because I’m not a huge steak person, today’s beef stroganoff with ground beef, is my preferred way to make it. It’s almost like a knockoff version of the stroganoff hamburger helper, which happens to me one of my biggest boxed guilty pleasures.
Veggies. Onions, garlic, and cremini mushrooms. You could use button mushrooms, but I love the mushroom-forward flavor cremini mushrooms have.
Beef Stock + flour. This is the base of the sauce. Flour thickens the beef stock. Be sure to add warm or hot beef stock, this will help the mixture thicken faster and easier.
Seasoning. Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, and salt. Worcestershire sauce and dijon are essential ingredients in creating a stroganoff flavor, I don’t recommend leaving either of them out.
Greek yogurt. Plain, low-fat Greek yogurt is what I used, but you can also use non-fat or whole milk. If you just have sour cream in the fridge, you can also use that.
Rigatoni. I love the way the sauce, mushrooms and ground beef fill the insides of each piece of rigatoni. I make sure to cook it under aldente so it doesn’t over cook in the oven. If you want to use a different pasta ,feel free, just make sure it’s something that’s compatible with the sauce. In my opinion, egg noodles, penne, or ziti work best.
How to make Cheesy Beef Stroganoff
Cook the beef, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Because even lean ground beef has a little bit of oil in, I don’t add any extra oil. I cook the beef, and when it’s about 80% done cooking, I add in the onion, garlic and mushrooms and sauté until they’re all softened.
I also add in a generous amount of kosher salt to season everything. My general rule is about one teaspoons of salt per pound of meat, although I usually start with 3/4 teaspoon and see where I’m at.
Make the sauce. Stir in flour, this is what it going to thicken the sauce. Slowly stir in warm beef stock. Add in mustard, a little bit more salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until it thickens.
Cook the pasta. Add the pasta to boiling, salted water. Cook until just under aldente. Because it also goes into the oven, you want the pasta slightly underdone.
Toss everything together. Add in Greek yogurt, stir. Transfer pasta to the sauce and stir until combined.
Cover with cheese and bake. Cook just until the cheese is melted and the inside is super hot.
Can Cheesy Beef Stroganoff be made in advance?
Yes yes yes. This is the perfect dish to make ahead of time. Be VERY careful to undercook your noodles since they will cook more when you re-heat everything. To make this in advance, prepare the recipe up until you add the cheese.
Next, let the mixture cool completely and then cover with a lid. Store in the fridge until it’s ready to cook. You can do this up to three days in advance.
When you’re ready to reheat, if possible, let the pasta sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the pasta over a medium heat on the stove and gently reheat while stirring. Once the mixture is hot, cover with cheese and pop in to the oven. Bake until the cheese melts.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Swap out ground turkey or ground chicken breast for an even more lightened up version.
- You can use whole-milk, low-fat, or non-fat Greek yogurt. You can also use sour cream.
- Again, cook the pasta UNDER aldente. There’s nothing worse than mushy noodles in a cheesy pasta.
- Use any kind of mushroom. I prefer cremini, but button mushrooms work as well.
- Heat up your beef stock before stirring it into the flour. This will help the sauce thicker quicker and easier.
If you love this Cheesy Beef Stroganoff Pasta, I’m guessing you’re also going to love this Skinny Chicken Tetrazzini, which is a lightened-up version of one of my favorite childhood comfort foods. Healthy spaghetti and meatballs, is another classic comfort food I adore. I love the chicken meatballs we used instead of traditional, and of course, I love that I can feel great about it eating.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low-sodium beef stock, warmed
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 7 oz plain greek yogurt
- 3/4 lb rigatoni
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- stock pot
- Large skillet
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Heat a large over-proof skillet to a medium heat. Add ground beef. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up while it cooks. Once it's almost all the way cooked though and starting to brown, add the onions, garlic, mushrooms and salt. Continue to cook until mushrooms and onion are softened and beef is cooked through.
- Add flour, stir to combine. Pour in beef stock, worcestershire sauce, dijon and remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat on low and add Greek yogurt. Stir until combined. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
- While the sauce thickens, drop the pasta in the boilling water. Cook until just under aldente. Reserve pasta water. Use a slotted spoon or strainer to transfer the pasta to the sauce. Toss until combined. If needed, add a little bit of pasta water to loosen the sauce up. Smooth out the noodles and cover with mozzarella cheese. Pop in the oven until the cheese has melted and the pasta is hot.