Cheeseburger Casserole is easy to make, filling, and delicious, loaded with cheddar cheese, beef, juicy tomatoes, and pasta. This is the perfect weeknight meal that also makes delicious leftovers.
Casserole recipes are a staple around here, they are easy to prepare and usually make enough leftovers so you don’t have to worry about cooking dinner the next day. My other favorites are Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole, White Pizza Casserole, and Chicken Hash-brown Casserole.
Loaded Cheeseburger Casserole s covered in delicious, melty cheese, and has the classic cheeseburger topping. It’s basically a beefy macaroni with tons of cheese combined into a single dish. Just like a huge burger, but made with less effort and without even turning on the grill.
This is a quick homemade hamburger helper dish that is perfect for busy weekdays, and a great dinner to enjoy with your whole family. All you need is a side of crispy fries and you are good to go!
Also, this dish consists of layers of perfectly cooked pasta, cheese, some veggies, and juicy ground beef. It is such a filling, delicious, affordable, and easy dish to make, that will be a hit with your friends and family. It makes enough to serve a crowd or have leftovers.
In addition, it freezes well, which means you can make a few ahead of time and freeze for busy times. When you are ready to serve, just pop it in the oven, and a stress-free homemade dinner is ready.
- Beef: I used ground beef, but feel free to make it with ground lamb, chicken, turkey, or even pork.
- Veggies: to add extra flavor and texture I added yellow onion, garlic, bell pepper, tomatoes.
- Seasoning: A combination of dried herbs, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Also, tomato paste is used to make the sauce extra tasty.
- Pasta: I used rotini, but large shell pasta and elbow macaroni are great choices as well.
- Cheese: Cheddar cheese is great in this recipe. Other delicious choices are mozzarella cheese, American cheese, and Pepper Jack cheese.
How do you make Cheeseburger Casserole?
This easy recipe requires a few simple steps described below. Also, watch the recipe video attached and see how easy this dish is!
- Brown the Beef: Start by browning the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook the Pasta: In the meantime, to save time, cook the pasta per package directions in a large pot. Cook it al dente since it will continue cooking in the oven. Therefore, you do not want to overcook it.
- Add the Veggies: Next, add the onion to the meat mixture along with the rest of the veggies. Season and cook until green pepper is tender.
- Add the tomato sauce: Pour in the tomato mixture, and bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes to reduce the liquid content.
- Combine: Combine the beef mixture with the cooked pasta and transfer the whole pasta mixture to a casserole dish or a 9×13 baking dish. Then, sprinkle with cheese on top.
- Bake: Lastly, bake the casserole until golden brown and the cheese is melted on top. Once cooked, top with chopped tomatoes and lettuce. Serve immediately.
Feel free to add more ingredients according to your liking. Here are some suggestions:
- more veggies: mushrooms, green beans, or even sweet peas.
- chopped bacon, for a bacon cheeseburger casserole.
- feel free to add chopped sausage is another great addition for the meat lover.
- more cheese, even a combination of a few types of cheese.
- other seasonings such as onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, red pepper flakes, or ranch seasoning.
- top it with a dollop of sour cream or chopped jalapeno peppers.
- Dijon mustard or yellow mustard
What type of beef do you use?
I usually use 90% lean ground beef here. However, you can use whatever you like. The important thing is to drain the fat away when browning the meat.
Can you use other meats to make this casserole?
Absolutely! Simply substitute beef with chicken, ground turkey, sausage, or pork. The cooking time might vary as well based on each meat type.
What’s a good substitute for Worcestershire sauce?
You can find Worcestershire sauce in pretty much any grocery store. However, if you are looking for a substitute, here are some suggestions:
- Balsamic vinegar: It is actually one of the largest ingredients in Worcestershire, so this is a simple way to replace it.
- Red wine vinegar
- Soy sauce + sugar: Use 1 tablespoon of soy sauce plus a bit of brown sugar to provide sweetness.
- BBQ sauce
- Soy sauce + ketchup: The proportion should be about 1 to 1.
How to make Instant Pot Cheeseburger Pasta?
Making it in the Instant Pot is equally easy, and the whole meal is ready in under 30 minutes from start to finish.
For the pressure cooker version, please check out my Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni recipe.
Can I cook pasta and ground beef in one pot?
Absolutely! This is the whole point of this delicious cheeseburger casserole recipe. When ground beef is cooked together with pasta and melted cheese you end up with true comfort food.
What to serve with this dish?
This is a complete meal on its own, as it has carbs and proteins in every bite. However, feel free to serve it with a side salad or some French fried onions. Here are some suggestions:
- Make it in advance: Prepare everything and assemble the casserole, but instead of baking it, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and foil and freeze it. Just bake it when needed. You can keep it frozen for 3 months.
- Freeze Leftovers: Transfer leftovers into single-portion freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 to 4 months. You can bake them again at the same temperature you initially cooked them at.
- Refrigerate Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
More easy casserole recipes:
- Use quality beef. When cooking casserole I tend to use grass-fed organic beef, it provides the best flavor.
- Also, if you prefer the casserole spicy add some chopped jalapenos, or hot sauce into the mixture.
- This meal is loaded with cheese, so don’t skip it! It’s what makes it so creamy and comforting.
- In addition, feel free to use Mozzarella cheese, provolone cheese, or sharp cheddar. Also, spicy Pepper Jack cheese would be a great substitute.
- For a gluten-free version of this recipe, make sure you use gluten-free pasta.
- Grease the baking pan with some cooking spray to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- For a truly classic combination, serve it with dill pickles on the side and sprinkled it with some sesame seeds.
Loaded Cheeseburger Casserole
- 8 oz rotini pasta
- 2 lb ground beef
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- Chopped pickles
- Chopped fresh tomatoes
- Chopped iceberg lettuce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add water to a medium pot and season it with salt. Bring the water to a boil. Stir in the pasta and boil for about 8 minutes, until just tender.
- Drain and return to the pot.
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook the ground beef, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the lumps, until no longer pink. Drain off the fat.
- Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper, cook until the vegetables are tender about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes with juice, and the Worcestershire sauce, parsley, oregano, dried mustard, salt, and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low. Simmer the mixture for about 15 minutes.
- Pour the tomato mixture over the noodles and stir until combined.
- Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. Top with cheese.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
- Top with chopped pickles, tomatoes, and iceberg lettuce before serving.