Well, fall is here.
I have mixed feelings about that. I like fall. I love the changing of the leaves, the crisp air, the smells of autumn.
But fall also means that winter is coming.
I’m not a fan of winter.
I don’t know why I live in Minnesota.
One good thing about fall is that with the cooler temperatures comes the yearning for comfort food.
And where better to look for comfort food recipes than in my Grandma’s recipes?
This is one of my favorite dishes that my Grandma makes. If you’re not from Minnesota, you might not know that here we call “casseroles” “hot dish.”
I really don’t have any idea why.
But whether you call it a casserole or a hot dish, this is full of saucy noodles and meat and cheese. I think I might make up a big batch of this for the church potluck on Sunday. It’s easy, delicious, and definitely comfort food.
Start by chopping up a small onion. If you notice in my Grandma’s recipe, it just says “onion.” I think this probably means that my Grandma just sprinkles dehydrated onion into it. And if that’s what you have and you want to save some time, go for it. But I prefer the real stuff most of the time.
Throw it in a skillet with a little butter and 1 lb ground beef. In my Grandma’s recipes, butter is almost always called “oleo.” It makes me smile. I think that would really mean margarine, but I don’t think she usually uses that. But again, whatever you have on hand is good.
Brown the ground beef along with the onion.
While the ground beef is going, cook up about 1/2 a pound of egg noodles (you can also use elbow macaroni or really any short pasta– it’s a pretty flexible recipe.) The recipe says 7 oz, but I can’t find any 7 oz packages in the grocery store, so I went with half of a 1 lb bag. You want to cook this for about 2 minutes less than the package directions say because you’ll be baking it in the oven and don’t want it getting soggy. Speaking of which, preheat your oven to 350〫
Add salt and garlic salt to the meat as it browns.
Can I just take a second to apologize for the less than great photos in this recipe? I have pretty much 0 natural light by my stove, so the colors get all wonky. There are a lot of things I like about my kitchen, but it doesn’t get the most sunlight. Which means it doesn’t get overly hot in the summer, but it kind of stinks for food blogging.
Add 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup to the beef once it’s browned.
The recipe calls for condensed tomato soup, but I only had this on hand. It’s non-condensed soup, but it worked out because the recipe calls for 1 can of tomato soup and 1 can of water…
So I just put in 2 cans of the non-condensed stuff and it worked out for me.
Stir that all up together.
And add some cheddar cheese. 1/2 cup. I used the pre-shredded stuff because I’m lazy like that and it was fine. And I always choose sharp cheddar because I like to live on the edge.
Mix in the cooked noodles…
And pour into a casserole dish. Even though we call the meal a “hot dish,” we still call the cooking vessel a casserole dish.
Sprinkle more cheddar cheese on top. The recipe doesn’t say how much, and I never actually measure cheese on the top of a dish. I just put it on until it’s covered nicely. I think I used the remainder of the 8 oz package I had. Somewhere in the 1 to 1-1/2 cup range, I’d guess.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is all melty and golden-like.
Mmm. This reminds me of many childhood dinners at my Grandma’s house. She still makes it for us sometimes. 🙂
I think for Sunday I’ll mix this all up in a Crock Pot. The cheese on top won’t get quite as golden, but I think it will still taste good and then I won’t have to worry about it. I love my Crock Pot.
The next time you’re looking for an easy, comforting meal for dinner, try this one out. You won’t regret it!
Print the recipe here!
I think I know why we call it a casserole dish! It’s because “Hot dish dish” sounds silly. 😉