Old fashioned hamburger casserole is a delicious casserole with the perfect combination of ground beef, cheese and noodles. It is the ultimate comfort food recipe.
This is a delicious homemade casserole using a simple homemade cream of mushroom soup, cheese, sour cream and tomato sauce for the sauce.
I like to make homemade sauce for most of our casseroles like this one and our baked spaghetti. You can substitute a can of cream of mushroom soup if you prefer.
It sounds like an odd combination, but it is an amazing combination! I honestly wasn't sure how it would taste the first time we made it, but I like to experiment. The flavors come together perfectly!
We make this old fashioned hamburger casserole often now, it's one of our favorites along with Huntington chicken casserole.
Ground beef - I recommend using 90% here for best results, but you can use one with a little more fat.
Noodles - You will only be using 12 ounces of egg noodles, even tho the bag in the picture is 16 ounces. Most bags come in 12 ounces, we use a scale to weight it out when the bag is bigger. We use the wide noodles, but you can use the regular egg noodles.
Broth - I prefer to use unsalted and add salt, but you can use your favorite broth or stock. It is also delicious with homemade broth!
Tomato sauce - We use unsalted, but you can use regular. You can adjust the salt to taste before baking.
Sour cream - Use your favorite. You can even use a whole milk plain Greek yogurt in it's place.
Cheese - I like to use fiesta blend or 4 cheese Mexican, I do recommend a cheddar blend for this old fashioned hamburger casserole.
Garlic - I prefer garlic cloves, but you can use garlic powder here.
Onion - A medium yellow onion is best but you can use sweet or white onion. Sweet and white onions are typically bigger so you would use about half of the onion.
Salt and pepper - This will be to taste because there are many factors that can change how much need. I recommend tasting it just before putting in the oven to see if you need more. The broth you use and if you use canned cream of mushroom soup will make it need more or less.
These are for the cream of mushroom soup and you will leave them out if you are using canned:
Milk - Whole milk is best, you can use half and half in it's place.
Flour - All purpose flour - it is used to thicken the mushroom soup.
Mushrooms - Use your favorite, we use baby Bella mushrooms.
Making the casserole
This old fashioned hamburger noodle casserole is pretty easy to make with just a few steps to get it ready for the oven.
Cooking the noodles and beef
Brown the ground beef in a pot or frying pan that is big enough to mix everything in. I use a 3 quart pan and it fits with no problems.
Once the beef is cooked, remove from the pan and set aside. Drain all but about 2-3 tablespoons of the beef fat out of the pan. You want it to fully coat the bottom of the pan.
The noodles get cooked in the beef broth but do not cook them until after the beef is cooked. I cook them while making the sauce. Bring the broth to a boil and add in the noodles.
As you can see by the picture here they may not fit perfectly in the broth so you may need to stir them often. Once they start to cook they will drop down into the broth better. Cook until they are al dente. Set aside, do not drain any excess liquid.
Do not use more broth. Egg noodles cook pretty quickly, adding more broth can make your noodles a bit mushy.
Making the sauce
Add the mushrooms and onion to the beef fat that is remaining in the pan. Sauté for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add in the chopped garlic and cook for about a minute.
Pour the flour in and stir. Cook stirring often for another minute.
Slowly pour the milk in about a half cup at a time - doesn't have to be exact. As you are pouring the milk in, keep stirring constantly until all the milk is poured in and mixed.
Cook for about 3-5 minutes stirring often. You want to cook until it is thick and creamy. It needs to simmer while cooking, but do not go above medium heat. You do not want it boil.
Add in the tomato sauce and sour cream, stir well. Cook to heat it through, about 2 minutes.
If you are using a can of cream of mushroom soup
You can use a can of cream of mushroom soup in the old fashioned hamburger casserole instead of making it.
When using a can of soup, you will be leaving out the milk, mushrooms and flour. After removing the ground beef, drain most of the fat out. You only need enough to sauté onions - just a thin layer of fat.
Cook the onions over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, until they start to become translucent. Add in the chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
Pour the can of cream of mushroom soup, the tomato sauce and sour cream into the pan. Stir well and heat for about 2 minutes until heated through - do not boil or simmer. Continue to assembling and baking from here.
Assembling and baking
Assembling the old fashioned hamburger casserole is easy and it bakes quickly.
Add the ground beef and 1 cup of the shredded cheese to the sauce mix and stir well. Stir in the noodles and any remaining broth if there was liquid left with the noodles. Give it a quick taste to see if you need salt and pepper.
Pour into a 3 quart baking dish. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes. It will be bubbly on the edges and the cheese will be perfectly melted.
Frequently asked questions
Leftovers should last about 3-4 days if properly stored in the fridge.
Sure you can! I recommend using a smaller pasta if using regular pasta. Egg noodles cook quicker and can be cooked in just the 4 cups of broth, a large regular pasta may require more broth and a longer cook time.
Small shells or elbows would work out best, you would use about 3 cups of pasta uncooked in the 4 cups of broth.
While we do make homemade soup for eating too, this one is designed to be an easier soup for the sauce here. It will not be quite the same as eating traditional cream of mushroom soup.
When we make it homemade for eating, we use mushroom broth and milk for a richer flavor.
Old Fashioned Hamburger Casserole
- 13x9 baking dish or any 3 quart baking dish
- 1 pound ground beef
- 12 ounces egg noodles see notes
- 4 cups beef broth
- 16 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 cups shredded cheese fiesta or 4 cheese Mexican, divided
- 1 cup milk or half and half
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1½ cups chopped mushrooms we use baby Bella
- 1 yellow onion medium sized, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 ° Fahrenheit.
- In a 3 quart pan (or larger) brown the ground beef. Set aside.Drain all but about 3 tablespoons of the fat. Leave enough to fully coat the bottom of pan.1 pound ground beef
- While you are making the sauce, cook the pasta in the beef broth in a separate pot. You will need to stir them often in the beginning to get them all in the broth but as they cook, they will sink into the broth better. Cook until al dente. Do NOT drain, set aside.12 ounces egg noodles, 4 cups beef broth
- Add the mushroom and onion to the beef fat and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions start to become translucent. See notes if using canned cream of mushroom soup.Add in the garlic and sauté for another minute.1½ cups chopped mushrooms, 1 yellow onion, 3 garlic cloves
- Add in the flour and stir constantly for about a minute. Slowly pour the milk in while stirring. I pour about half in and stir until smooth then pour the remaining in. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, until it has thickened and is creamy. You want to simmer gently but do not boil.2 Tablespoons flour, 1 cup milk
- Add in the tomato sauce and sour cream. Stir well and cook for about 2 minutes, until heated through.1 cup sour cream, 16 ounces tomato sauce
- Pour the ground beef and 1 cup of the cheese into the sauce. Stir well.Add the noodles and any remaining broth, stir well.Taste to see if you need salt or pepper.salt and pepper to taste
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Top with the remaining cup of cheese.Bake at 375° for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is nicely melted.
- Saute the onions for about 3-4 minutes in the remaining beef fat.
- Add in the garlic and saute for another minute.
- Pour in canned soup, tomato sauce and sour cream.
- Cook on medium for about 2 minutes until heated through. Continue as directed above from here.