This ground beef casserole is a hearty and comforting meal anytime!

Seasoned meat, sauce, noodles, and three kinds of cheese are layered in a casserole dish and baked until bubbly!

Simple comfort food like this is always the best. This meal is great to prep ahead and reheats and freezes well!

baked ground beef casserole in a dish with a spoon

An Easy Weeknight Casserole

  • This budget friendly main dish is a great way to stretch a pound of ground beef!
  • Our easy, cheesy recipe has all so much flavor and is easy to put together.
  • Add in your favorite vegetables (anything from corn or bell peppers to zucchini) to make it go even further.
  • Make and serve all week long, ground beef is like chili or meatloaf, just as good (or even better) the next day!
ingredients to make Ground Beef Casserole with labels

Ingredients in Ground Beef Casserole

Almost lasagna-like in flavor, this is a family favorite and uses ingredients you likely have on hand.

BEEF: Stock up when ground beef is on sale! Add a little Italian sausage if you’d like. If you’ve got leftover hamburgers, break them up to use in this recipe in place of ground beef.

NOODLES: Choose hearty noodles with twists or ridges to grab the sauce.

SAUCE: Use your fave pasta sauce with a can of whole can or homemade marinara. Diced tomatoes can be used but I find that breaking up whole tomatoes gives a better consistency to the sauce.

CHEESE: We use cottage cheese in this recipe, ricotta can be used in place. Parmesan and mozzarella add extra flavor. Cheddar cheese is great in this recipe too. Sour cream can be switched out for Greek yogurt if desired.


  • Swap beef for sausage, ground chicken, or turkey if you’d like.
  • Add almost any veggie you’d like to the sauce. Cook it with the meat until tender before adding the sauce ingredients.
  • Egg noodles work well in this recipe too.
process of adding ingredients to pan to make Ground Beef Casserole

How to Make Ground Beef Casserole

This is easy to make and always tasty!

  1. Brown Beef: Cook ground beef, onion, & garlic; drain any fat per the recipe below.
  2. Prep Sauce: Break up whole tomatoes and add to the skillet with pasta sauce, sugar, and seasonings. Simmer, then add half the parsley and season with salt and pepper. (Add veggies if you’d like).
  3. Cook Pasta: Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain but do not rinse.
  4. Prep Cheese Layer: Combine sour cream, cottage cheese, egg, basil, remaining parsley, and parmesan.
  5. Combine & Bake: Layer pasta, cheese mixture and meat sauce in a baking dish. Top with cheese and bake until bubbly.

Serve this pasta casserole with a big piece of cornbread or crusty bread for sopping up any sauce.

a plate of ground beef casserole

Storing Leftover Casserole

Keep leftover ground beef casserole covered in the fridge for up to 4 days (if it lasts that long)! Reheat in the microwave (or oven) for meals throughout the week.

Freeze the entire casserole before or after baking. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat as directed above. If the casserole is really cold in the fridge, you may need to add extra cooking time.

Or, freeze portions in airtight freezer containers.

serving ground beef casserole in a dish with a spoon

More Ground Beef Casserole Recipes

Did your family love this Ground Beef Casserole? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

serving ground beef casserole in a dish with a spoon
4.98 from 34 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Ground Beef Casserole

This homemade casserole is loaded with ground beef, pasta, and 3 different kinds of cheese in a flavorful tomato sauce.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
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Meat Sauce

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large white onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 15 ounces pasta sauce or tomato sauce
  • 28 ounces canned whole tomatoes with juices
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped, more for garnish if desired


  • 12 ounces medium pasta such as rotini or penne
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded, or more to taste


  • Cook beef, onion, and garlic in a large deeps skillet until no pink remains. Drain fat.
  • Break up the canned tomatoes with your hands. Add (including the juices) to the ground beef along with pasta sauce, sugar, and Italian seasoning.
  • Simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in half of the parsley, taste, and season with salt & pepper.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain, do not rinse.
  • Mix sour cream, cottage cheese, egg, basil, remaining parsley, and grated parmesan cheese in a small bowl.
  • Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
  • Layer half of the pasta, top with all sour cream mixture, the remaining pasta and the meat sauce.
  • Top with mozzarella cheese and cover.
  • Bake 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Rest 5 minutes before serving.


Keep leftover ground beef casserole covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
4.98 from 34 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 419 | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 672mg | Potassium: 750mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 758IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 224mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beef, Casserole, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Ground Beef Casserole on a plate and dish full in the back with a title
plated Ground Beef Casserole with a title
cooked Ground Beef Casserole in the pan with a spoon and writing
Ground Beef Casserole cooked in the pan and plated with writing


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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Recipe Rating


  1. This casserole is delicious! I added mushrooms to the meat sauce, as well as an Italian sausage. I just ate the last of it – had it four nights in a row, and enjoyed it just as much this last time!!

    I’ve made several of your recipes, and have never been disappointed! Thank you!5 stars

  2. Recently retired and cooking my way through your wonderful site. This is hubs favorite and it’s delicious and easy. Portioned smaller servings and froze. Numerous meals out of the freezer and even a meal sent to a neighbor recovering from surgery who also loved and it made her several meals. Your recipes use inexpensive, everyday ingredients, incredibly delicious and are so easy to make. Notice I used the word “easy” twice. Thanks for making cooking fun, and affordable, again, Christine5 stars

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Christine! I am so glad you have been enjoying the recipes!

  3. Trying this recipe for the first time I’m on a fixed budget the ingredients cost me 28$ hopefully I can have a few meals out of it but it smells delicious in the oven4 stars

  4. Awesome recipe! I added some left over roast beef and stew meat and Italian sausage…so had extra sauce after making the casserole so added cream to the left over meat sauce-Devine! Thank you for all your recipes…love them so much5 stars