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Easy, cheesy, and flavorful, this beef noodle casserole is a family-friendly dinner for busy nights. Egg noodles, vegetables, and ground beef combine with a zesty tomato sauce, cheddar cheese, and crispy fried onions, making this a flavorful and cozy meal. Serve the hamburger casserole with a simple green salad and a loaf of crusty breadcornbread, or buttermilk biscuits.

Beef noodle casserole with tomato soup in a vintage baking dish

Ground Beef Casserole with Noodles

This cheesy beef noodle casserole is an old-fashioned recipe that reminds me of my childhood. It’s simple, hearty, and totally kid-friendly! Best of all, you can adjust the ingredients to suit your family’s tastes. Toss in some different vegetables (corn is a great addition), use other types of noodles (such as macaroni elbows or shells), and tweak the seasoning (to make it spicy). This cozy meal is total comfort food!

Draining egg noodles in a colander

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need to make an easy beef noodle casserole. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Egg noodles: I use wide egg noodles, but any size that you prefer is fine.
  • Ground beef: the base of the casserole. Feel free to substitute with ground beef, ground Italian sausage, or ground chicken.
  • Green bell pepper and onion: fresh veggies that add great savory flavor to the dish.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the dish.
  • Canned whole tomatoes: San Marzano tomatoes are my top choice, but use whichever brand and variety you like.
  • Campbell’s condensed tomato soup: gives the sauce a thick, slightly sweet tomato flavor.
  • Brown sugar: balances the acidity in the tomatoes and gives the sauce depth of flavor.
  • Chili powder, dry mustard, and garlic powder: seasonings that make the sauce taste even better!
  • Cheddar cheese: to sprinkle on top of the casserole. You can omit the cheese if you don’t care for it, or try a different type of melting cheese, such as Colby, Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, white cheddar, Gouda, Gruyere, American, or mozzarella cheese.
  • French fried onions: another optional addition that adds great salty, crunchy texture and flavor to the top of the casserole.
Beef noodle casserole filling in a blue Dutch oven

Can you add sour cream to casseroles?

Yes! You can stir some sour cream right into the ground beef sauce, if you’d like the dish to be creamy and little bit tangy. I recommend using room temperature sour cream so that it blends smoothly and easily into the rest of the ingredients. You might also like to try this similar hamburger casserole recipe {also called a “sour cream noodle bake”} with egg noodles, sour cream, and cottage cheese.

Sprinkling cheese on a casserole

How to Make Beef Noodle Casserole

In general, a “casserole” is any food that is cooked and served in the same dish. Casseroles typically include three main components: a base that provides the main flavor and texture of the dish (in this case, the ground beef), an extender that helps thicken the dish (here it’s the noodles), and a binder or liquid that holds it all together (such as the tomato soup). We’ve checked all of the boxes with this easy ground beef casserole recipe, and we’ve upped the ante with some vegetables, cheese, and seasoning! Let’s get started…

  1. Cook the noodles in a large pot of well salted boiling water according to package directions for 1 minute less than al dente. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the beef, bell pepper, and onion in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off the excess fat.
  3. Season the meat mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the tomatoes, condensed soup, brown sugar, chili powder, dry mustard, and garlic powder.
  5. Stir in the cooked noodles; toss to combine.
  6. Pour the beef and noodle mixture into a greased 13 x 9-inch casserole dish.
  7. Top with grated cheddar cheese.
  8. Bake uncovered in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.
  9. Add the fried onions on top and return the pan to the oven for 5-10 more minutes, or until the filling is hot and bubbly and the onions are lightly browned on top.
overhead shot of a pan of beef noodle casserole on a wooden table with salad and biscuits on the side

What to Serve with Beef Noodle Casserole

This hearty beef and noodle casserole goes well with just about any of your favorite sides. Here are a few options that you might enjoy:

Overhead shot of a fork in a bowl with beef noodle casserole and a salad and biscuits on the side

Make Ahead Hamburger Noodle Casserole

This is a great make-ahead dinner. You can assemble the entire casserole up to 24 hours in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Before baking, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

You can freeze the casserole before baking. Wrapped tightly, the assembled casserole will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Horizontal overhead shot of a bowl of beef noodle casserole on a table with a side of biscuits

Storage

Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

To reheat the casserole: If reheating an entire casserole, cover the dish loosely with foil and bake in a 350°F oven until warmed through (about 20 minutes). Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Overhead shot of a serving spoon in a pan of ground beef noodle casserole

Recipe Variations for Beef and Noodle Casserole

  • Instead of the egg noodles, try other pasta shapes such as medium shells, rotini, penne, rigatoni, or elbow macaroni.
  • Make this beef and noodle casserole with cream of mushroom soup rather than the condensed tomato soup. It will have a creamier consistency and a more savory flavor, since the cream of mushroom soup is not as sweet as the tomato soup.
  • Any ground meat will work in this recipe. Instead of the ground beef, try ground turkey, ground pork, ground chicken, or ground sausage.
  • Add More Veggies: feel free to include crisp-tender steamed, roasted, or sauteed broccoli, green beans, carrots, corn, or even frozen peas in the casserole.
  • Swap out the cheddar cheese and use Monterey Jack, mozzarella, Colby, or Pepper Jack.
  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square dish. The baking instructions remain the same. You can even prepare the full recipe, but divide the ingredients between two 8-inch pans and freeze one casserole for later.
Close overhead image of a fork in a bowl of beef noodle casserole on a turquoise vintage table

Tips for the Best Beef Noodle Casserole Recipe

  • Adjust the seasoning to suit your taste preferences. For instance, you might like to add an extra teaspoon of brown sugar for a slightly sweeter tomato sauce, or add cayenne pepper to make it spicy.
  • Boil the noodles in well-salted water. This is your opportunity to really season the pasta.
  • Cook the noodles for 1 minute less than al dente. The noodles will continue to cook in the oven, so you want to slightly under-boil them so that they don’t become mushy after baking.
  • Garnish the casserole with fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, basil, or oregano) for a bright, fresh touch. Sliced green onions are also good!
Close overhead shot of an easy beef noodle casserole on an antique wooden table

More Beef Noodle Casserole Recipes to Try

Square overhead shot of a bowl of ground beef noodle casserole

Beef Noodle Casserole

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 532 kcal
Easy, cheesy, and flavorful, this beef noodle casserole is a family-friendly dinner for busy nights!

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces uncooked wide egg noodles
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup total)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, not drained
  • 2 cans (10.75 ounces each) condensed tomato soup, not diluted (I used Campbell’s Healthy Request)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1– 2 cups French fried onions, for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish; set aside.
  • Cook noodles in a large pot of well-salted boiling water according to package directions for 1 minute less than al dente. Drain well.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown beef, bell pepper, and onion in the skillet; drain excess grease. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add tomatoes (with juice), crushing the tomatoes slightly with a wooden spoon. Stir in the condensed soup, brown sugar, chili powder, dry mustard, and garlic powder.
  • Add the cooked noodles to the ground beef mixture; toss to combine.
  • Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add the fried onions on top; return the dish to the oven for about 5-10 more minutes, until the filling is hot and bubbly and the onions are lightly browned on top.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the casseroleCalories: 532kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 31gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 391mgPotassium: 825mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 622IUVitamin C: 32mgCalcium: 173mgIron: 5mg
Keyword: beef and noodle casserole, beef noodle casserole, ground beef casserole with noodles, ground beef noodle casserole
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Good morning, Blair! I think this type of recipes, where you can swap ingredients in and out, are very useful. Not fancy but still can taste good. Certainly as good as everyday frozen prepared foods. You mentioned adding vegetables to the casserole. I still struggle with getting vegetables in my diet with it still too hot for roasting. If I started with frozen mixed vegetables or corn, should I thaw them first? How much could I add to the recipe without other changes? I suspect the frozen vegetables will cook in the oven enough to satisfy me but I don’t want to make the casserole too wet. If I wanted to cut back on the meat to one pound, could I add some canned beans? One or two cans? How about some cooked lentils? How much? A cupful? Sorry to press but meat prices can be pretty incredible at the moment. Thanks so much! As always, take care!

    1. Hi, Marion! Sure, I’d add about 1 cup of frozen mixed veggies. No need to thaw them first, since they thaw and soften quickly in the oven. If you’re using larger broccoli florets or something like fresh broccoli, you’ll want to steam or parboil it first so that it’s not too crunchy in the casserole.

      I’d try swapping 2 cans of beans or cooked lentils for the 2 lbs. of beef. Hope you enjoy!