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Looking for an easy ground beef dinner idea? This Hamburger Casserole is a favorite! With pasta, cheese, veggies and tomato sauce, the whole family will love this comforting casserole.
You can never have too many quick and easy dinner ideas in your back pocket. This hamburger casserole is an easy casserole recipe that’s quick to prep and can even be made ahead. This hamburger casserole is everything you love about a baked pasta, including that golden brown melty cheese on top. It’s loaded with good-for-you veggies and flavor. One bite and you’ll be hooked!
This ground beef casserole will feed a crowd or leave you with delicious leftovers. We get a couple of meals out of this recipe, and the reheated casserole tastes even better for lunch the next day.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Easy dinner idea: Making this recipe is easy and uses mostly pantry ingredients plus a few fresh vegetables.
- Family-friendly recipe: The whole family will enjoy this casserole made with pasta, ground beef and cheese.
- Veggie-filled comfort food: This hamburger casserole is hearty and comforting but also boasts a plentiful amount of healthy veggies.
Hamburger Casserole Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this satisfying ground beef recipe.
- Pasta: I used rotini, but any short pasta shape will work.
- Ground Beef: You can use any type of ground beef you have on hand. Lean ground beef works well, or you can always drain off any excess grease after browning the beef.
- Olive Oil: For sautéing the vegetables.
- Onion, Carrots & Bell Peppers: The vegetables soften up and make this casserole more wholesome. I like to use both a red and green bell pepper for variety.
- Garlic & Seasonings: Plenty of fresh garlic adds flavor, along with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Tomato Sauce & Diced Tomatoes: Create a simple sauce.
- Cheddar Cheese: Because a cheesy casserole is the best kind! Instead of shredded cheddar cheese, you could also try mozzarella, Monterey jack or Colby jack.
How to Make Hamburger Casserole
Making this casserole is as simple as three easy steps: boil the pasta, cook the vegetables and ground beef, and bake! Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package directions. Then pour the pasta into a colander, rinse and drain it well.
- Cook the vegetables. In a large skillet, sauté the vegetables in olive oil until the carrots are tender. Stir often to help them cook evenly.
- Brown the ground beef. Scoot the veggies to the edges of the pan. Add the ground beef and cook, crumbling, until browned. Drain off any excess grease. Then stir in the minced garlic and seasonings and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, followed by 1/3 of the shredded cheese and the cooked pasta.
- Bake. Transfer the casserole to a lightly greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes until the cheese is melty and lightly golden brown.
- When cooking the pasta, do a taste test to check if it’s done. The first time I made this, I skipped the taste test and our pasta was undercooked.
- Add another 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar to the casserole filling for an extra cheesy casserole. As is, the filling is lightly cheesy.
- Lighten it up by swapping ground turkey for the ground beef.
- Use your favorite vegetables. Frozen veggies like peas, corn, green beans or carrots can be stirred in along with the diced tomatoes.
What to Serve with Hamburger Casserole
- Salad: Try Arugula Salad or a simple Green Salad.
- Vegetables: Such as Air Fryer Broccoli or Sautéed Green Beans.
- Bread: We love these fluffy Dinner Rolls and Garlic Knots. Or slice up a loaf of crusty bread.
Storage & Reheating Tips
This is a perfect make ahead recipe, since you can prep the casserole, cover and refrigerate, and then bake it up to 24 hours later. You can also freeze the casserole before baking for up to 3 months. Thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator before baking. You may have to add 15-20 minutes to the bake time if baking a chilled casserole. Cover it with foil if it is browning too much in the oven.
- Refrigerator: Store leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: Let cool completely and then freeze individual servings of casserole in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
- To Reheat: Reheat in the microwave or cover and heat in a 350° F oven until hot.
More Favorite Ground Beef Recipes
Try one of these easy ground beef recipes next:
- 16 ounces rotini pasta, or other short pasta shape
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, 2 cups, divided
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking dish and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta into a colander, rinse, drain well and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and bell peppers. Cook, stirring often, until carrots are tender, about 8 minutes.
- Scoot the veggies to the edges of the pan and add the ground beef. Increase the heat to medium-high. Cook the beef, crumbling, until browned. Drain off any excess grease.
- Add the minced garlic, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook, sitrring, for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Then stir in ⅓ of the shredded cheese, followed by the cooked pasta.
- Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top of the casserole.
- Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly golden brown.
- You can substitute your favorite vegetables in this recipe. Frozen veggies such as peas, corn, green beans or carrots can be stirred in along with the diced tomatoes.
- Casserole may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator before baking. You may have to add 15-20 minutes to the bake time if baking a chilled casserole. Cover it with foil if it is browning too much in the oven.
- Store leftover baked casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.