I love a simple casserole. Hamburger casserole recipes with noodles just hold a special place for me. I remember the cheeseburger macaroni of my childhood and man I still love it every now and then. This Protein Packed Cheeseburger Casserole is a high protein, healthy take on casserole that’s sure to become a family favorite.
Protein Packed Cheeseburger Casserole Tips
This casserole does not have any cream of mushroom soup or tomato soup. You’ll rely n fresh green pepper, lean ground beef, and a little reduced fat cheddar cheese for flavor. Casserole without creamed soups- it can be done!
I like to prepare this in a large skillet that can be transferred to the oven. Cast iron is my favorite. You can always prepare the beef mixture and toss it with the pasta and transfer to a casserole dish.
I brown the meat over medium-high heat. Anytime I’m working with ground beef, I like to be sure to get that caramelization on the meat. Those browned bits are flavor! You want to cook beef so that it has flavor so let it sit on the bottom of the pan and develop.
Make sure you cook your pasta only to al dente. You’re going to transfer this to the oven where it will continue to cook. Just follow the package directions and shave about a minute off the minimum cook time. No one likes mushy pasta!
Ground Beef Noodle Casserole – Substitutions
In the recipe, I use penne noodles, but elbow macaroni, wide egg noodles or any other short cut pasta will work. If you like to add heat, some red pepper added to the mixture is perfect.
If you want a creamy sauce try adding about 1/4 cup of cream cheese or sour cream to the mixture will give you just that!
You can use any kind of bell pepper. Green, red or yellow are perfect choices. I use fresh garlic, but garlic powder or Italian Seasoning will also work.
I use cheddar cheese here for a more cheeseburger flavor profile, but you could also swap that for mozzarella cheese. A little parmesan cheese would be nice too. We aren’t fans of ground turkey, but if you are feel free to substitute that. All instructions remain the same.
This is a great recipe to have in your back pocket, because it’s made with simple ingredients and has a long list of substitutions that will work. Busy nights call for this kind of cooking. I think we all need a good casserole recipe in our rotation.
Side Dishes to Serve with Casseroles
A fresh green salad, green beans or any vegetable your family likes is a great side to this casserole. You honestly don’t even need to serve one. This recipe has your protein, fats and carbs. It really is a great complete meal. Especially for a large family!
Storing Leftover Casserole
This casserole is still delicious the next day. It’s a great make ahead meal because only thing you need is an airtight container. It’s a good meal to prep ahead for a busy week! It will keep 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Simply prepare it up to the point of needing to bake it. Put it in the fridge.
The night you’re ready to serve it, preheat the oven to 375 and bake for 20-30 minutes. If it’s really cold coming out of the fridge, you may need to add some baking time to get it hot the whole way through.
My cast iron skillet is must for me with this recipe.
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This recipe was last updated on 6/19/22.
Protein Packed Cheeseburger Casserole
- 1/2 lb. Lean Ground Beef Used 90% lean ground beef.
- 1/2 large onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper chopped
- 15 ounces Canned Diced Tomatoes I like using Fire Roasted Tomatoes for extra flavor.
- 2 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 8 ounces High Protein Pasta I like quinoa pasta or Barilla Plus Pasta. Cook according to package directions.
- 1.5 cups Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese
- Preheat Oven to 375 degrees In a cast iron skillet brown the hamburger, onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Be sure to salt and pepper the mixture evenly. Meanwhile be cooking your pasta according to package instructions.
- Add the canned diced tomatoes, Worcestershire, mustard and cooked pasta and toss together.
- Sprinkle the top with cheddar cheese and transfer to the oven for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Allow to cool and enjoy.