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What Are the Best Tips for Making Ground Beef and Noodle Casserole?

Article Details
  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 17 July 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
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Nearly all of the various recipes for ground beef and noodle casserole can provide a person or family with a warm, hearty meal in a relatively short amount of time. One of the best tips for making this dish, no matter what recipe you use, is to brown and drain the meat thoroughly before making the casserole. It is also important not to cook the noodles separately; rather, you should cook them in the liquid used for the casserole. Heating up the liquid ingredients in the same pan in which you brown the meat can help to add depth to the dish, and covering the casserole for the majority of the baking process will prevent the cheese on top from burning.

Browning the ground meat well prior to cooking it helps to cook out any fat in the meat that could make the ground beef and noodle casserole greasy. Once you’ve cooked the beef, it is important to let the meat drain on several layers of clean paper towels to remove the excess grease. Although many recipes will call for browning the hamburger just until it is no longer pink, letting the outside of the meat caramelize slightly will enhance the flavor of the dish, making the ground beef and noodle casserole heartier.

One of the most common complaints about any type of noodle casserole is the noodles themselves, as they can become either too soft, soggy, or otherwise undesirable in texture. As the vast majority of ground beef and noodle casserole recipes call for a significant amount of liquid, one of the best tips for making this dish is to add the dry noodles to the liquid for the casserole without boiling them first. Most recipes will have plenty of liquid to cook the noodles properly in the oven as part of the casserole without making the rest of the dish dry or starchy.

Another good tip for making ground beef and noodle casserole is to use the same pan for all of the preparation work. Most recipes call for browning the meat and heating up the rest of the ingredients separately before mixing them all together in a casserole dish. Using the same pan in which you brown the meat to heat up the liquids and other ingredients for the dish allows you to take advantage of the flavor in the pan left behind by the meat. As a bonus, this will also limit the amount of dishes you have to wash.

The cheesy top is one of the most important parts of ground beef and noodle casserole. A good tip for this step of the recipe is to cover the casserole in cheese and then cover the dish with aluminum foil for the first two-thirds of the cooking process. This will help the dish to retain some moisture and prevent the cheese from burning. For the last third of the cooking process, carefully remove the foil so that the casserole can thicken and the cheese can fully melt.

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