If there's one comfort food that combines the best of two worlds, it's the cheeseburger casserole. This homestyle dish takes all the classic elements of a cheeseburger—ground beef, gooey cheese, and flavorful seasonings—and bakes them into a hearty one-pan meal. It's a crowd-pleaser that is quick to prepare and perfect for any night of the week.

Cheeseburger Casserole

Ingredients You'll Need

For the Casserole Base

  • 1 pound (450g) of ground beef (or a plant-based alternative)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of ketchup
  • 1 cup (240ml) of beef or vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces (225g) of macaroni or pasta of your choice, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups (200g) of shredded cheddar cheese (or your favorite melting cheese)

Optional Toppings and Mix-Ins

  • Sliced pickles
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese for additional meltiness
  • Jalapenos for a spicy kick

Preparation Steps

Step 1: Preheat and Prepare

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Grease a 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) casserole dish and set aside.

Step 2: Sauté the Beef and Onion

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the beef and onion until the beef is browned and the onion is soft.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.

Step 3: Season and Flavor

  • Season the beef mixture with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  • Stir in the Dijon mustard and ketchup.
  • Add the broth and simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Layer the Casserole

  • Place the cooked macaroni in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.
  • Pour the beef mixture over the macaroni and spread it out evenly.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the beef.
  • If you're adding any optional mix-ins, now is the time to sprinkle them over the cheese.

Cooking Instructions

Bake to Perfection

  • Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

Rest and Set

  • Allow the casserole to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Serving Suggestions

Complete the Meal

  • Serve your cheeseburger casserole in deep plates or bowls.
  • Garnish with your favorite cheeseburger toppings, such as sliced pickles, diced tomatoes, and chopped lettuce.
  • For a well-rounded dinner, pair the casserole with a fresh green salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette or a side of crisp garlic bread.

Customization Tips

Make It Your Own

  • Jazz up your casserole by using a blend of different cheeses for a more complex flavor profile.
  • Adventurous eaters might enjoy adding a layer of creamy mac and cheese (think of it as a double cheeseburger version!)
  • For a lighter option, swap out the macaroni with zucchini noodles or cooked cauliflower.

Dietary Considerations

  • To make the dish vegetarian, substitute the ground beef with plant-based crumbles or extra firm tofu.
  • Those on a low-carb eating plan can use cauliflower rice instead of pasta.

Storage and Reheating

Save for Later

  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze the casserole in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

Reheat with Care

  • To reheat, place the desired portion in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • For a quicker option, microwave individual portions in 1-minute increments until heated through, stirring in between.


There you have it, the ultimate cheeseburger casserole guide. It's a dish that's both nostalgic and novel, comforting and convenient. Whether you follow the recipe to a T or customize it to your heart's content, this casserole is bound to become a staple in your household. Now, it's time to roll up your sleeves, preheat your oven, and savor the aroma of a meal that brings the joy of a classic cheeseburger right to your dinner table. Enjoy!

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