Why You Will Love Cheeseburger Casserole
- EASY – This is a simple, straightforward recipe that is perfect for a busy weekday night. We’ve made a Homemade Beefaroni Recipe on our site, and this recipe is a lot like that. It is a “pantry friendly” recipe, meaning that you probably already have all of these ingredients sitting in your kitchen just waiting for the chance to be a part of this delicious dish! And, while this list of ingredients is simple and straightforward, this is one of those dishes that you can add some more ingredients to if desired.
- KID-FRIENDLY – Got picky eaters? So do we? This is one of those family dinner that will go down with ZERO complaints!
- LEFTOVERS? YES, PLEASE! – This hearty recipe is enough to feed even the hungriest families, and you’ll probably have some leftover for lunch tomorrow. This dish reheats great in the microwave!
Old Fashioned Cheeseburger Casserole Recipe
For step-by-step instructions for this dish, check out the printable recipe card below. But, here is what you’ll need to get started:
- ROTINI PASTA – Cooked and drained. We love to use Rotini for this recipe. But you can sub for any other pasta shape that you have or that sounds good. Macaroni, Penne, Elbow Macaroni or Mini Shells would all work fine.
- GROUND BEEF – 85% lean ground beef works best. Make sure to drain the grease while you are cooking. If you want to lighten this dish, you can use leaner ground beef or even ground chicken or ground turkey. These substitutions will obviously change this dish quite a bit.
- ONION – Fresh, ch0pped yellow onion. We will be sauteing this with our ground beef.
- TOMATO SAUCE – 1 15 ounce can of Tomato Sauce. Any brand will do.
- ITALIAN STYLE DICED TOMATOES – These should be pretty easy to find in your canned vegetable aisle at the grocery store. If you can’t find them, you can use regular diced tomatoes and add a teaspoon of Italian Seasoning if you have it.
- GARLIC POWDER – We used garlic powder because we are all about cheap and easy recipes and we already had it in our pantry. If you want to elevate this dish a bit, mince some fresh garlic instead and saute it with the onion and ground beef.
- SALT AND GROUND BLACK PEPPER – To taste.
- SHREDDED CHEDDAR CHEESE – For dishes like this, we always recommend shredding your own cheese off of a cheese block instead of buying the pre-shredded cheese at the store. It will melt better and it’s really worth your time.
Can You Make Cheeseburger Casserole Ahead Of Time?
Can This Be A One Dish Meal?
Want to go easy on the cleanup? We don’t blame you! You CAN make this all in one dish if you use a large, oven friendly skillet. Just put your cooked pasta in the large skillet when you are done browning the ground beef, onions and tomato sauce. Stir to combine, top with the cheese and bake in your oven.
Storage and Freezing
Store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator. They should be good for up to 3-4 days. We also like to use this baking dish that has it’s own fitted cover. So you can just keep leftovers right in there!
You can freeze Cheeseburger Casserole. Put it in a freezer safe dish and wrap it with freezer wrap. It will be good in your freezer for up to 4 months. Thaw out overnight in your refrigerator. It’s reheats well in the microwave.
Notes, Tips and Variations
- DRAIN GREASE – As mentioned above, don’t forget to drain the grease from your ground beef before adding tomatoes and tomato sauce.
- ADD WORCESTERSHIRE – I’ve seen versions of this dish add worcestershire sauce. We didn’t have any on hand, so we didn’t use it. But adding 1 tablespoon when you add the tomatoes would work.
- TOPPINGS – After baking and before serving, top with green onions, drizzle sour cream or even crumble up some crispy bacon!
- CHEESE – Sharp Cheddar Cheese works great on this. But sprinkle some other cheese in there as well! Swiss, mozzarella or even pepper jack for a little kick!
- ADD KETCHUP AND MUSTARD! – Some people like to add ketchup and mustard into the mix to round out that classic cheeseburger flavor. You can use yellow mustard or brown mustard.
We hope you enjoy this recipe an Old Fashioned Cheeseburger Casserole! Please let us know how it turns out for you in the comment section. We love hearing all the feedback, suggestions and variations that you come up with!
Cheeseburger Casserole Recipe
- 8 ounces rotini pasta cooked and drained
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 chopped onion
- 1 can 15 oz, tomato sauce
- 1 can 14.5 oz, Italian style diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
- Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour pasta into pan and set aside.
- Add beef and onions to a skillet and cook over medium high heat until browned and onions are tender.
- Drain grease and return meat to pan. Add tomatoes and spices and mix well. Heat over medium heat until boiling and bubbly.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour beef mixture onto pasta and add 1 cup shredded cheese. Stir well. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese. Cover with foil until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Comments & Reviews
Brenda Gorenc says
Isn’t this also called Johnny Marzetti? This is a great all year long easy and filling diner. Just add a salad and hot crusty bread and voila!!!
Mrs Palmer says
A little too much tomato flavor… and I feel like it is more Italian than cheese burger. Maybe next time I will try half the tomato sauce and Mozzarella instead of cheddar.
Thanks for the feedback.