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Grandma’s Beef and Noodle Casserole

Grandma’s Beef and Noodle Casserole: A Taste of Nostalgia

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Step back in time and savor the comforting flavors of Grandma’s Beef and Noodle Casserole. This timeless recipe brings together tender egg noodles, flavorful ground beef, and a creamy, cheesy sauce that’s sure to evoke fond memories of family dinners and cozy gatherings. With simple ingredients and easy preparation, it’s the perfect dish to warm your heart and soul on a chilly evening. Let’s journey into the past and rediscover the magic of Grandma’s kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 ounce) package egg noodles
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 ¼ cups grated Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 (6 ounce) can chopped olives
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar chopped pimento peppers

Instructions:

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
  2. Cook Noodles: Cook the egg noodles according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. Brown Ground Beef: In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat until cooked through. Drain any excess grease and transfer the beef to a bowl.
  4. Sauté Vegetables: In the same skillet, add the chopped bell pepper and onion. Sauté until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Make Sauce: Sprinkle the cooked vegetables with flour and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk, stirring until smooth and thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked egg noodles, browned ground beef, vegetable mixture, 1 cup of grated Cheddar cheese, chopped olives, and chopped pimento peppers. Mix until well combined.
  7. Assemble Casserole: Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  8. Top with Cheese: Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of grated Cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole.
  9. Bake: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the casserole is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  10. Serve: Remove the foil and let the casserole cool slightly before serving. Enjoy the comforting flavors of Grandma’s Beef and Noodle Casserole!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Add Garlic: Enhance the flavor of the dish by adding minced garlic to the vegetable mixture while sautéing.
  • Experiment with Cheese: Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese. Gouda, Monterey Jack, or Swiss cheese would all make delicious substitutions or additions.
  • Add Herbs: Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, or rosemary over the top of the casserole before serving for added freshness and flavor.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto Version: To make a keto-friendly version of this casserole, substitute the egg noodles with spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash. Use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef, and opt for full-fat dairy products such as heavy cream and cream cheese. Omit the flour and use a low-carb thickener such as xanthan gum or guar gum. Reduce the amount of olives and pimento peppers to lower the carb count.
  • Low-Carb Version: Similarly, for a low-carb version, use a low-carb pasta alternative such as shirataki noodles or konjac noodles. Choose lean ground beef or turkey and use low-carb vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Use a low-carb flour substitute such as almond flour or coconut flour to thicken the sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I make this casserole ahead of time? A: Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Simply cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake as directed when ready to serve.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers? A: Absolutely! This casserole freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer individual portions or the entire casserole to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. Label with the date and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Q: Can I customize the vegetables in this recipe? A: Yes, feel free to customize the vegetables based on your preferences or what you have on hand. You can add additional vegetables such as mushrooms, peas, or broccoli for extra flavor and nutrition.

Q: Can I make this casserole without cheese? A: While cheese adds richness and flavor to the casserole, you can certainly omit it if desired. Simply skip the cheese or replace it with a dairy-free alternative.

Grandma’s Beef and Noodle Casserole is more than just a recipe—it’s a taste of nostalgia and a celebration of comforting flavors. With its hearty combination of beef, noodles, and vegetables, it’s a dish that’s sure to bring warmth and joy to your table. Whether you’re cooking for family dinners, potlucks, or weeknight meals, this casserole is a timeless favorite that will never go out of style. So gather your ingredients, channel your inner grandma, and treat yourself to the comforting embrace of this classic dish!

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