Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole -

Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole

Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole, often passed down through generations, is a hearty and comforting dish that has been cherished by many families. It typically

consists of layers of seasoned ground beef, a variety of vegetables, and a creamy sauce, all topped with a generous layer of melted cheese. Baked to perfection, this casserole is known for its rich flavors and satisfying textures, making it a staple in many households.

Why is it so popular?

Several reasons contribute to the widespread popularity of Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole. For starters, this dish evokes strong feelings of nostalgia, taking many back to the cherished moments of warm and cozy dinners at their grandparents’ house. Furthermore, its adaptable nature allows individuals to tailor it to their specific tastes and preferences. Not only is it simple to prepare, often using ingredients you already have in your pantry, but it also stands out as a top choice for those wanting a hassle-free yet delicious meal. On top of that, its capacity to feed a crowd makes it an ideal dish for gatherings and family dinners.

Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole is known for its rich flavors and satisfying textures, making it a staple in many households. If you’re a fan of dishes with deep flavors, don’t miss out on our Banana Bread Cookies, a delightful treat that’s perfect for dessert or snacking.

What makes it different from other ground beef casseroles?

While there are numerous ground beef casseroles out there, what sets Grandma’s version apart is the unique blend of ingredients and the stories behind it. Every family’s recipe might have its own secret ingredient or method that has been passed down. It’s not just about the beef or the vegetables; it’s about the love and memories infused into the dish. The specific seasonings, the choice of vegetables, or even the type of cheese used can make all the difference, resulting in a dish that’s distinct and irreplaceable.

What are the benefits of eating Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole?

Beyond its delectable taste, Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole offers several benefits. It’s a balanced meal, providing essential proteins from the beef, vitamins and minerals from the vegetables, and calcium from the cheese. The dish is also quite filling, ensuring that one feels satiated after a serving. Moreover, casseroles, by nature, are great for meal prepping, meaning leftovers can be easily stored and reheated for subsequent meals. But perhaps the most significant benefit is the sense of connection and tradition it brings, reinforcing family bonds and creating lasting memories.

How to Make Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole

Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Preparation: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a large casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Cook the Beef: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Drain any excess fat.
  3. Add Ingredients: To the skillet, add the diced tomatoes, cream of mushroom soup, bell peppers, corn, salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir well and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Mix in Pasta: Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and mix well, ensuring the pasta is well-coated with the beef mixture.
  5. Layering: Transfer half of the beef and pasta mixture to the greased casserole dish. Spread half of the sour cream over it, then sprinkle half of the cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients.
  6. Bake: Place the casserole dish in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Serve: Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!

Tips for making the best Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole:

  • Quality Ingredients: Always use fresh and high-quality ingredients. Fresh vegetables and good quality cheese can make a significant difference in taste.
  • Seasoning: Adjust the seasoning according to your preference. You can also add red pepper flakes for a spicy kick or some fresh herbs for added flavor.
  • Cheese: Mixing different types of cheese can enhance the flavor. Consider using a blend of cheddar, mozzarella, and even some parmesan.
  • Pasta: Ensure the pasta is al dente when pre-cooking. It will continue to cook in the oven, and you don’t want it to become mushy.

Troubleshooting tips:

  • Too Dry: If the casserole seems too dry, you can add a bit more cream of mushroom soup or a splash of beef broth to the mixture before baking.
  • Not Setting: If the casserole isn’t setting or seems too liquidy, extend the baking time by 10-15 minutes.
  • Cheese Not Melting: If the cheese isn’t melting properly, you can broil the casserole for 2-3 minutes at the end of the baking time. But watch closely to avoid burning!
  • Avoiding Sogginess: Ensure you drain the beef well after browning and don’t overcook the pasta initially to prevent the casserole from becoming too soggy.

Ingredients in Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole

Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole

List of all the ingredients needed to make Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole ?

Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole is a hearty and comforting dish that brings back memories of family gatherings and cherished moments around the dinner table. The ingredients for this classic dish include:

  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (optional, for topping)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (optional, for topping)

Substitutions for Ingredients That Might Be Hard to Find:

  • Ground Beef: For a leaner option, substitute with ground turkey or ground chicken.
  • Diced Tomatoes: Use finely chopped fresh tomatoes instead of the canned version. Consider adding a tablespoon of tomato paste to enhance the richness.
  • Elbow Macaroni: Opt for other short pastas like penne, rigatoni, or rotini.
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup: Try cream of chicken or cream of celery soup. Or, create a homemade white sauce with butter, flour, and milk.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Monterey Jack, Colby, or another melt-friendly cheese works well as a replacement.
  • Breadcrumbs: For a crunchy topping, go for crushed crackers or potato chips.
  • Dried Oregano and Basil: Use Italian seasoning if these specific herbs aren’t available.

Can I make Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole ahead of time?

Absolutely! Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole is perfect for preparing in advance. You can assemble all the ingredients in the casserole dish, cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. When you’re ready to cook, just remove it from the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, and then bake as directed.

Slow Cooker Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole

Slow Cooker Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole is a cherished classic that evokes warmth and nostalgia with every bite. This timeless recipe combines simple, wholesome ingredients to create a comforting and hearty meal that’s perfect for family gatherings or cozy dinners. The dish features tender ground beef, sautéed onions, and a medley of vegetables, all layered with cooked elbow macaroni and a rich, creamy sauce made from tomato and cream of mushroom soups. The magic happens in the slow cooker, where these flavors meld together over hours of gentle cooking, resulting in a mouthwatering, cheesy masterpiece. Topped with a generous helping of shredded cheddar cheese, this casserole emerges from the slow cooker with a golden, bubbling crust that’s impossible to resist. It’s a taste of Grandma’s love and tradition, a comforting reminder of cherished family meals, and a surefire way to bring smiles to the faces around your dinner table.

This casserole not only tantalizes the taste buds but also brings, reinforcing family bonds and creating lasting memories. For another dish that’s rooted in tradition and family, our Bob Evans Recipe for Banana Bread is a heartwarming choice.

FAQ Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole

Can I freeze Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole?
Yes, this casserole freezes exceptionally well. Once you’ve assembled the casserole, let it cool completely. Then, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and bake as usual.

How do I reheat Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole?
To reheat the casserole, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). If reheating from the refrigerator, cover the casserole with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until heated through. If reheating from frozen (after thawing), you might need to extend the baking time by an additional 10-15 minutes.

What should I serve with Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole?
Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole is a hearty dish on its own, but it pairs wonderfully with a crisp green salad, garlic bread, or steamed vegetables. For a more substantial meal, consider serving it alongside roasted potatoes or a fresh fruit salad.

What are some variations of Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole?
The beauty of Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole is its versatility. You can switch up the protein by using ground turkey, chicken, or even a vegetarian meat substitute. For a different flavor profile, consider adding some spicy jalapeños, black beans, or even swapping the Italian seasoning for taco seasoning. If you’re looking for a creamier texture, try adding a layer of ricotta cheese or cottage cheese. The possibilities are endless, and you can tailor it to suit your family’s tastes!


In the heart of many family traditions lies Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole, a dish that seamlessly blends comfort, nostalgia, and delectable flavors. This article has illuminated not only the rich history and popularity of this cherished recipe but also its adaptability to suit modern tastes and dietary needs. From its versatile ingredients to the invaluable tips for perfecting its preparation, the casserole stands out as a testament to timeless culinary artistry. Beyond just a meal, it represents memories, shared moments, and the warmth of family gatherings. If you haven’t yet experienced the magic of Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole, we wholeheartedly encourage you to dive into this culinary journey. Prepare it, savor it, and let it become a cherished staple in your own family’s repertoire.



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Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole

Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole

  • Author: maria.ann
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Halal


Savor the rich flavors of ground beef layered with cheesy goodness and tender pasta. This Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole is a comforting dish perfect for weeknight dinners.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups cooked pasta (e.g., elbow macaroni or rotini)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (optional for topping)
  • 2 tbsp melted butter (optional for breadcrumb topping)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and ground beef, cooking until the meat is browned. Drain any excess fat.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil to the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, and milk until well combined. Then, fold in the cooked pasta.
  5. Pour half of the beef and pasta mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle half of the cheddar cheese over the mixture. Repeat with the remaining beef mixture and cheese.
  6. If using breadcrumbs, mix them with melted butter and sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and the top is lightly browned.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.


You can add vegetables such as bell peppers or green beans if desired.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of the dish
  • Calories: 480 kcal
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 850mg
  • Fat: 27g
  • Saturated Fat: 13g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11g
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 24g
  • Cholesterol: 90mg

Keywords: Ground Beef Casserole, Beef and Pasta Bake

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