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Cheesy noodles and ground beef wrapped in a creamy sauce and topped off with crispy breadcrumbs, this Hamburger Casserole is the very definition of family-friendly. With veggies, whole grains, and healthy swaps, it’s a nutritious option too!

Cheesy hamburger casserole in a baking dish

Why You’ll Love This Cheesy Ground Beef Casserole Recipe

  • It’s Perfect for Busy Weeknights. I based this hearty hamburger casserole on my Homemade Hamburger Helper, which is another one of our favorite recipes for busy weeknights. This hamburger casserole comes together easily, uses just a few ingredients, and the leftovers are absolutely delectable.
  • Everyone at Your Table Will Love It. If you are looking for a healthy dinner to add to your greatest hits list—this appealing hamburger casserole is it (as is this Ground Beef and Potatoes). Kids, adults, and even picky toddlers think it’s all the rage!
  • It’s Healthy Comfort Food. This simple hamburger casserole with noodles is cozy. It also contains a surprising amount of vegetables, whole grains, and Greek yogurt, and it is 100% homemade (no canned soup). Forget hamburger casserole with cream cheese and sour cream, this recipe is equally as wholesome as it is comforting (my Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff and Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff use similar tactics).
Cheesy hamburger casserole in a bowl

How to Make This Hamburger Casserole Recipe

The Ingredients

  • Lean Ground Beef. Protein-packed, healthy, and flavorful, lean ground beef is a stellar choice for a hearty and nutritious casserole like this one (don’t miss my other ground beef dinner ideas, like Hamburger Soup).

Substitution Tip!

If you prefer, this recipe can be made with ground chicken (like my Chicken Stroganoff) or ground turkey instead.

  • Carrots. With crowd-pleasing flavor and exceptional nutritional value, carrots are a five-star addition to this casserole. They add a touch of sweetness and texture.
  • Green Pepper. Adds both color and nutritional value to this casserole. Green peppers are rich in vitamins and potassium.
  • Hot Sauce. A little hot sauce gives the casserole dimension without making it spicy.
  • Spices. Smoked paprika and cumin add depth and complement the beef.
  • Tomato Sauce. An easy way to add liquid to our casserole and give it richness.
  • 2% Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt helps create a thick, creamy, and comfy casserole.
  • Whole Wheat Noodles. Using whole wheat noodles adds extra fiber, helping make this casserole more filling. For a ground beef casserole with rice, try my Mexican Casserole.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Melty, gooey cheddar cheese is the perfect complement to the ground beef and noodles—so yes, this is a cheeseburger casserole if you want to be technical!
  • Panko. For a crispy, irresistible casserole topping.
  • Green Onions. For color, freshness, and zip.

The Directions

  1. Cook the Pasta. Drain and drizzle with oil.
Vegetables in a skillet
  1. Sauté the Vegetables. Use a large skillet.
Spices and vegetables in a skillet
  1. Cook. Stir in the garlic, hot sauce, and spices.
Ground beef and vegetables in a skillet
  1. Sauté the Ground Beef. Drain if needed.
Hamburger casserole in a skillet with a wooden spoon
  1. Add the Tomato Sauce. Let the ground beef mixture simmer.
Cheese, yogurt, and pasta being added to a skillet
  1. Stir in the Noodles, Yogurt, and Cheese. Almost there!
An unbaked hamburger casserole
  1. Bake. Sprinkle cheese, panko, and green onions on top. Bake hamburger casserole for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  2. Broil. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes, add more green onions, and ENJOY!
Hamburger bake with yogurt in a baking dish

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate the casserole in an airtight storage container. Hamburger casserole is good for 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or reheat gently in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Meal Plan Tip

Prepare the casserole through Step 8 as directed. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, but do not add the toppings. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate the unbaked casserole for up to 1 day. When you’re ready to bake, let the casserole come to room temperature, then add the Panko, cheese, and green onions. Bake as directed.

Hamburger casserole with pasta and green onions

What to Serve With Hamburger Casserole

Hamburger casserole with cheese served in a bowl
  • Baking Dish. Perfect for this casserole.
  • Dutch Oven. My favorite tool for preparing casserole ingredients.
  • Spatula. Heat-resistant and easy to clean.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Play Around with the Veggies. In addition to (or in place of) the carrots, you can use other tasty root vegetables. Try this as a hamburger casserole with potatoes or sweet potatoes.
  • Don’t Overcook the Pasta. Since they’ll cook more in the oven, we only want the pasta noodles to be al dente after boiling. If they’re cooked too long during boiling, they may become mushy in the oven.
  • Sauté the Vegetables. While this step may not seem significant, it’s a major flavor-building opportunity that should not be skipped in this old fashioned hamburger noodle casserole. I promise that your efforts will be rewarded!

Hamburger Casserole

4.87 from 36 votes
This family-friendly Hamburger Casserole is a baked ground beef recipe made with whole grains, a creamy sauce, and veggies.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces whole wheat elbow noodles or similar whole wheat pasta such as rotini, fusilli, or egg noodles
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 3 medium carrots scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves minced, about 1 tablespoon
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pound lean ground beef I used 93% lean
  • 1/4 cup low sodium beef broth chicken broth, or water
  • 1 (8-ounce) can no salt added tomato sauce
  • 7 ounces 2% plain Greek yogurt about 3/4 cup
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese divided
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs use whole wheat if you can find them
  • 2 chopped green onions about 1/3 cup, divided

Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly coat a 2 ½- to 3-quart casserole dish (such as a 12-inch oval dish, 8×10 casserole dish, deep 9×9-inch casserole dish, or similar), with non-stick spray.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until very al dente (it shouldn’t be completely crunchy, but it should still be a tiny bit too firm to eat). Drain and transfer to a colander, shaking out as much excess water as possible. Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon oil and with a large spoon, stir gently to coat. Set aside.
  • While the pasta cooks, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven or large, deep skillet. Once hot, add the carrots, onion, bell pepper, salt, and black pepper. Let cook until the onion turns brown and soft, about 10 minutes (don't shortcut this step; it builds a lot of flavor).
  • Add the garlic, hot sauce, smoked paprika, and cumin. Cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Increase the heat to medium high and add the beef. Use a sturdy spoon or spatula to break up the meat, browning it on all sides. Continue to cook and break apart the beef, until it is fully cooked through, about 6 minutes. If your meat is very oily, drain away the excess fat, leaving a moderate amount to keep it moist (I used 93% lean and did not need to drain).
  • Pour in the broth, stirring to scrape up the bottom of the pan.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Stir in the drained pasta, Greek yogurt, and 3/4 cup of the cheese.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese, panko, and half of the green onions. Bake for 15 minutes, until hot and the cheese is melted.
  • Switch the oven to broil. Broil the casserole for 2 to 3 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are browned. Don’t walk away!
  • Let rest for 5 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining green onions over the top. Serve hot.

Video

Notes

  • Adapted from my Homemade Hamburger Helper.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate casserole in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350°F. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 727kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 52gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 117mgPotassium: 1230mgFiber: 5gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 8990IUVitamin C: 40mgCalcium: 461mgIron: 7mg

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More Ground Beef Recipes

Looking for what to make with lots of ground beef? In addition to this hamburger casserole, try one of these top-rated ground beef recipes:

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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4.87 from 36 votes (22 ratings without comment)

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37 Comments

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  1. will be making this soon with few subs i never had hamburger casserole before as am a vegan sorry for early comment as am in Singapore will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

  2. Well, since I am a huge fan of your Homemade Hamburger Helper and Ground Beef and Potatoes (both in my regular dinner rotation), I will definitely be trying this! Thank you!

  3. Love all your recipes, and this hamburger helper casserole is no different! Had to make some modifications as we live in Europe now with little access to cheddar and whole wheat panko but worked with a different cheese. Keep ‘em coming ☺️5 stars

  4. This casserole is AMAZING. It is very flavorful and the panko adds the perfect crunch on top. The recipe says it makes four servings, but I cut mine into six and it was still very filling. I will absolutely be adding this recipe into my rotations.5 stars

  5. Above you suggested we could swap the pasta for rice. If I swap for brown rice, should I use regular or instant? Should I cook the rice before baking in the oven according to directions on the package or a different amount of time? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jessica! Since I’ve only tested the recipe as written, you’d be experimenting. Similar to the pasta, you’ll want to cook the rice before baking the casserole, so you can follow the package directions. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  6. Delicious! I think my veggies were all larger than yours as this made about 12 servings for me!! But I definitely liked it with extra veggies! I used all lactose free ingredients and subbed lactose free sour cream for the greek yogurt as lactose free yogurt can’t be found here.5 stars

  7. Yum! Love this variation on your delicious hamburger helper recipe! Can always count on your tasty recipes turning out perfectly.5 stars

  8. Very very delicious! I was a Hamburger Helper kid and can’t imagine buying it now, making it homemade hit in all the right ways. Husband agreed!5 stars

  9. My husband (big casserole lover) absolutely loved this casserole. Me too! It’s creamy, just enough heat, the addition of carrots for sweetness. The panko topping and cheese was the best, lending crunchiness and creaminess. We rate our casseroles. Keeper or pass on this one. Without a doubt a real keeper. A little labor intensive, but so worth it. Awesome!!!5 stars

    1. Hi Joyce! I stopped including sodium info because it can vary so much depending upon what products you used, and I found a lot of conflicting info online, so ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable publishing it because sometimes it wasn’t even in the ballpark. If you’d like to calculate it yourself, there are lots of free tools online (myfitnesspal.com is popular). I hope that helps!

  10. This is a great recipe for kids. I have 4 granddaughters and a couple of them are picky eaters but they love everything in this.5 stars

  11. This is so good and super easy to make with lots of flavor. It reminds me a lot of the hamburger casserole my mom used to make when I was growing up.5 stars

  12. I am so impressed with this hamburger casserole recipe. I love that I can use up leftover ground beef in this recipe, and it is always a hit with my family and friends.5 stars

  13. Hello, I am planning on making this in (2) 8×8 pans and freezing it. How long do you recommend I should I bake it in the oven?

    1. Hi Sara, are you trying to freeze before or after you bake. If baking before you freeze, the bake time is the same. If baking after you freeze, I’m not sure, it is not something I’ve tried but it would need to be until hot and the cheese is melted. Hope this helps!