Cheeseburger Casserole

Last week was a little bit rough for me in a lot of ways, but I got a chance to do some fun stuff this weekend. R and I did some shopping yesterday morning and then we spent the evening with family and friends, and today, we slept in and lazed around for most of the day before a quick shopping trip this evening. She even took a nap on me, which she hasn’t done in ages, and I didn’t realize how much I missed all the time she spent sleeping on me when she was younger. After battling with her all last week, it was nice to see her chill out a bit this weekend. I’m sure that my being away from work and my computer (since I work from home) had a lot to do with how well-behaved and wonderful she was this weekend. I can’t tell you enough how great she was.

Oh, and did I mention that I got a new car? It’s much more family-friendly than my little Cavalier and we’re not stuck at home anymore, thank goodness!

Anyway, I’ve been kind of bad about cooking lately and we’ve been eating a lot of convenience food and frozen meals, but tonight, I wanted to make something different. A friend commented on my Facebook a few days ago about cheeseburger casserole and it’s stuck with me since. The traditional method seems to be putting some Bisquick in the bottom of a square dish, covering it with ground beef and onions, topping it with cheese, and baking until the Bisquick is cooked. It sounds easy, simple, and it’s probably pretty good, but admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of Bisquick, so I wanted to try this another way. I came up with my own version of cheeseburger casserole and it was delicious. It was so simple and quick to make, I had to share it here.

cheeseburger casseroleYou will need:

  • 1 lb ground beef (my grocery store sells them in about 1.2-lb packages, that’s what I use)
  • 2 small onions, diced (you can adjust to your taste by using more or less)
  • 1 6-oz can of tomato paste
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water
  • cheddar cheese
  • 1 regular-sized can of refrigerated biscuits, any kind
  • salt and pepper to taste

Over medium to medium-high heat, brown your ground beef. When it’s almost finished cooking, toss in the onions. Continue cooking the beef and onion mixture until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are tender, then drain off the fat. Return this mixture to the pan and add the tomato paste. (Here’s a tip: using a can opener, open up the top and bottom of the can of tomato paste, remove the metal lid from one of the ends, and squeeze the tomato paste into the pan using the other metal lid. You get almost all of the tomato paste out without having to scrape the sides of the can with a spatula or a spoon!) Cook the tomato paste for two to three minutes, then add a dash of Worcestershire sauce (I added about a half teaspoon or so) and the water. You won’t need much, so start with 1/4 cup and add a little more if it’s too thick for you, it just depends on your preference. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once the water is mixed in, turn the heat off of the mixture and let it hang out for now. Pull your refrigerated biscuits out and check the package directions, then preheat the oven according to what it says on the can. Pop that thing open and cut each biscuit into four pieces. I used the homestyle variety of the Grands Jr. biscuits in the 12-oz can and it was the perfect amount for what I needed. Set your biscuit pieces aside for a moment and pull out an 8″ x 8″ baking dish. Spray the sides to ensure that the biscuits don’t stick, and then pour in your beef mixture. Top that with a generous amount of cheddar cheese (I didn’t measure this, I used about two handfuls) and top the cheese with the biscuits. Bake this for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the top is golden brown. They will not be cooked thoroughly yet! Cover it tightly with aluminum foil and put it back into the oven to bake for another 25 to 30 minutes to make sure that those biscuits are fully cooked when they come out.

After it has finished cooking, let it cool for at least five minutes before serving.

I was really impressed with how good this turned out and I will definitely be making it again. The hardest part is just making sure the biscuits are cooked. I pulled mine out after about 12 minutes and found that while the biscuits looked like they were fully cooked, as soon as I cut into it, the bottom of them were just mush. I baked them for another 25 minutes and they were perfect. This is definitely a winning recipe.

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