Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole

 

Picky eaters are going to love this Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole. Mom called it busy day casserole because it’s a quick and easy dinner.

 

a white casserole dish with a ground beef, rice and carrot casserole with melted colby jack cheese on top and parsley for garnish.

 

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Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole

Alright, this Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole recipe is definitely not my norm, but it is who I am and it happens to be a recipe that I get a crazy amount of emails about. A long time ago (and seriously, check out the picture and you’ll laugh your heart out at how little I knew about food photography) I posted a recipe called Busy Day Casserole and it has been one of my top recipes for years now. It never disappears from the most viewed recipes.

 

a purple plate with a fork with a wood handle next to a ground beef and rice casserole full of bits of bright orange carrots and melted colby jack cheese all over the top.

 

People love this cheesy ground beef and rice casserole and while it’s totally simple I know why. This quick and easy dinner idea rice casserole with ground beef and melted cheese is in fact the cure for all picky eaters. It’s very dependent on you for the seasoning so for picky eaters it’s perfect, but if you want more flavor season it well or add in more vegetables. If you wanted to try something similar, but with chicken, try this!

 

What Vegetables are Good in a Casserole

This Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole is a great casserole to add any veggies you’d like, but we recommend broccoli, peas, corn or even green beans.

 

How to Make Casserole Without Canned Soup

When you read through the recipe you’ll notice that I use my own mixture for the liquid instead of cream of mushroom soup. You can do either, we just don’t cook with cream of anything soup at our house, but it is what I grew up with, so I wanted you to have all of the versions.

 

If you’d like to use the soup or a semi homemade version, don’t worry, we’ve listed all three versions in the recipe box.

 

I found this awesome mushroom gravy by Pacific foods that I love to use, but if you can’t find it and still want a more natural sauce just try this cream mixture from our Green Bean Casserole. It’s awesome and tastes just like canned soup only better.

 

a wooden spoon scooping a ground beef, rice and carrots casserole with melted cheese on the top

 

From Scratch Canned Soup for Casseroles

Making a homemade canned soup is actually quite easy. You’ll need some butter, flour for thickening, milk or cream and seasoning to taste. If you’re making a from scratch canned soup with mushrooms just add those in too!

 

Start by whisking the melted butter and onion or mushrooms with the flour in a hot pot until it clumps up. Next, add in the liquid and whisk, while boiling until thickened. Add in your seasonings and you’ve got condensed soup!

 

Do I Need to Cover a Casserole with Foil

This Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole does not need to be covered with foil to bake. I know it seems like it will, especially as you see that rice start to cook, but it’s just fine as is, in fact I really like the top and sizes to get a very slight crispness as it adds so much flavor and texture. You can tent with foil if you can’t resist.

 

Why Didn’t my Rice Cook?

If your casserole finishes cooking and you find yourself asking why didn’t my rice cook in my casserole, well I’m guessing you used the wrong rice, or your oven didn’t hold a constant heat. There’s plenty of moisture and time so there’s no reason this casserole wouldn’t bake up perfectly.

 

A dark purple plate with a wooden handled fork sitting next to a scoop of cheesy ground beef and rice casserole with carrots and a little parsley chopped up as garnish on top.

 

What Rice to Use in Casseroles?

Long grain, white rice is the best rice to use in casseroles as it doesn’t become sticky or mushy when baked. You cannot use quick rice in a casserole unless you adjust the liquid according to package directions and cook the carrots completely before mixing it all together.

 

Best Recipes For Picky Eaters

The cheese is also a little different only because again, we don’t really buy medium cheddar cheese, we usually get Colby Jack and since they are so similar I don’t mind using it, either one will work though. This Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole is something that even as a food blogger I totally love to eat and the kids do too. It’s one of the best recipes for picky eaters. It’s something really simple on their little palates and it has cheese which is always a good thing.

So, to my sweet momma who had to put up with my picky little self, thanks for this delicious Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole recipe that is feeding people everywhere. I say you’re famous for it now. You didn’t know you’d end up famous did you?

 

A wooden table with a wooden serving spoon on it next to a blue and white striped napkin which is sitting under a white, square casserole dish full of cheesy ground beef and rice casserole with parsley sprinkled over the top ohsweetbasil.com

 

Quick and Easy Dinner Idea Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole

Looking for more Quick and Easy Casserole Recipes?

Before scrolling down to the recipe check out our other 2 most popular casseroles/recipes on this site for more quick dinner recipe ideas!

Teriyaki Chicken Casserole

I’m not going to lie, I’ve got a thing for casseroles lately and this Teriyaki Chicken Casserole is one of my favorites.
teriyaki chicken casserole in a clear casserole dish on a wooden table.

Cheesy ham and potato bacon casserole

Mom’s holiday casserole, and my little (not so little anymore) brother’s favorite dinner is this potato and ham casserole but I added bacon!

cheesy ham and potato bacon casserole in a white casserole dish on a wooden table.

Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole

Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole

Picky eaters are going to love this quick and easy dinner. Mom called it busy day casserole but our readers call is cheesy ground beef and rice casserole. 

Ingredients:

Quick Recipe

  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 Cup Long Grain White Rice
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Carrots, sliced
  • 1/2-1 lb Ground Beef, cooked
  • Cheddar or colby jack cheese, sliced about 9 pieces

Semi Homemade

  • 1 Cup Uncooked Rice
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1/2 to 1 lb (depending on preference) ground beef, cooked
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • Pacific Foods Mushroom gravy 13.9 ounces
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Colby Jack or Medium Cheddar Cheese for topping

From Scratch

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced white button mushroom
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1/2-1 lb Ground Beef, cooked
  • 1 Cup Carrots, sliced
  • Cheddar or colby Jack Cheese, sliced- about 9 slices
  • 1 Cup Long Grain White Rice

Directions:

Quick Recipe

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×9″ baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Stir together the soup,rice, water, carrots, and beef.
  3. Place in the baking dish and bake for 90 minutes.
  4. Top with cheese slices and bake a few more minutes or until melted.

Semi Homemade

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×9″ baking dish.
  2. Whisk together the water, mushroom gravy, and milk.
  3. Add the mushroom mix, rice, cooked beef and carrots to a bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Dump into an 8×9″ baking dish and bake, uncovered for 90 minutes.
  5. Add slices of cheese and return to the oven for another couple of minutes or until the cheese is melted.

From Scratch

  1. In a medium pan over medium heat, add the butter and melt.
  2. Whisk in the onion, garlic and mushrooms.
  3. Add the flour, whisking continually and cook for 30-60 seconds.
  4. Add the cream and broth and cook until thick.
  5. Season and remove from heat.
  6. Heat the oven to 350 and spray an 8×9″ baking dish with nonstick spray.
  7. Place the cream mixture, rice, water, beef and carrots into the dish and stir to combine.
  8. Bake for 90 minutes, add the cheese and bake for a few more minutes or until melted.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4-6 servings, Serving Size: 1

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 269 Calories
  • Total Fat: 11.1g
  • Cholesterol: 57mg
  • Carbohydrates: 21.5g
  • Fiber: .5g
  • Sugar: 1.4g
  • Protein: 19.6g
All images and text ©Carrian Cheney for Oh Sweet Basil.

 

 

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.