A fam fave that has stood the test of time. It's hard to tamper with a classic -- but that doesn't mean I couldn't make it easier!
My mom was so not a gourmet cook. She was more a practical
cook, making dishes that were easy, quick and family-filling. Maybe most important, the recipe ingredients had to be "ordinary" -- you know -- stuff that was in the cupboard and fridge. Nothing fancy, expensive or hard to find. Nothing she couldn't pronounce.
My mom called this dish Saturday Noodle Bake
at our house. Pretty self explanatory. And, yes, we often had it on Saturdays after a day full of, well, Saturday stuff.
I recently re-discovered this recipe and thought I'd take 'er out for a test drive at my house. After kicking the tires, I found a few shortcuts to make it even more perfect for today's busier cooks.
My biggest shortcut secret on this recipe is to use 3-minute quick-cooking elbow noodles. You can use whatever pasta you'd like, but these new quick-cooking noods make life so sweet. Cook up 3 cups of dry pasta and set that aside.
Then for the remaining stuff, Progresso soup heads an all-star cast of perfectly ordinary ingredients:
My mom used to use plain ol' condensed tomato soup, but this ready-to-eat Progresso Tomato Basil has awesome flavor that's subtly upscale. It worked super great in this recipe and -- ok, this is a little thing but I sure noticed it -- the pop-top lid makes using an annoying can opener for your soup a thing of the past.
Moving on -- just brown the ground beef with diced onion:
Then add cream cheese, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir it all up and simmer for a couple minutes:
Layer half the noodles, then half the sauce in a greased glass baking dish. Then do it again -- layer the remaining noodles and remaining sauce.
Mix a cup of Wheaties with 2 Tbsp of melted butter for an easy topping. Sprinkle that on top, and she's ready for the oven:
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes -- just enough time to set the table and pour the milk. Add salad and bread, and you've got a super filling family meal in minutes!
Oh, and about the name. I served it on a Friday and I'm still here to tell about it. Go ahead -- live on the edge.
More Casserole Recipes
Casseroles are great any night of the week. No wonder they're so popular! Here are some of our faves for this time of year:
What's your family's favorite casserole recipe?