This cheeseburger casserole is ground beef, bacon, macaroni and plenty of cheese, all baked together to perfection. A quick and easy dinner option that’s always a hit with both kids and adults!
If you love hamburgers, you’ll be sure to love this cheeseburger casserole. It has all the great flavors of a loaded bacon cheeseburger, but with the addition of pasta!
How do you make cheeseburger casserole?
Begin by boiling your macaroni noodles according to package directions. While you wait for the pasta to be done, cook up the bacon until it’s brown and crispy. Set the bacon aside for later use. Cook ground beef in the pan with the bacon grease, then add onions and cook until they’re softened. Flavor the meat mixture with a variety of seasonings and tomato sauce. Add the pasta to the beef mixture, then stir in half the cheese. Pour the pasta mixture into a baking dish, and top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted, then add the reserved bacon and a variety of other toppings. Serve and watch the rave reviews come in!
Tips for the perfect casserole
- I typically use 90% lean ground beef on this dish. It has plenty of flavor but is not overly greasy. If you use ground beef with a higher fat content, be sure to drain off any excess grease before proceeding with the recipe.
- Skip the store bought shredded cheese and grate your own instead. The bags of pre-grated cheese typically contain preservatives and anti caking agents, and do not melt as well as freshly grated cheese.
- This casserole can be prepared up to 4 hours before you plan to bake it. Store it covered in the refrigerator until it is ready to go into the oven. You may need to add another 10-15 minutes to the cooking time to compensate for starting with a cold dish.
- Leftover casserole will stay fresh for up to 3 days. You can freeze this recipe, just be aware that the pasta will soften in the freezer.
Cheeseburger casserole flavor variations
This dish is great as-is, but you can absolutely add other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.
- Meat: Instead of ground beef, feel free to use ground turkey, or a blend of ground beef with sausage.
- Cheese: While cheddar is a classic cheeseburger topping, I’ve made this recipe with other types of cheese such as mozzarella, pepper jack and colby.
- Pasta: Any type of short pasta will work, such as rotini, penne or medium shells.
- Toppings: Add as many toppings as you like. I typically do bacon, pickles and diced tomato, but other great options are olives, avocado, french fried onions or shredded lettuce.
Once you serve up this cheeseburger casserole, your family will be asking you to make it on a regular basis. It’s just that good!
More casserole recipes to try
- Pierogi Casserole
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Chile Relleno Casserole
- Beef Noodle Casserole
- Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
Cheeseburger Casserole Video
- 8 ounces macaroni noodles
- 6 slices bacon coarsely chopped
- 1 pound ground beef I use 90% lean
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 16 ounces tomato sauce canned
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided use
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- assorted toppings such as pickles, tomatoes and shredded lettuce
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat an 8 inch or 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook macaroni in salted water according to package directions.
- Place the bacon in a large pan over medium high heat. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until bacon is browned and crisp.
- Remove bacon from the pan and set aside.
- Drain off most of the bacon fat, leaving 2 teaspoons remaining in the pan.
- Add the ground beef to the pan and season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook, breaking up the meat with a spatula into small pieces, until browned. This should take 4-5 minutes.
- Add the onion and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, or until onion has softened.
- Add the tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard and half of the bacon to the pan. Stir to coat the ground beef with the sauce.
- Drain the macaroni and add it to the pan with the beef mixture.
- Add half the cheddar cheese to the pan with the pasta; stir until everything is combined and cheese is melted.
- Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared dish. Top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly.
- Top with reserved bacon and parsley, as well as other toppings such as diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce and chopped pickles.
- Let stand 5 minutes, then serve.