Our recipe for Ground Beef Casserole could very well become one of those comfort food recipes for your family. This recipe is perfect for the long, gloomy, wet, cold days of winter. It has the “welcome home” fragrance that will draw your family into the kitchen after a long day. It also features basic, plain ingredients to which even the pickiest kid will not object.
Creamy, cheesy, and with the texture of shell pasta, our recipe for Ground Beef Casserole is hearty and filling. Made with just a pound of ground beef, you can serve this in bowls with crusty bread on nights when you are too rushed to make a full meal. Or when you have a bit more time, pair it with a side salad or a few vegetables to make your dinner a bit more formal. Because of its mild flavors and inoffensive textures, this recipe will be one that everyone in the family will enjoy.
In a 3 quart saucepan, heat water to a boil and then cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and put it back into the empty saucepan until needed.
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat, chopping it into small bits as you cook it. When it is fully cooked and no more pink remains, drain any excess grease and discard it.
Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, onion powder, parsley, oregano, and paprika, stirring to combine. Cook these together for about a minute or until the garlic is lightly golden brown and fragrant.
Stir the flour into the skillet and cook it again for about a minute to lightly brown the flour. Add the beef stock to the skillet with the beef, seasonings, and flour. Stir to combine. Add the spaghetti sauce. Bring the pan to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer.
Let the pan simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes or until it is slightly reduced in volume and a bit thickened.
Add the cream and the sour cream, stirring to fully combine. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as needed.
Stir in the cooked shell pasta and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Let the cheese melt and then stir it into the mixture.
Refrigerate leftovers in a tightly covered container for up to three days. Reheat these in the microwave for about 2 minutes.
In a 2017 article, the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science defined comfort food as a food that provides feelings of “consolation and well-being”. In short, comfort food is a kind of food that makes you feel good. When most people think of comfort food, they remember a dish from their earliest years. Often, these dishes are made by someone you love and they are generally filling, hearty, and loaded with carbs! Comfort food meals are not usually complicated to create and are usually made in a traditional way, reflecting the heritage of the cook. People who had Italian mothers or grandmothers often view a particular pastadish as comfort food. Those from the South might consider biscuits and gravy as the ultimate comfort food. Other people with a British background might prefer Shepherd’s Pie when they need a bit of culinary comfort.The concept of comfort food reflects the idea that eating for many people is far more than consuming energy in various forms. Most people associate the consumption of various foods in an emotional or nostalgic way. Comfort foods often bring to mind happy feelings from childhood when a happy family all enjoyed a particular dish together. Our recipe for Ground BeefCasserole could very well become one of those comfort food recipes for your family. This recipe is perfect for the long, gloomy, wet, cold days of winter. It has the “welcome home” fragrance that will draw your family into the kitchen after a long day. It also features basic, plain ingredients to which even the pickiest kidwill not object.Who doesn’t like pasta and cheese? In fact, these are two things that almost every child willeat. Our Ground BeefCasserole adds some ground beef to increase the protein of this dish. While there is a bit of spaghetti sauce included in this recipe, the overall flavor profile of it is not overly tomato based. Mostly, the taste is of cheese, beef, and spices. You can use whatever kind of cheese you prefer. A blend of cheeses will give you a mild flavor. However, if you and your family have more adventurous palates, you can use any kind of cheddar cheese that you have on hand. A medium or sharp cheddarwill give a tangier flavor to your casserole. If Italian foods are one of your favorites, you may even want to use shredded mozzarella cheese for a pizza-flavoreddish that the whole familywill love.If you do not have groundbeef on hand, feel free to substitute groundpork, groundchicken, or ground turkey for the beef.