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.
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)
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.
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.
This is an oval “Snowflake Blue” pattern.
It matches my grandmother’s dish pattern and is a favorite pattern of mine.
If you turn one of the lids upside down, all of the Pyrex casseroles stack very securely.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This pattern is called “Early American” and is most often seen with the pattern printed in brown on white.
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”.
And this is an almost complete set of “Snowflake Blue” round casseroles, I’m just missing the middle size.
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!
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!
You’re also gonna need some Seasoned Salt.
Y’all know I have an affinity for Morton’s brand because of my grandparents.
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain when done.
In large mixing bowl place cream of mushroom soup, tomatoes…
Add seasoned salt..
(“…” is my best friend ya know)
and ground beef that has been cooked and drained.
Oooh, gettin’ steamy at Southern Plate!
Toss in your drained pasta
Give it a good stir.
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.
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.
After thirty minutes, remove from oven and remove foil.
Top with onions and return to oven for five more minutes.
Serve hot. Oh yum.
Thank you so much for reading Southern Plate. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate each and every one of you!
For those who wish to sing, there is always a song
~on a sign hanging in my kitchen.
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