Comfort Food for a Dreary Day: Cheesy Hamburger Casserole with Macaroni and Buttered Croutons
It was a rainy day with a bit of a chill in the air yesterday, so my mind went directly to comfort food for supper.
Not wanting to go out to the store in the rain if I didn’t have to, I checked the fridge to see what I could whip together. We had more eggplant from the garden than you could shake a stick at, half a loaf of white bread, a hunk of Velveeta, and bad milk that was so old, it had become good cheese.
Suddenly it dawned on me: hamburger casserole! It was a childhood favorite of mine that my mom used to make way back when. There’s nothing quite so comforting as a homemade meal that you fondly remember eating as a child.
I imagine my mom got it out of one of the many church cookbooks she would buy or was given. They’re a home cook’s version of Reader’s Digest: heartwarming, homespun recipes, each with its own abridged tale about how it came to be.
With only a handful of ingredients, this casserole is a simple crowd-pleasing supper that comes together very quickly. You don’t even have to pre-cook the pasta. Bonus!
It’s steamy, cheesy goodness with macaroni, ground beef, and butter-soaked croutons to ramp up the comfort food factor.
Do yourself a favor and make it when it’s drizzling and there’s a nip in the air. It’ll be the warm hug on a plate that you’re craving.
Thanks for the recipe, Mom!
Here’s how you make it:
Recipe courtesy of: Mary Lou Sandvik, a.k.a., YLM, a.k.a., Mom
1.5 lbs. of ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic – minced
16 oz. can tomatoes
16 oz. can tomato sauce
1.5 cups cubed Velveeta
1.5 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons)
2 slices of white bread, cut into 1″ cubes
Preheat oven @ 350º
Saute ground beef, onions, and garlic until onions are opaque.
Drain out the grease.
Mix in can of tomatoes and can of tomato sauce.
Stir in cubed Velveeta and uncooked macaroni, making sure all pasta is covered by sauce.
Dump into a casserole dish and bake for 30 mins. @ 350º. (Make sure all pasta is covered by sauce.)
Melt 1/2 stick of butter, and toss bread cubes in butter.
Place bread on casserole and bake for 15 minutes.
Serve it with a side vegetable or salad, and it’s a warm and comforting stick-to-your-ribs supper.
Better yet, it’s kid tested, mother approved!
Here’s the handy printable version.
Hamburger Casserole Like Mom Used to Make
|Prep time||20 minutes|
|Cook time||45 minutes|
|Total time||1 hours, 5 minutes|
|By author||Mary Lou Sandvik|
- 1.5lb ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 16oz can chopped tomatoes
- 16oz can tomato sauce
- 1.5 cups uncooked macaroni
- 1.5 cups Velveeta (cubed)
- 1/2 stick butter
- 2 medium slices white bread (cubed)
|Preheat oven to 350º.|
|Saute ground beef, onions, and garlic until onions are opaque.|
|Mix in can of tomatoes and can of sauce.|
|Dump into a casserole dish and bake for 30 mins. @ 350º.|
|Melt 1/2 stick of butter, and toss bread cubes in butter.|
|Place bread on casserole and bake for another 15 minutes.|