Thursday, January 26, 2012

Zippy Beef Casserole

This is another recipe that dates back to my childhood; as far back as I can possibly remember, my mom made this for us for dinner.  It is a super kid-friendly meal that flies off the plate (adjust the green pepper as your family can tolerate - my daughter loves them, my son can do without, but does eat them in this meal).

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 cup uncooked macaroni (I usually use a little bit more, maybe 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper (I often dice it very small and use an entire pepper)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons instant minced onion (I have on occasion used a sprinkle of onion powder when I realized I was out of minced onion)
  • 1 tespoon salt
  • 1 cup (or so) crushed potato chips (I never use that much and I sometimes use none at all)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Boil water for pasta and cook pasta according to package directions.  The rest of the steps can happen during this time.
  2. Chop pepper.  Brown ground meat.  (The original recipe does not call for the pepper to be cooked, but I typically toss it in with the meat for the last few minutes of browning to soften it a bit.)
  3. Mix all ingredients (except for potato chips) in a 2qt casserole and bake covered for 40 minutes.
  4. Top with chips and cook uncovered 5 minutes longer.  (Depending on how healthy you are feeling, you may prefer to reduce or leave out the chips...it is still delicious!)

Difficulty: relatively easy (some chopping and measuring required)
Time:  15-20 minutes prep, 45 minutes cook time
Source: my mom

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