Baked Pastitsio Penne

Ryan Eckles, Project Bread

School Lunch

School Lunch: Beef Tips

Baked Pastitsio Penne

Our combination of two classic dishes – the baked ziti and Greek Pastitsio. We use our recipe for Roasted Red Sauce as the base and season the ground beef with cinnamon, clove, and oregano to give it that familiar Pastitsio flavor. We cover this saucy pasta layer with a school-friendly bechamel that has a hint of nutmeg then sprinkle it with parmesan before baking to a delicious golden brown.

Baked Pastitsio Penne on plate

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Yield: 100 6 oz. SERVINGS


1/3 lb margarine
1 1/3 cups All Purpose flour
2 Tbsp chicken base
1 cup onion, finely chopped
9 cups 1% milk
4 cups water
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
3 bay leaves
3 cups Parmesan Cheese
12 1/2 lbs dry penne, cooked and cooled
17 lbs Roasted Red Sauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
16.75 lbs ground beef
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp clove
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp oregano
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp kosher salt


  1. Make the bechemel sauce. Melt margarine and add onion and sweat for 2-3 minutes. Add flour and stir over low heat for 3-4 minutes, do not let it become golden brown; remove from the heat if this begins to happen. Add the milk one cup at a time, whisking constantly. Then add 4 cups of water. Next whisk in spices and bring to a simmer for 10-20 minutes. Set aside until it’s time to assemble.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Then heat oil in tilt skillet. Add beef and begin to brown, 3-5 minutes. Then add cinnamon, clove, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking until meat is cooked through and drain any excess fat.
  3. Add tomato sauce and bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Distribute cooked penne in 4” hotels and toss with enough sauce to coat but leaving enough to put a layer of sauce over the top of each hotel pan. Best if sauce has cooled but not essential.
  5. Cover each dish with a thin layer of bechamel then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until crust turns golden. Let cool then cut into slices like lasagna.

USDA Requirement

2 oz. meat/meat alternative
2 oz. whole grain equivalent

Nutritional Information

Calories 329 calories Saturated Fat 4.8 g Sodium 218 mg Carbohydrate 29.7g

* nutrient data and allergen information may vary depending on the specific ingredients and equipment used in your location.

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