I love this Cheesy Ground Beef Casserole recipe. It’s something kids and adults will both love to eat. It’s perfect comfort food on a rainy day – with a healthy twist!
One of my favourite food memories from my childhood is going to my grandmother’s house and eating a cheesy, creamy, rich, oh-so-comforting cheesy ground beef casserole. It was simple and amazing just the way it was, but unfortunately, it was definitely lacking in nutrition.
Well, I have found a way to make this dish much healthier (completely guilt-free!) without sacrificing the flavour or texture of the original. I used extra lean ground beef. I’ve also added three, yes three, cups of vegetables and cottage cheese to add tones of nutrients and protein. Lastly, I used whole wheat macaroni.
Cheesy Ground Beef Casserole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
- ½ medium white onion - fine diced
- 1 cup broccoli - minced
- 1 ½ cups cauliflower - minced
- ½ cup celery stalks - fine diced
- ½ cup cottage cheese
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese - grated
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 2 cups cheddar cheese - shredded
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese - shredded
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups macaroni - whole wheat
- 2 cups ground beef (minced beef) - extra lean
- Bring a pot of well salted water to a boil (I used about a tablespoon of salt).
- Heat oil in pan on medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, ground beef, celery, salt and pepper and turn heat up to high. Saute until ground beef just cooked through and vegetables are soft for 4 to 5 minutes.
- While beef and veg are cooking, drop macaroni into boiling water and cook for 4 minutes (pasta should still be quite firm and undercooked when you drain it). Drain and leave to add to mixture within a few minutes.
- Turn heat down to medium and add cottage cheese, mushroom soup, parmesan cheese, milk, broccoli and cauliflower. Stir until all is warm and mixed together.
- Add cooked pasta, mix together and pour into a baking pan.
- Sprinkle with half the cheese, cover with foil and bake in middle of pre-heated 375-degree oven for 20 minutes.
- casserole ready for oven
- Remove from oven. Turn oven on to broil. Mix bread crumbs and remaining cheese and spread across the casserole.
- Place under broiler, without the foil, for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and panko is starting to brown.
- Let cool for 8 to 10 minutes before serving.