A traditional hamburger casserole is a fabulous recipe you can make in less than 45 minutes. Perfect as a filling weeknight dinner!
👩🏻🍳 The BEST Hamburger Casserole
Hamburger casserole is like a lazy version of lasagna for those days you definitely don't have time to make lasagna. Flavorful hamburger meat is paired with your favorite pasta sauce, pasta and cheese to create a comforting dish that everyone loves.
This recipe has been a staple in our household for a while, and for good reason. It's really simple to make, requires only basic ingredients, and it's practically impossible to get it wrong.
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- Hamburger meat - Use any hamburger meat or ground beef that you like.
- Pasta sauce - Use your favorite pasta sauce recipe, or a jarred pasta sauce.
- Pasta - Any short types of pasta such as fusilli or penne will work in this recipe.
- Shredded cheese - Use your favorite! I like Monterey Jack, cheddar or mozzarella.
- Garlic - Adds some flavor to the dish.
- Onion - Also important for flavor.
- Heavy cream - Makes the dish extra creamy. Can be omitted.
- Italian seasoning - A blend of herbs that make any pasta dish taste great.
- Salt + pepper - These add tons of flavor to the hamburger meat.
- Boil the pasta in water according to the package instructions. Drain the excess cooking water.
- Meanwhile, cook the meat and diced onions in a pan for a few minutes until the meat has browned and the onion is translucent. Add grated garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, and cook for another minute.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C.
- Combine the browned meat and onions with the pasta sauce, boiled pasta and heavy cream in a 12x8 inch casserole dish. Stir to come the components evenly, and to coat every piece of pasta in the sauce.
- Top the casserole with shredded cheese.
- Bake the casserole for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is golden on the edges.
- Remove the casserole from the oven, and leave it to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Casseroles usually contain some kind of protein such as chicken or beef, some kind of starch such as pasta or rice, and a sauce. Any other ingredients can also be added.
Make ground beef or hamburger meat taste better by cooking it with seasoning and herbs before using it in any dish.
Absolutely! All you need is a dish that can be used in the oven. You can make hamburger casserole using a cast iron pan or pot, a cake pan or a roasting pan.
💭 Top Tips
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freeze the hamburger casserole for up to 6 months. Thaw frozen casserole in a refrigerator overnight, or in an oven or microwave with a defrost setting.
- Reheat the leftovers in a microwave or oven until they have heated through.
- This is a great make ahead recipe. Make it in a freezer safe dish, and freeze the entire casserole. You can then thaw and reheat it whenever you need a quick and easy dinner.
- You can also make this dish using leftover ground beef pasta sauce like bolognese.
Hamburger casserole can be made using hamburger meat or ground beef. Use your favorite!
- Make it a little lighter by using ground chicken or turkey instead of beef.
- You can also add finely diced or grated vegetables such as carrots, zucchini or mushrooms if you want to make a healthier casserole.
- Like a little spice? Add some red pepper flakes.
- Make it gluten free by using gluten free pasta.
- You can use your favorite cheese in this recipe, or a combination of cheeses. I love to use a combination of Monterey Jack and cheddar. Using different cheeses can drastically change the flavor of the casserole.
- Hamburger casserole is also a great dish to use up leftovers. Diced vegetables, leftover marinara sauce or pizza sauce, and a few diced hot dogs can easily be thrown in there to add some extra flavor and texture. A great way to reduce food waste!
🥗 Suggested Side Dishes
Any great meal deserves to be completed with a delicious side dish! As the hamburger casserole is quite heavy and filling, I like to serve it with a light salad or some tasty bread. These are some of my favorites:
🍲 More Entree Recipes
Here are a few more tasty dinner ideas for you!
Did you know you can make hamburgers in your slow cooker? Try my Crock Pot Barbeque Burgers and see how easy and delicious they are!
Check out this story on how to make Hamburger Casserole!
Love this recipe? Awesome! Please give it a 5 star ⭐ rating below! And if you make this, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram. You can find me at DizzyBusyandHungry or #dizzybusyandhungry!
📋 Recipe Card
- Boil the pasta in water according to the package instructions. Drain the excess cooking water.6 ounces pasta
- Meanwhile, cook the meat and diced onions in a pan for a few minutes until the meat has browned and the onion is translucent. Add grated garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, and cook for another minute.1 pound hamburger meat, 1 onion, 3 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C.
- Combine the browned meat and onions with the pasta sauce, boiled pasta and heavy cream in a 12x8 inch casserole dish. Stir to come the components evenly, and to coat every piece of pasta in the sauce.2 cups pasta sauce, ⅓ cup heavy cream
- Top the casserole with shredded cheese.2 cups shredded cheese
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is golden on the edges.
- Remove the dish from the oven, and leave it to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Store leftovers in a refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 6 months.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.