Need a quick, simple meal to feed your hungry family? This Hamburger Casserole has four simple ingredients you are likely to have at home. Starts with noodles and after adding tomato soup and hamburger, and of course delicious mozzarella cheese, the perfect easy casserole is born! Great for getting supper on the table fast!
Every meal needs to have some meat in it in this house. (Like this enchilada casserole with hamburger.) Good thing this easy Hamburger Casserole recipe fits the bill. Melted cheese on top of noodles, hamburger and tomato soup come together for a delicious casserole recipe.
This casserole supper is so kid friendly, I have had readers tell me their pickiest eaters loved it! Talk about a winner of a dinner!
What is hamburger casserole?
It is a casserole with only a few ingredients. It also has a unique ingredient, tomato soup. I know some may be scared away by the thought of tomato soup in this recipe. The subtle but unique taste of the soup compliments the seasoned hamburger and noodles very well.
Another name for this old fashioned hamburger casserole recipe is Hamburger Hotdish. It is a simple recipe with only a few ingredients and it feeds a large family so it was a favorite of yesteryear.
It also makes quite a bit in a 9x13 pan so it feeds a large family. It can feed my family of six with enough for lunches the next day.
I should point out my children ages: 20, 16, 13 and 10. Three boys and a girl so trust me, they eat a lot! Any recipe with leftovers to feed them the next day is a winner to me.
This casserole recipe has only a handful of simple ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen.
- Noodles - I have used shells or macaroni noodles for this recipe. Egg noodles would work well too.
- Cheddar cheese/Mozzarella cheese - one or the other can be used. I used both.
- Hamburger - cooked ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper.
- Tomato soup - good old fashioned tomato soup without the milk or water added. Just use the soup.
Are the noodles pre-cooked?
Yes, they are. While you are cooking the ground beef, you can cook the 1 pound of noodles as well (in another pot) so the process only takes 10 minutes or so. Don't worry about the type of noodles to use in this easy supper recipe.
We use rotini or elbow macaroni the most, but shells work well too.
Then the meal comes together in a casserole pan and bakes for 20 minutes.
To make this easy and kid friendly recipe, cook up the hamburger, boil the noodles until Al Dente (a bit of a bite to them about 7 minutes), stir in the tomato soup and sprinkle with cheese. You can read how to make cook perfect Al Dente Pasta.
This has four ingredients in it. I personally count the mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese as one ingredient because you could simply use your favorite kind of cheese.
If you would rather, it has 5 ingredients. You can decide.
You will add all ingredients to a 9x13 casserole dish which has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. It will be baked, covered with foil, at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Then you will want to uncover the casserole and bake for 5-10 minutes longer so the cheese has time to slightly and lightly brown. Oh yum.
I also will broil the cheese in the broiler for 3-5 minutes to get that extra layer of crispness to the cheese. Don't worry, still gooey cheese underneath!
Make ahead preparation
To make this casserole supper recipe even more easy, you can have hamburger already cooked and frozen in the refrigerator.
Sometimes, when I know I am going to have a busy week, when I get home from the store I cook the hamburger I bought immediately. As I am putting away the other groceries, the ground beef cooks on the stove and I am tackling two activities at once.
Got to love multitasking.
Then, after the ground beef is done cooking, I drain the grease and put it in a freezer container without putting the lid on and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Then, I cover it and put it in the freezer.
When I am ready to make this hamburger casserole, I pull the hamburger out of the freezer and add it to the recipe. So quick and easy!
Sure! But then it would be more of a pasta casserole. Still works, just a different recipe.
Yes, you can. A little onion would be delicious. As would a touch of garlic.
Place any leftovers in an airtight container and place in fridge for up to 48 hours. Reheat as desired.
Serve this up with great sides like Poppy Seed Fruit Salad or 3 Ingredient Grape Jello Salad. So simple to make and such a family favorite. My hubby told me I could make it once a week. Maybe your family will too!
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- 1 medium pot
- 1 frying pan
- 1 lb box medium shells
- 1 lb ground hamburger , cooked with garlic powder, dried onion, salt and pepper to taste. We use 2 teaspoon each.
- 21.5 oz tomato soup 2 cans
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain.
- While cooking the noodles, in a frying pan, cook the hamburger until no longer pink. (If you are using salt and pepper, add it while cooking the hamburger).
- Pour cooked noodles in a greased 9x13 baking dish.
- Stir the cooked hamburger and tomato soup with the noodles. I just stir everything in the pan. I also sometimes add ½ cup of water to the mixture for a little more moisture. Completely optional.
- Sprinkle cheese over casserole and cover with foil.
- Bake in a 375* oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes longer.
- Can bake under broiler for 3-5 minutes to brown cheese, if desired.
- Note: If you want to use 2 cups of one kind of cheese (example: mozzarella) instead of the combination, you canDried onion and garlic powder is completely optional and can be adjusted to your family's tastes
Delicious, turned out very well, although I used tomato sauce instead of tomato soup, that is my only substitution. It is now my go to recipe when I need something really fast. I serve with garlic bread and a tossed salad.
Can I use rice instead of box shells?
Yes you can. I would cook the rice first, then add it to the casserole with the other ingredients.
This was so good!!!! Everyone loved it!!!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Loved this casserole. I had no tomato soup so used a can of celery and mushroom soup. It was delicious! Thanks for this. I was desperate to make supper and it was great!
This is good! I tweaked it a little bit.
To my hamburger meat I added worcestershire, garlic powder, Dijon mustard, onion powder, diced bell pepper, diced onion, salt and blackened seasoning.
To the tomato soup I added basil and salt.
Rather then the entire box of noodles used two cups of large macaroni noodles.
Topped it off with shredded mozzarella and shredded cheddar, along with Panko bread crumbs and garlic powder on top of that. Baked it all in my cast iron skillet and then broiled it to brown the top.
Very easy to make. Kid friendly.
Was a great hit with my family!
Question, can I freeze this casserole?
The leftovers you can freeze, but take note the noodles probably won't have the same texture as when it was first made.
As far as making it ahead of time and freezing it, I haven't done that so I can't speak to it. It is always worth a try though!
I made this. I used tomato basil soup..
Was a big hit at my dinner table.
Tomato Basil Soup would be delicious! Great idea!
I made this casserole and it was a hit with my family. I diced up an onion and mushrooms and added them to to the beef mixture. I also added garlic to the mixture.
Can this be made ahead of time?
Yes! I made 6 large pans of Hamburger Casserole ahead of a cross country dinner I was hosting for a lot of hungry teenagers. :-) I didn't bake it, covered them with foil and placed in fridge. When I baked them, it did take a little longer to heat through as the ingredients were cold. So allow for a little extra cooking time.
Just made this my family loved it
I highly recommend this recipe. I did tweet it a little with 2 beef boulion cubs and some parsley. My picky eater (who eats nothing) loved it!!! Winner in my book when I can get him to eat it.
I'm so glad your family enjoyed it!
I didn’t care for it at all. I can see how children might. I ended up throwing the whole casserole out after 1 meal. I think tomato sauce would be much better then soup.
I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. Thank you for the honest review.
I tried it because it’s hard to find something new to do with hamburger, and you can only eat just so much chicken! I cook for myself and my elderly dad. We both enjoyed it quite a lot. I cut the recipe in half, added onion, garlic and some bell pepper. I did use medium egg noodles without issues. It turned out flavorful and filling, and we’re looking forward to the leftovers,