Chuck Wagon Casserole

1-recipe

Success at last! Today’s recipe is a rework of the Chuck Wagon Skillet that I posted about a month ago. Regular readers may remember that recipe as one of my rare failures. I wrote a few notes on modifications I planned to make in order to improve the end result, and I am pleased to say that they work as expected.

I changed the procedure significantly from the original recipe, and I also modified a few of the ingredients and quantities. The pasta is cooked in advance, the beef and onions are cooked together, and everything is layered together in a 13” x 9” Pyrex casserole dish. I substituted diced tomatoes for stewed tomatoes, as they are easier to spread in an even layer. Half of the cheese goes in the middle, and the other half goes on top to help “glue” everything together. The only change I might make in the future would be to add a thin layer of sour cream somewhere in the dish: I put a dollop on top of some leftover casserole that I heated up, and it was really good!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2-onions

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onion until tender.

3-meat

Add the ground beef, salt, and pepper, and cook until the beef is browned.

4-layer_pasta

In a 13” x 9” Pyrex baking dish, layer the pasta,

5-layer_meat

meat mixture,

6-layer_tomatoes_cheese

tomatoes, half of the cheese,

7-layer_celery

celery,

8-layer_olives

black olives,

9-top_cheese

and remaining half of the cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.

10-finished

Serves 6.

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