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Hamburger Cheese Bake - A Family Feast

If you’re like me – the taste and flavors of some recipes can send you back in time! This Hamburger Cheese Bake is the perfect example of a long-forgotten dish that my mother used to make – but one taste, and I’m a little kid back at home!

There’s nothing fancy at all about this comforting, family-friendly dish – egg noodles, tomato sauce, ground beef, onions, green bell pepper and scallions, plus a combination of cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese and Parmesan cheese – all layered together, then baked in the oven.

Hamburger Cheese Bake - A Family Feast

But the slightly tart flavor from the combination of sour cream and cream cheese in the sauce, plus the freshness of the scallions and green bell pepper is distinctive in this dish – and as soon as I took I bite I remembered this recipe from my childhood!


Hamburger Cheese Bake - A Family Feast

For those of you who are regulars readers here at A Family Feast , you already know that Jack and I have been pouring through my mother’s old recipe box over the last few months – and it is filled with magazine and newspaper recipe clippings and some handwritten recipe cards. This Hamburger Cheese Bake is another recipe from her collection. After a little bit of research, I was able trace this recipe back to Better Homes and Gardens and we adapted it slightly – using tomato sauce in our version instead of tomato juice for a thicker sauce.


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Hamburger Cheese Bake - A Family Feast

Hamburger Cheese Bake

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups prepared tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups uncooked egg noodles (any size)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions, tops and bottoms
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper chopped
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, brown beef and chopped onion in olive oil. Drain off fat and discard.
  3. Add tomato sauce, sugar, salt, garlic powder and black pepper, mix then remove from heat. Set aside.
  4. Cook egg noodles to just under al dente. Drain and set aside.
  5. While noodles are cooking, in a large bowl mix cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, scallions and bell pepper. Mix to combine.
  6. In a 2-quart rectangular casserole dish (ours was 11x7x1½ inches in size), spread half the noodles. Top with half the beef sauce. Cover with all of the cheese mixture. Cover with remaining noodles and remaining beef sauce then top with Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes and serve.

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  • lisa wrote:

    How does one measure x # of DRY noodles? I’ve never understood how. Thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lisa – In the case of our recipe, we’re asking you to use a dry measuring cup to measure out 4 cups of uncooked pasta. For recipes that call for ounces of dry pasta, use the package weight as your guide or use a kitchen scale if you want to be extra precise.

  • Kelley wrote:

    How would you reheat this? We have about half a pan left that we want to heat up for dinner tonight, I figured the oven would be our best bet but not sure at what temp or how long. It was delicious!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Kelley – We usually reheat it in the microwave, but the oven would work too. I’d cover it with foil so it doesn’t dry out, and reheat at around 300 degrees F – timing might depend on the pan you’ve used and also if you are reheating right from the refrigerator. I’d check it after 15 minutes – but might take longer.

  • Carrie wrote:

    This got rave reviews, the family all thought it was better than lasagna. Thanks for a great recipe

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Carrie – so glad the recipe was a hit with your family!

  • Nancy L Alt wrote:

    What would be your thoughts of making a large triple batch in the nesco for a huge crowd baking time or would it burn easily

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Nancy – We haven’t used a Nesco/roaster at all ourselves – so I’m afraid I don’t have much experience to comment from. I’m guessing it would work, but yes, you may see some more browning/burning since it is direct heat rather than a dish in circulating heat of an oven. I suppose you could try stirring the dish part way through the cooking time to avoid some of that? Please let us know how it comes out!

  • Peggy wrote:

    I just made this recipe. Easy and I followed it to a T. HOWEVER! I as I was assembling it, I had to transfer my casserole to a larger dish because there wasn’t enough room! I lost the pretty layered look and had to just mix all the layers together (sad, because I’m all about presentation), but it was still yummy! Next time I’ll start off using a 9×13 dish!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for the feedback Peggy – glad you were still able to enjoy the meal!

  • Becca’s wrote:

    Can I substitute something for the cottage cheese? My peeps don’t like it and I’m not to big on the texture. Thanks

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Becca – You could swap in ricotta cheese.

  • Linda wrote:

    This is a good pasta dish. Not everyone in my family likes tomato based pasta. So I very rarely get to eat one like this. I tried to tell them it’s a subtle creamy tomato taste. It’s there loss. But my youngest son and I enjoyed it very much.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Linda!

  • Deborah J McIntyre wrote:

    Is the parmesan cheese supposed to be shredded and not grated? The picture for the recipe looks like shredded not grated, and I want to make sure I put the right one on my shopping list 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Deborah – Either will work…We used a box grater which I suppose does look more like a fine shred!

  • Andi wrote:

    Just stopping in to let you know I made this dish this weekend. As it was heating in the oven all five of us were like “oh my gosh does that smell good”. And it was delicious. I made it in the afternoon then I refrigerated it and took it too the gathering and baked it. It’s gone between five of us. This is a keeper for sure. I did add some sausage to it but other then that I followed the recipe. I will be making this again. I also used some home style style noodles that were dried and purchased in a plastic bag from the market. Little more costly then the regular brand but we really liked them. Thank you for a great recipe. Andi.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you all enjoyed the recipe! Thank you!

  • Cindy wrote:

    Looks exactly like Pioneer Woman’s recipe – everything bug the green pepper. Quantities and ingredients are the same.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for letting us know Cindy! If hers is also an old family recipe, I suspect both of our mothers must have copied it out of the same magazine back in the 1970’s or 80’s!

  • theoldfatguy wrote:

    Looks like comfort food to me. I have marked this for later use! Thanks for the post.

    The Old Fat Guy

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you! We hope you enjoy the recipe!

      • Crystal wrote:

        Maybe I’m crazy but, what’s it mean by tomato sauce prepared? Is that like spaghetti sauce?

        • Martha wrote:

          Yes – tomato sauce is what you put on spaghetti! 🙂

  • Brenda Weller wrote:

    Typing with a full and happy tummy. Made this for dinner for the family tonight. It was very delicious and comforting. My young picky eaters enjoyed it too. It was like a yummy cross between a macaroni beef and baked ziti. Creamy cheesy perfection! I was out of tomato sauce so I blended up some stewed tomatoes as a substitute and that worked great in a pinch. Really enjoyed your recipe. I grew up on casseroles, so I love them. This is a great weeknight dinner! I don’t repeat many recipes, but I will be making this again since it was so easy to throw together.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks again Brenda! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Brenda Weller wrote:

    That settles it! This is what I’m making for dinner tonight. Talk about comfort food!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Brenda! (A nice change of pace before all of the turkey later this week!) 🙂

  • Sandy wrote:

    Made this last nite. Man was it GOOD!!! Made no changes. This IS comfort food. Thank You So Much for the recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      You are very welcome Sandy! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! And thanks for taking the time to write to us today.

  • sandy wrote:

    This is a recipe I have had for years and love it. The only thing I never did was use the jalepeno cream cheese. My friends would like that. Thanks

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for the suggestion Sandy – I need to try that myself!

  • Lee triplett wrote:

    Well this was another big hit. Followed the recipe except i used the jalepeno cream cheese ( here in new mexico we add that to everything!). It was creamy and very tasty. A complete meal with a side salad.
    I look forward to your post every day, and try new recipies every week.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks so much Lee! And I love your idea of using the jalepeno cream cheese – we’re going to use that the next time we make this recipe! Thanks for writing to us and have a great day!

  • Nutmeg Nanny wrote:

    Hello deliciousness! My friends mom used to make something similar and I couldn’t help but gobble it up. This looks so good!

  • Renee – Kudos Kitchen wrote:

    Martha, this recipe looks delicious and creamy. Love the meat sauce and egg noodles. As always your photos are remarkable!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Renee!

  • Heather | girlichef wrote:

    I can almost taste the creamy and the tangy…mmmm. This reminds me of something I grew up with, too – looks like comfort food to me!

  • kellie @ The Suburban Soapbox wrote:

    This is definitely one my family (and readers) will love! Pinning!

  • Jennifer wrote:

    Mmm – perfect Saturday snowstorm dish! I have ground beef thawing now. Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jennifer! (I’m sure it will be especially delicious with CAB!) 🙂

      • Jennifer wrote:

        It was delicious … the kids ate third helpings! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

        • Martha wrote:

          So glad you all liked the recipe Jennifer!

  • Katie wrote:

    Oh this looks so good and comforting!

  • linda r wrote:

    I have a recipe much like this from a dear friend I lost several years ago. The minute I saw your post, I thought of her. Just returned from the market with ingredients to make your version.

    • Martha wrote:

      Oh – how bittersweet Linda! I hope our version of the recipe does her memory justice! Thank you for writing to us and I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • The Food Hunter wrote:

    I love when a recipe has the power to take me back to my childhood.

    • Martha wrote:

      Me too Theresa – It’s been wonderful to relive some nice memories by cooking our way through my mother’s recipe box!

  • Angie wrote:

    What a perfect pasta dish for a busy weeknight! It’s so much fun making family recipes too. It always makes us feel so good inside!

  • Cookin Canuck wrote:

    This definitely looks like a dish straight from my childhood…and that’s a very good thing. This would be the ultimate comfort food.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Dara!

  • Sam wrote:

    This was the first thing I saw on my news feed this morning. Now I’m going to spend all day thinking about it!

    Looks great. Quick and comforting – I can’t wait to try this when I come in from shoveling snow for the umpteenth time tonight!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Sam! We’re in the same boat – so much shoveling! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

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