This hamburger casserole is ground beef and mushrooms in tomato sauce, tossed with pasta and topped with melted cheese. A comfort food classic that’s great for feeding a crowd, and can be easily customized to your tastes!
You can’t go wrong with a hearty casserole such as chile relleno bake and chicken and broccoli casserole. Hamburger casserole is also on my regular rotation, and it’s always a big hit with both kids and adults.
When I’m looking for an easy dinner that I know my family will love, I turn to hamburger casserole. It’s got seasoned beef in a savory sauce, with plenty of cheese on top. This is a must-try recipe!
How do you make hamburger casserole?
Heat olive oil in a pan, then add onions, garlic and sliced mushrooms. Cook until the vegetables are tender, then remove the veggies from the pan. Place the ground beef in the pan, and cook until browned. Add the vegetables back to the pan along with canned diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings. Pour the beef mixture over cooked macaroni noodles, then toss to coat. Pour the pasta mixture into a casserole dish, then sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the top. Bake until the cheese is melted, then sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.
Tips for the perfect casserole
- I typically use 90% lean ground beef for this dish. It has plenty of flavor without a lot of grease. If you use beef with a higher fat content, you’ll want to drain off any excess grease after you cook it.
- Use pre-sliced mushrooms to save a little bit of prep time. You can use any variety of mushroom. I often use button mushrooms, but cremini mushrooms are also a great choice.
- I recommend shredding your own cheese for this recipe. The bagged pre-shredded cheeses are often coated with preservatives and anti caking agents and they don’t melt as smoothly.
- Leftover casserole will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, which makes this dish great for meal prep.
Make ahead instructions
Hamburger casserole can easily be prepared in advance. Toss the noodles with the sauce, then cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Uncover the dish, add the cheese then bake according to the recipe. You may need to add a few extra minutes to the bake time to compensate for starting with a cold casserole. This dish can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Assemble the casserole in its entirety, then cover tightly with foil and freeze. Bake the frozen casserole covered for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until warmed through.
Hamburger Casserole flavor variations
This casserole is delicious as-is, but you can add other ingredients to the mix to customize it to your tastes.
- Protein: Instead of ground beef, feel free to try ground turkey, Italian sausage or diced cooked chicken.
- Vegetables: No mushrooms on hand? You can also use bell peppers, a bag of frozen mixed veggies, zucchini, cauliflower or even broccoli.
- Cheese: Swap out the cheddar for another variety that melts well such as Monterey Jack or mozzarella.
- Noodles: You can use any type of short pasta such penne, egg noodles, small shells or fusilli.
This cheesy pasty dish is a must-try recipe, it’s got everything you need all in one pan!
More casserole recipes to try
Hamburger Casserole Video
- 12 ounces macaroni uncooked
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 12 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1/4 lbs lean ground beef I use 90% lean
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes do not drain, I prefer to use the small diced (petite cut) variety
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- cooking spray
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the macaroni and cook according to package directions. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- While the noodles are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat.
- Place the onions and mushrooms in the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until onions are softened and mushrooms have browned. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Remove the vegetables from the pan and wipe it clean with paper towel.
- Add the ground beef to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes and Italian seasoning to the beef and stir to combine. Add the mushroom mixture back to the pan and stir.
- Drain the noodles and add to the pan with the beef; toss to combine.
- Pour the beef and noodle mixture into a 9"x13" baking pan that's been coated in cooking spray. Top with cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.