There is something incredibly comforting and nostalgic about Grandma’s cooking. I remember as a child, my grandma would invite us over for Sunday dinner, and she would always prepare something special. One of my favorites was her ground beef casserole. It was a simple dish made with love and ingredients that were always available in her pantry. Today, I am excited to share my version of this beloved recipe. Although I have made some minor tweaks to make it my own, the essence of the dish remains the same – it’s a hearty, delicious, and comforting meal that brings back fond memories of family gatherings.
How to Prepare Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole
Ingredients for Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 cans (15 oz each) tomato sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 oz package of egg noodles
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, or more to taste
Directions for Grandma’s Ground Beef Casserole
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
- In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly, about 5-7 minutes. Drain the grease and discard.
- Add the tomato sauce, sugar, garlic salt, and salt to the ground beef. Simmer the mixture until the flavors blend, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the egg noodles and cook until firm to the bite, about 7-9 minutes. Drain the noodles.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the sour cream, cream cheese, and diced onion.
- Layer half of the egg noodles in the prepared casserole dish. Top with half of the sour cream mixture, followed by half of the ground beef mixture. Repeat the layers once more. Sprinkle the shredded Cheddar cheese on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
Can I store leftover Ground Beef Casserole?
Yes, leftover ground beef casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until heated through.
Can I freeze the Ground Beef Casserole?
Yes, you can freeze the ground beef casserole. If you plan to freeze it, it is best to make the casserole in an aluminum casserole pan so you can bake and freeze it in the same dish. Allow the casserole to cool completely, then cover it tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. Wrap the entire dish (pan and cover included) in one layer of plastic wrap followed by one layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to three months. To reheat, remove the wrapping and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 45-50 minutes, or until heated through.
Can I substitute the egg noodles with other types of pasta?
Yes, you can substitute the egg noodles with other types of pasta. However, the egg noodles work best for this recipe as they absorb the sauce well and give the casserole a traditional, homey feel.
Can I use a different type of cheese?
Yes, you can use a different type of cheese. Shredded Monterey Jack or a blend of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese can add a little heat to the casserole. Feel free to experiment and use your favorite cheese!
Can I add vegetables to the casserole?
Yes, you can add vegetables to the casserole. Sauteed mushrooms, bell peppers, or spinach would be delicious additions to this dish. Just make sure to cook the vegetables before adding them to the casserole, as they won’t cook properly in the oven otherwise.
Can I make the casserole ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the casserole ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Follow the instructions for storage and reheating mentioned above. Remember to allow the casserole to come to room temperature before baking if refrigerated, or thaw completely in the refrigerator if frozen.
I hope you enjoy making and eating this delicious casserole as much as I do. It is a wonderful dish to share with your loved ones and to remember fond memories of family gatherings. Happy cooking!
Grandma's Ground Beef Casserole
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 8 ounce package egg noodles
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 large white onion diced
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or more to taste
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir ground beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and discard grease.
- Mix tomato sauce, sugar, garlic salt, and salt into the ground beef; simmer until flavors blend, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover the skillet, and cool to room temperature.
- While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook egg noodles in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain.
- While the egg noodles are cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish.
- Mix sour cream, cream cheese, and onion together in a bowl.
- Layer 1/2 of the egg noodles into the prepared casserole dish. Top with 1/2 of the sour cream mixture, then 1/2 of the ground beef mixture. Repeat layers once more. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over top.
- Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.