Beef and Tomato Casserole is a comforting dinner recipe that features ground beef, tomatoes, cheese, pasta, and more! This easy dinner is picky-eater approved and so easy to make. When you need something hearty to warm everyone up, this is a great recipe to turn to!
Craving more comfort food? Same here! As the temperature drops and it gets colder outside, it’s hard to resist the comforts of a warm meal. Some of our favorite comfort food recipes include Chicken Pot Pie, Crockpot Ham and Potato Soup, and Stovetop Chili.
Ground Beef and Tomato Casserole
This easy to make casserole essentially is just a pasta recipe with hearty meat sauce, but in a cheesy baked form! It's a mashup of two of our favorites Cheesy Hamburger Rice Casserole and Penne alla Vodka. It’s an easy recipe that the whole family will love.
After all, everyone loves these two words - “cheesy” and “pasta.” Combine both of those with protein-packed ground beef and just the right amount of tomatoes, and you’ve got a pasta dinner that is sure to satisfy!
How to Make Beef and Tomato Casserole
Cook the beef and noodles, toss it all together with some cheddar cheese and tomatoes, and enjoy! That’s pretty much all there is to it.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Cook the ground beef, onions, and garlic in a Dutch oven or other large pot. (If you use a Dutch oven, you can skip the baking dish! Assuming the Dutch oven is stove top and oven safe.)
- Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beef broth, Italian seasoning, salt, basil, crushed red pepper flakes, and pepper. Bring to a simmer.
- Cook for a few minutes before stirring in the heavy cream and parmesan. Toss in the cooked pasta noodles.
- Transfer the ingredients to a baking dish and top with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes.
Tips for the Best Beef and Tomato Casserole
- This ground beef casserole recipe can be made by using a large pan that goes from stove top to oven to reduce the amount of dishes used. We used a 6-quart Dutch oven.
- To save time, cook the pasta noodles while you make the sauce.
- We always recommend grating the parmesan cheese yourself if you have a little extra time to do so! It lends the best flavor to the casserole.
- The sauce thins a little as it heats in the pan, so it's important to cook the noodles to al dente. The noodles will soak up some of the sauce as the casserole bakes.
- Change out the cheddar cheese for mozzarella, pepper jack, or Monterey jack for a different flavor.
- Ground chicken or turkey make good substitutes for ground beef.
Storage: You can store your leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just make sure to keep it fresh in an airtight container.
Reheating: Your leftovers will reheat just fine in the microwave, which is always a plus! Reheat this Beef and Tomato Casserole in 30 second intervals until warmed through.
Is Beef and Tomato Casserole spicy?
We always add about half a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the casserole, but it never makes things too spicy. You can omit that ingredient entirely if you’re worried about spice, or double it for added heat.
Can I freeze Beef and Tomato Casserole?
We don’t recommend it. The heavy cream in the mix makes this casserole not the freezer-friendliest!
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 1 to 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
- 1 white onion, small in size (diced)
- 4 garlic cloves, large in size (minced)
- 30 ounces tomato sauce, 2 (15 ounce) cans
- 29 ounces diced tomatoes, 2 (15 ounce) cans; drain 1 can and leave the other undrained
- ¼ cup beef broth
- 3 teaspoon(s) Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon(s) basil, dried
- ½ teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper, or to taste (optional)
- ½ teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 ⅓ cups parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 pound short pasta noodles, cooked (ziti, rotini, rigatoni, penne, etc.)
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded off the block
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Heat a large pan or Dutch oven over low-medium heat. Add the ground beef, onions, and garlic. Cook the beef until browned and no longer pink. Drain any excess grease and return the beef to the pan.1 to 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef1 white onion4 garlic cloves
- Pour in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beef broth, Italian seasoning, salt, basil, crushed red pepper (if using), and pepper to the pan. Stir to combine, and bring the mixture to a simmer.30 ounces tomato sauce29 ounces diced tomatoes¼ cup beef broth3 teaspoon(s) Italian seasoning2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt1 teaspoon(s) basil½ teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper½ teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes then add the heavy cream and parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese melts completely. Add the cooked pasta noodles, and stir to fully incorporate.1 cup heavy cream1 ⅓ cups parmesan cheese1 pound short pasta noodles
- Transfer the ingredients to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.2 cups cheddar cheese
- Serve warm! See post for tips and storage options.