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Hamburger Noodle Casserole

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Loaded with cheese and tomato sauce, this Hamburger Noodle Casserole is an easy, cheesy casserole that’s perfect for busy weeknights. Comfort food at its finest!

Old Fashioned Hamburger Noodle Casserole

This Hamburger Noodle Casserole is a family recipe that’s been passed down through the generations. My Grandma published this recipe in her church cookbook, which I still have today, and my mom tells me that my grandmother made this for them all when she was growing up.

One bite of this cheesy noodle casserole and you’ll understand why. It’s so easy to make, comforting, and filling. Plus it’s made with easy-to-find ingredients that were likely quite cheap and accessible back in the day. Every parent of growing kids knows that cheap and filling is the key to great dinner recipes for the family!

Key Ingredients

As you may guess based on the name, this casserole is made with ground beef, noodles, and a recipe other ingredients. See the recipe box for the full list and instructions.

  • Egg noodles – The base of this casserole. While other pasta will work, egg noodles are what my grandma used to make this recipe.
  • Ground beef – Try to use leaner ground beef to avoid excess grease.
  • Tomato sauce – Creates the base of the sauce.
  • Cream cheese & sour cream – Add a smooth, creamy texture to the casserole
  • Cheddar cheese – Cheese makes everything better. I recommend grating it yourself if possible, as it will melt best!
Overhead view of cheesy hamburger noodle casserole ingredients

Recipe Variations

As with any classic or old fashioned recipe, there are many variations to this cheesy ground beef noodle casserole. Here are a few ways to switch it up.

  • Use different noodles. Penne, rotini, elbow noodles, and pretty much any other shorter pasta noodles can be used.
  • Switch up the cheese. Mozzarella, Colby, Monterrey Jack, and others would all taste great.
  • Try different meat. Any ground meat, like turkey or pork, will work. Try a combo of ground beef and ground pork for extra flavor.
  • Add some veggies. To make this dish a bit healthier, you can always saute some veggies to add to the sauce. Peppers and onions are great, as are green beans, corn, and broccoli.
A spoon serving cheesy ground beef noodle casserole

How to Make Hamburger Noodle Casserole

This ground beef noodle casserole makes a great weeknight dinner because it comes together with just a few minutes of prep.

1. Cook the noodles. Prepare the noodles according to package instructions, then drain.

2. Cook the ground beef. Cook the ground beef in butter until it’s no longer pink. Add the garlic. Drain any excess fat. Stir in the tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar.

3. Prepare the cream cheese mixture. Mix together the cream cheese and sour cream until well combined. Add in the scallions. Combine the mixture with the egg noodles.

4. Layer the casserole. In a greased casserole dish, add half of the noodles and half of the beef mixture. Gently combine. Topped with cheddar cheese. Add the remaining noodle and beef mixture, gently stir, and finish with the remaining cheddar cheese.

5. Bake. Bake for 20 minutes, until bubbling with melted cheese.

Can I Lighten This Recipe Up?

With all the cheese, sour cream, and noodles, this dish definitely falls into the “comfort food” category. While it’s hard to make a “light” version without completely changing the ingredients, you can use reduced-fat and low-fat sour cream, cream cheese, and cheese.

Adding veggies as noted above is a great way to make this a bit healthier as well!

Close up of ground beef noodle casserole in a baking dish

What Sides Go With This?

Cheesy hamburger noodle casserole is super filling on its own. However, a side of garlic bread is always welcome to soak up any remaining sauce and a side salad is a perfect complement to lighten up the meal. If you want to add a veggie side, I love these green beans.

Make Ahead Instructions

Like most casseroles, this makes a great make-ahead meal. You can easily prepare it up to 24 hours in advance. Just follow the instructions as noted and stop before the final step of baking. Cover with foil and pop the pan in the fridge.

When you bake it the next day, you may need to add a few minutes to the baking time. Cover it with foil if it looks like the cheese is browning before it’s heated through. Alternatively, you can bring it to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes before baking.

You can also freeze your hamburger noodle casserole before baking as well. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil, then freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw and bake.

How to Store & Reheat

Leftover ground beef noodle casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you are just reheating a single serving, the easiest thing to do is to pop it in the microwave. If you’re reheating the entire pan, the oven works best. Cover with foil and bake until warmed through.

A bite of hamburger noodle casserole on a fork
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A bowl of cheesy hamburger noodle casserole

Hamburger Noodle Casserole

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings

Description

Loaded with cheese and tomato sauce, this Hamburger Noodle Casserole is an easy, cheesy casserole that’s perfect for busy weeknights. Comfort food at its finest!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces wide egg noodle
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 (8oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Dash of pepper
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 scallions, top chopped
  • 12 ounces grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, and cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and then cook the ground beef until it’s no longer pink in the middle. Add the garlic and continue cooking until the meat is browned. Drain excess fat.
  4. Next add the tomato sauce, salt, sugar and pepper and stir to combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese and sour cream and mix until well combined. Add the chopped scallions and mix to combine. In the large saucepan, combine the cream cheese mixture with the egg noodles.
  6. Spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish with cookie spray. Add half the noodle mixture to the bottom of the container and then spoon half the beef mixture over top. Gently stir to combine. Top with half the cheddar cheese. Add the remaining noodle mixture and beef on top, gently stir and top with remaining cheese.
  7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until bubbling and the cheese has melted.

Equipment

Notes

Prepare ahead of time: Makeup to 24 hours in advance. Just follow the instructions as noted and stop before the final step of baking. Cover with foil and pop the pan in the fridge. When you bake it the next day, you may need to add a few minutes to the baking time. Cover it with foil if it looks like the cheese is browning before it’s heated through. Alternatively, you can bring it to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes before baking.

Freezing instructions: You can also freeze your hamburger noodle casserole before baking as well. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil, then freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw and bake.

Nutrition Information:
1
494
4.4 g
725 mg
33.7 g
19.8 g
1.5 g
28.7 g
134.7 mg
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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