Hearty Hamburger Casserole Recipe

Home-cooked comfort food is guaranteed to fly off the table. While we're fans of classics, it's always exciting to add a new twist to an old favorite. If burgers are your love language, this hamburger casserole by Tasting Table recipe developer Cecilia Ryu is sure to please. It's packed with pasta, ground beef, savory seasonings, and oodles of cheese. There's not much convincing required here, because anyone who enjoys meat and carbs should be satisfied by this tasty dish.

Ryu shares, "What I like most about this recipe is that it's a one-pot meal." As she points out, "It's simple to make and comes together very quickly. You can have dinner on the table in less than an hour!" Those are some pretty redeeming qualities in any dish, and the fact that this meaty casserole is brimming with flavor takes it to another level. "I usually make this when I am pressed for time and need to make something for dinner quickly," Ryu notes, though we bet you'll start making it regardless of any time restraints. 

Gather the ingredients for this hamburger casserole recipe

For this recipe, you'll need unsalted butter (at room temperature), and half a box of large elbow pasta. Next, get ground beef, dice an onion and green bell pepper, and mince garlic cloves. You'll need Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to flavor the dish. To bulk it up, get frozen corn, tomato paste, a can of diced tomatoes, and a can of chopped green chiles (mild or spicy). You'll also need water on hand and shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese mix.

Ryu points out that this recipe is pretty customizable and suggests, "You can switch up the cheese, omit the canned chiles, and add a splash of hot sauce/Tobasco instead. You can omit the corn and change the pasta shape too. A lot of recipes call for egg noodles which is great too." Make this hamburger casserole recipe your own with your favorite add-ins.

Boil the pasta

Turn the oven on to preheat at 350 F and grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish with butter. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then cook the pasta according to package instructions until it's al dente and still has some chew. Drain off the water and set the pasta aside. Ryu warns not to overcook it and notes, "The pasta will absorb some of the liquid in the casserole."

Cook and season the ground meat

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground beef. Use a wooden spoon to break up larger pieces as you brown the meat. Then, add the chopped bell pepper and onions and saute the mixture for 5 to 8 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Simmer the beef with the remaining ingredients

Decrease the burner to medium-low heat and toss in the minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and corn. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, and stir the mixture as it cooks for another minute or so. Next, add the tomato paste, canned diced tomatoes, and chopped chiles. Pour ½ cup of water into the empty diced tomato can to rinse it out and add that to the beef. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. Taste it for seasoning, and adjust the salt and pepper accordingly.

Assemble the casserole and bake

Transfer the saucy beef mixture to the prepared casserole pan. Add in the cooked pasta and stir the contents to evenly distribute the ingredients. Top the dish with shredded cheese. At this point, if you are prepping for a future meal, you can go ahead and cover the dish and freeze it. 

Otherwise, cover the top with tin foil and bake the casserole for 15 minutes. Then, take the foil off and bake the dish for another 5 to 10 minutes to ensure the cheese is fully melted and maximally gooey.

Serve up this hearty casserole

Let it cool just enough to avoid burning your tongue then serve up a portion of this hamburger casserole right away. "If I have time I would definitely serve it with a side salad," Ryu suggests. Reheat any leftovers in a covered dish at 350 F to warm it through.

Hearty Hamburger Casserole Recipe
5 from 53 ratings
If you need a nourishing dinner on the table in a pinch, these hearty hamburger casserole will do the trick.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
35
minutes
Servings
6
servings
close up hamburger casserole dish
Total time: 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces large elbow pasta
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, mild or spicy
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheese mix
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish with the butter.
  2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package instructions until al dente. Drain well and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking up the large pieces with a wooden spoon.
  4. When the meat starts to brown, add the bell pepper and onions and sauté for about 5 to 8 minutes until they have softened.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and corn.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and stir well for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and chopped chiles.
  8. Pour ½ cup of water into the drained tomato can and add it to the beef mixture.
  9. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and taste it to check for seasoning.
  10. Pour the beef mixture into the prepared pan, add the cooked pasta, and stir until evenly combined.
  11. Top with the shredded cheese, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until the cheese is fully melted.
  13. Serve immediately while hot.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 572
Total Fat 31.5 g
Saturated Fat 15.5 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 97.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 41.9 g
Dietary Fiber 4.6 g
Total Sugars 5.9 g
Sodium 810.1 mg
Protein 31.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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