Winter means comfort food. And comfort food means we settle into something warm and delicious while trying not to judge ourselves for eating it (or going back for a second serving).
While a “hamburger casserole” might not sound like your ideal treat, this meaty, cheesy, casserole base can be dressed up any way you’d like to give it some extra flair.
Here, Becky, of Hillbilly Kitchen, shows fans how to make this old-fashioned and low-cost meal.
Gather your ingredients
You only need a handful of ingredients to get started with this recipe, but of course, you can add more to suit your tastes.
Here’s what Becky recommends you start with:
- 1 pound of ground beef (you can substitute chicken or turkey)
- 1 cup of chopped onions
- 4 cups of diced potatoes (you can use any potato)
- 1 cup of milk (or water, if you’d like)
- 4 ounces of provolone cheese (or your preferred cheese)
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
- salt and pepper to taste
Extras (if desired):
- Diced peppers (Becky uses them in her video recipe, but you can leave them out)
- Hot sauce
- Taco seasoning
- Anything else you can think of!
Making the casserole
Just about anyone can make this meal – it truly doesn’t require any culinary skills.
1. First, you’ll start by browning the ground beef, onions, and peppers on medium heat in a frying pan. Becky isn’t concerned about the order – she just throws them all in at the same time.
Of course, the benefit of this is that the grease from the burger helps sautee the onions and peppers.
Now, if you have an oven-safe pan (like a cast-iron skillet), this can be a one-pot meal since you can stick it right in the oven without transferring it to another dish, so keep that in mind.
2. As the ingredients cook, add salt and pepper to taste. You’ll add some again later and any more you’d like at the end to get your desired flavor, so it’s best not to go crazy with it upfront.
3. If you’re using fatty ground beef, you may want to drain off some of the grease. But it’s not necessary – according to Becky – if you’re using a leaner beef. In fact, the fat is what gives it the flavor she prefers.
4. Stir the meat and vegetables occasionally as they cook, breaking up the ground beef along the way.
5. Once the meat has browned and the vegetables have softened, it’s time to add the potatoes.
Just go ahead and toss them all in!
6. Now, mix up the potatoes into your dish so they’re evenly distributed.
Depending on how long you want your dish to take, you can put it straight in the oven after adding your potatoes and 1 cup of water or milk. But that’ll need to bake for about an hour in order to soften the potatoes.
Becky recommends a trick to cut your cooking time in half and that’s adding the potatoes and liquid and cooking it for about 15-20 minutes on the stovetop first so that potatoes absorb some of the liquid and begin to soften. That means you’ll only need to bake it for another 15 minutes in the oven.
7. So if you want to take the quick route, mix in your potatoes and let them heat up for a few minutes. Then put the lid on the pan, and let it simmer on the stove for 15 minutes.
8. Your dish may have retained plenty of moisture from the potatoes and beef fat. That means you may not need your entire cup of water or milk. So you’ll need to eyeball it unless you like your casserole soupy!
So pour your water or milk in slowly and mix. You just need to make sure your entire mixture gets some of that new liquid so it can continue to cook without boiling over in the oven.
9. If you’re using a new casserole pan to transfer it to the oven, now is the time to dump your mixture into that dish.
10. Now it’s time to add cheese to the top so it bubbles and bakes and sinks into the burger mixture for a gooey, comforting meal.
Becky uses sliced provolone, but you can use any shredded or sliced cheese you like best.
Just lay it over the top of your mixture.
11. Now it’s time to bake your casserole.
Simply put it in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes if you’ve already spent time cooking the potatoes a bit.
If you didn’t use the stovetop to simmer your potatoes, you’ll need to bake your casserole for 45 minutes to an hour.
It should come out looking like this:
And now you’re done!
Becky is using small portions along with a salad and some tomatoes on the side to keep things as healthy as possible, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to how you want to serve it.
Be sure to scroll down below for the video tutorital of this hamburger casserole recipe.
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