Welcome to the ultimate comfort food experience with our Ground Beef and Rice Casserole recipe! This dish is a harmonious blend of cheesy goodness, creamy texture, and hearty ingredients to deliver a truly mouthwatering meal. It’s not just filling; it’s an explosion of flavors that will leave you craving for more.
With a preparation time of just 5 minutes and a total time of 53 minutes, this recipe is perfect for those busy weeknights or when you need a satisfying meal without spending hours in the kitchen. Featuring lean ground beef, a mix of fresh and frozen veggies, and a creamy base, this casserole is as versatile as it is delicious.
How to Prepare the Ground Beef and Rice Casserole
Preparing this Ground Beef and Rice Casserole is straightforward and rewarding. Follow these steps for a delicious meal that’s sure to be a family favorite:
- Preheat the Oven: Start by heating your oven to 350°F (175°C). This ensures the casserole cooks evenly.
- Brown the Beef: In a large skillet, cook the ground beef, diced onion, and minced garlic over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the beef is thoroughly browned and no pink remains. Drain any excess fat from the skillet.
- Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix the browned beef, onions, and garlic with sliced mushrooms, oregano, chopped spinach, instant rice, water, condensed cream of celery soup, and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the mixture well to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Assemble the Casserole: Spread the beef and rice mixture evenly into a 9×13 inch baking dish. The dish should be large enough to hold the mixture comfortably.
- Bake the Casserole: Cover the baking dish with a lid or aluminum foil and place it in the preheated oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the mixture is bubbly.
- Add Cheese and Broil: Remove the casserole from the oven and evenly sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over the top. Place the casserole back in the oven, uncovered, and broil for about 3 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
- Serve and Enjoy: Once the cheese is melted and slightly browned, take the casserole out of the oven. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving to allow it to set, making it easier to cut and serve.
Note: Always use caution when handling the hot casserole dish, and adjust seasonings according to your preference. Enjoy this hearty, flavorful meal that’s perfect for a comforting family dinner!
Ground Beef and Rice Casserole
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 onion diced
- 1 can mushrooms sliced drained
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 10 ounces spinach chopped frozen and squeezed dry
- 1 cup instant rice
- 1 ¼ cup water
- 10 ½ ounces cream of celery soup condensed
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- ½ cup frozen veggies
- Heat the oven to 350°F.
- Cook the beef, onion, and garlic until fully browned and no pink is visible. Remove any excess fat.
- Mix the browned beef with all other ingredients, excluding the cheese.
- Transfer the combined ingredients into a 9×13 inch baking dish and cover it. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the rice becomes tender.
- Top with cheese and broil for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese turns golden brown.
Storing the Ground Beef and Rice Casserole
Proper storage of your Ground Beef and Rice Casserole ensures that you can enjoy its flavors even after the day it’s made. Here’s how to store it safely and effectively:
In the Refrigerator:
- Allow the casserole to cool down to room temperature after cooking.
- Cover the casserole dish with a lid, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil to keep it airtight. This helps maintain moisture and prevents the casserole from absorbing other flavors in the fridge.
- The casserole can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
In the Freezer:
- For longer storage, you can freeze the casserole. First, let it cool completely.
- Wrap the entire dish securely with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil, or transfer portions into freezer-safe containers or bags.
- Label the container with the date, and it can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
- When ready to eat, you can reheat the refrigerated casserole in the oven or microwave. For the oven, cover it with foil and heat at 350°F until warmed through.
- If frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
- Remember, for the best quality, reheat only what you’ll be serving immediately. Repeated reheating can affect the texture and flavor of the casserole.