Crunchy Beef Casserole (and my casserole dish collection)

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Most folks have never had to think about taking a photo of a casserole and I doubt few have spent the time I have wishing they were more photogenic. I guess it’s just a fact of life that casseroles aren’t pretty things, but they sure are good.

This recipe came from Granny Jordan’s well worn files and got a handwritten rating of “very good”, her highest praise. It’s warm, soothing, filling, and delicious. casserole-049

My mother didn’t start making casseroles until my early teens. She had been raised to cook the traditional Southern meal of “Meat and Three” which consisted of a meat, three vegetables, bread, and tea. At our table, dessert was served every night as well. Jealous? Me too. Sure do wish I could have meals like that cooked *for* me now!

My mother never thought to make a casserole because her mother and grandmother had never made them either. The first casserole I remember her making was Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli casserole. Why did she finally make one? Up until then, she’d never had a single casserole recipe!

In today’s busy world, casseroles are a cook’s best friend. Rather than buying frozen family sized meals, homemade casseroles enable you to make your own “convenience” meal in one dish much more economically. Usually, you can double or even triple a recipe for just a few dollars more. I like to mix up several at once and freeze them for home cooked convenience.

To cook a frozen casserole, simply place it in the oven while it preheats and add about ten minutes to the baking time. To develop your own signature casserole recipes, check out my Handy Dandy Casserole chart by clicking here. I developed it on a twelve hour drive back home from Disney World and it has been a great tool in my kitchen!

And now a word on casserole dishes, then back to our recipe!

Casseroles came into fad in a big way in the sixties and seventies and with that a variety of colorful casserole dishes were introduced. Most of y’all know I collect Pyrex dishes. They are from the era of my childhood and were made so well that any in my collection can still be used today. I collect, display, and use every one of them on a regular basis!

That is my rule about collecting things: If I’m gonna collect it, it has to have a purpose other than collecting dust!

(there are very few exceptions to this)

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This is my current Pyrex Casserole collection.

All of these dishes are of the “Cinderella” design. They have special handles which are designed to be easy to pour from. I have several Cinderella mixing bowls as well and just love them.

~grins~

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This is one of my oval casserole dishes. The pattern on the lid is called “Verde”.

Most of mine have been acquired at antique shops and on eBay but this one actually belonged to Granny Jordan.

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This is an oval “Snowflake Blue” pattern.

It matches my grandmother’s dish pattern and is a favorite pattern of mine.

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If you turn one of the lids upside down, all of the Pyrex casseroles stack very securely.

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A graduated set of three casseroles in the “Daisy” pattern. I came across these yesterday in Nashville and just couldn’t resist them. They are so sunshiney and remind me of trips to Florida as a little girl in the seventies.

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They stack really well, also! I’m so glad I got these.

They make me smile just looking at the pictures. I can’t wait to actually bake something for the kids in them!

They were priced at $38 but I paid $30. I probably could have got them for less but I’m not such a good haggler.

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This pattern is called “Gooseberry” and it came in several colors.

Pink Gooseberry is one of my favorites but I also really love the way black gooseberry looks, it is a black print on white.

This one also belonged to Granny Jordan so I’m really honored to have it.

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This pattern is called “Crazy Quilt” and is a bit harder to come by. It was offered as a promotional item only once and no other matching pieces were made. It was originally sold with a metal cradle to sit it in while serving at the table.

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And another one of my favorite patterns, this is called “Friendship”. This is a mini casserole that I purchased in a set of three but the other two were crushed when I received them in the mail. I do still have two other lids just like this one though so maybe one of these days I’ll find some casseroles without lids and have a set again.

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This pattern is called “Early American” and is most often seen with the pattern printed in brown on white.

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I love this pattern because Grandmama and Grandaddy had a lot of bowls and such with this on it when I was little.

This is called “Amish Butterprint”.

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And this is an almost complete set of “Snowflake Blue” round casseroles, I’m just missing the middle size.

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So what do you think? Do I have too many?

OF COURSE NOT!!!

Have I got you in the casserole mood yet?

We’re off to the races!

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For this one we’ll need : French Fried Onions (you don’t need a can as big as the one I have pictured) , Rotini Pasta (can substitute other type if you like), Cream Of Mushroom Soup, Can of Diced Tomatoes, Ground Beef, and Shredded Cheddar Cheese.

Don’t be disillusioned by my use of name brands lately. I’m still a “cheapest of the cheap” gal. The name brands popping up in my pantry are just a testament to how busy I’ve been! I haven’t had a good full out grocery shopping trip in about two months!

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You’re also gonna need some Seasoned Salt.

Y’all know I have an affinity for Morton’s brand because of my grandparents.

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Cook pasta according to directions. Drain when done.

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In large mixing bowl place cream of mushroom soup, tomatoes…

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Add seasoned salt..

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Cheese…

(“…” is my best friend ya know)

casserole-039and ground beef that has been cooked and drained.

Oooh, gettin’ steamy at Southern Plate!

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Toss in your drained pasta

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Give it a good stir.

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Spoon into casserole Dish.

This recipe says to bake in a 2 quart casserole, which is just slightly smaller than a 9×13 inch dish.

You could bake it in a 9×13 if you like, it just won’t be as deep.

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Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

As always, baking times vary by oven.

Obviously, I’m going to give you the baking times in the original recipes as these have always worked for me.

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After thirty minutes, remove from oven and remove foil.

Top with onions and return to oven for five more minutes.

Serve hot. Oh yum.

Crunchy Beef Casserole

Crunchy Beef Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Corkscrew Macaroni (Rotini)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 3/4 tsp Seasoned Salt
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 can (14 oz) whole or diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 C Green Pepper (optional - I leave it out for the kids)
  • 1 can french fried onions

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta as directed, rince and drain. Brown beef, drain fat. Combine all ingredients except french fried onions. Pour into greased 2 quart casserole. Cover and bake at 350 for thirty minutes. Uncover, top with french fried onions, and bake five minutes longer.
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Thank you so much for reading Southern Plate. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate each and every one of you!

Gratefully,

Christy:)

For those who wish to sing, there is always a song

~on a sign hanging in my kitchen.

To submit your positive or motivational quote and read an awful lot of others, please click here.



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Comments

  1. Adrian says

    I made this tonight- it was going in a 9X13 pan so added an extra cup of Rotini and after being worried I wouldn’t have enough soup, etc… to go with the extra Rotini I added a bit more cheese in it and then on it along with a big can of the onions. I was sure it wouldn’t turn out good but I was waaaaaaaaay wrong- my picky eater cleaned her plate before I even really noticed she was eating it and everyone had seconds… may have to make this two pans at a time cause everyone wants the little left-over for lunch tomorrow.

  2. Adrian says

    BTW- I found this site two days ago and have made dinner from things on here for both of thoughs nights and am here now looking for dinner tonight. I have never used a site like that before… I get things here and there but 3 for 3 on purpose? Nope. You have a great site here :)

  3. Sara says

    Christy, This crunchy beef casserole was amazing!!! I bought your Southern Plate cookbook last week and have already made eight recipes from it. I love that the ingredients are so basic and inexpensive. My fiance’s family is from the south and I swear every time I eat one of your recipes I feel like I’m right down there with them. Even better, my grandmother passed away several years ago and every time I make a recipe the smells and tastes remind me of her. My grandma used to cook enough food to feed an army, and I have certainly inherited that gene. Anyway, this Crunchy Beef Casserole was so quick and easy to make and was absolutely delicious. In addition, it is very filling! Just wanted you to know I love your cookbook and all the stories you write with each recipe… I must admit I have cried reading some becuase I am such a stickler for sentimental, family traditions! Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing your life and family with us!

  4. Sherri says

    I have a set of the Amish Butterprint bowls. There are three, each a different size. They belonged to my Grandma and she used them all the time. When she passed away I got them and use them when I make one of her recipes.

  5. Ashley says

    I made this for dinner the other night, and it was a hit with my family. It was so quick and easy. I was even able to put it together while the kids napped, so all I had to do was pop it in the oven at dinnertime. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, and making my dinnertime routine a little smoother.

  6. Gayle Spears says

    Made this casserole tonight. We LOVE it! Your cookbook is awesome; it makes me look good in the kitchen. LOL! Love your website — hoping to get to see you in Florence. Still working out the details with a couple of friends. Thanks for all you do!

  7. Jayne says

    We make something very similar, except we use boxed mac n cheese and call it John Mozzetti. However I have never tried baking it OR topping with the onions. In our home, there is no such thing as too many onions, Guess what I’m making for dinner tonight? :D

    • Renee Walker says

      I too make John Mozzetti! I am from a very small rual town in Illinois and I thought it was our own little secret! Our recipe calls for eggs noodles and grated longhorn cheese. We also add onion and green pepper while browning the hamburger.

  8. Windi says

    Christy,

    I cannot wait to try this casserole! I also have a large collection of vintage pyrex. I have almost every Snowflake Blue dish (Also known as Snowflake Garland) as well as the Amish Butterprint. In addition, I have the “Primary” color bowls and the “Dot” bowls. I love Pyrex!

    Best wishes,
    Windi

  9. Joann Drye says

    I used to have the snowflake casserole dishes but passed them on to my daughter when she got married.. I will try this casserole, but what happened to the print button?

    hugs jo in Sapulpa

  10. Debbie Strum says

    I’m ashamed to admit I put off making this casserole for a long time and regret doing so! It is deee-LISH! Put it on my menu for this week! Thank you for all the effort you put into Southern Plate, Christy!

  11. Tonya says

    Hmmmm…..I might just have all of this stuff already in my pantry and freezer! :) And this makes me think, too….Pyrex casserole dishes are awesome! I might just have to start a collection, too!

  12. MommaMary says

    Have you ever thought of putting the green pepper and a couple table spoons of the tomatoes for the liquid into a mini chopper giving it a whirl. When the kids can’t see the green chunks, the never realize its in the dish. Another one of those what you can’t see won’t hurt you things.

  13. Tricia Protzman says

    Christy, I have two mixing bowls left out of a set of three given to me when I married in 1968 with the “Amish Print.” The largest bowl was broken years ago when my three children were running through the kitchen and “accidendently” knocked it off the table. :) I also have a few newer ‘Pyrex’ dishes. This casserole looks delicous.

  14. Jean Cowan says

    I went to an antique mall today and found a small Pyrex refrigerator dish with the lid in great condition and in the color red! I’m so excited! My kitchen is white with red accessories and it will look great in there! I also bought a medium Pyrex mixing bowl in green in the daisy pattern. I have only been collecting them for 2 years now so I don’t have a big collection yet, but I sure am havin fun lookin for them. I’m awlfully picky about how much I spend on them. Your casserole collection looks great! We love your Crunchy Beef Casserole too.

  15. Anita says

    I read your cookbook like it is a novel. I just love your stories. A lot of your recipes are very much like what I grew up eating. I am envious of your Pyrex collection. I have some older mixing bowls and casserole dishes, and am always looking for more.

  16. says

    My mother made this back in the 70′s. I actually have the original article that came out of a magazine in an ad for Durkee Onions. Then it was called Holiday Crunch. I misplaced the recipe several years ago and scoured the internet but never could find it. I was delighted to find it in your cook book. I have it in several places now for back up.

    Also, I love your dishes. I have several of my grandmothers Pyrex dishes in various patterns.

  17. deborah says

    This sounds great. Christy, I would like to know if you could think of anything I could substitute for the mushroom soup. I want to make it for a special occasion with our church group and someone is allergic to mushrooms. Thanks so much! I am so glad we got back online. I really missed southern plate and all of your stories.

  18. Sidney Caldwell says

    I have some Early American pattern pyrex casserole dishes. I have several pyrex bowls. Afterall, I got married in 1963 in Mississippi. Pyrex was/is very popular and many bridal showers were given by the “church ladies”. I still have all of those plus corningware with the blue pattern. It has lasted 49 years…so has the husband!!!

  19. Kathy says

    Made this for dinner, and it was amazing! Wasn’t sure about the tomatoes, but they actually make it. So easy and quick, thanks for making dinner easy! Love your posts and recipes!!

  20. Cas says

    I just made this this evening… My fiancé wont eat anything green (lol) so I put some southwest corn in it instead. It is WONDERFUL. I love your recipes.. I made tater tot casserole day b4 last and it was a fab hit as well. I stumbled across this site while googling Sausage gravy to see if people made it the same way I do (you do) and I found SO MANY great things to try and other things we make the same..Im from NC so we have the same taste :) Thanks

  21. Grace says

    Hi Christy, today is a rainy day and I’d like to cook with what’s in my pantry. What is a good substitute for the cream of mushroom soup? I have golden mushroom soup. Right now, “cream of anything is missing from my pantry,.want to make a casserole with ground beef.
    thanks Christy, or any readers.

  22. Grace says

    Hi Christy, today is a rainy day and I’d like to cook with what’s in my pantry. What is a good substitute for the cream of mushroom soup? I have golden mushroom soup. Right now, “cream of anything is missing from my pantry,.want to make a casserole with ground beef.
    thanks Christy. Have a great day!

  23. Karen says

    I am going to make this tonight with some summer squash fries. I made the cornbread pan sandwiches last night. They were delicious. My son had seconds and I was shocked because he usually doesn’t eat much. I am so glad I found you because you make my life easier with all your great recipes. Thank you so much. I truly appreciate it.

  24. Jen says

    I made this last night. I thought it was just o.k. My 4 year old (picky eater) loved it, she cleaned her plate! I will try this again, tweaking it a little bit. Love your site and your recipes!

  25. Kristin T says

    This has become a favorite of our whole family, but especially with my 14-year old son. He requested it for his birthday dinner, and I have to make it several times every month or two. I’ve made it so much, I no longer need to look at the recipe, but when I do grab your first cookbook, it automatically falls open to this page! :) On a side note, I absolutely LOVE your Pyrex dishes/collection. It reminds me of my mom’s and grandma’s dishes. You just can’t beat memories like that. I’m also enjoying the second cookbook…when can I expect # 3?????? Blessings to you and your family!

  26. LadyMichigan says

    Your ckbks are me “GO TO” source when I am standing in the kitchen and have NO idea what is going to be for supper. This casserole sounds really good, and as it makes a nice size batch will serve us 2 for 2 suppers. I like recipes like this as I am a tweaker, will add maybe mushrooms, celery or a veggie like peas or carrots or green beans. (sorry I rarely leave a recipe alone)

  27. says

    I made this aslo for dinne tonight! I had to use cream of celery cause I’m allergic to mushrooms and I used different noodles. It was great! I use your recipes a lot for my family and most of the time I don’t have to run to the grcery store, I. Can use what is in my home! Thank You!!

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