Recipes

Cheeseburger Casserole, 1960s

So, sometimes recipes suprise you. When I saw this one I kind of expected a no-noodle version of hamburger helper. And… well, it does use cheese and hamburger meat, but that’s where the two dishes diverge.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup chopped green pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup (or catsup as it says in the book)
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ pound sliced american cheese (12 slices)
  • 1 can Pillsbury Refrigerated Country style or buttermilk biscuits (works better as 5 instead of 10)

:ingredient notes: The amount of biscuits needed is… well, in my 1 ½ qt casserole I could only fit 7 tops, with the one in the middle not getting done. Don’t even try using grands biscuits. In the future I’ll be getting the small 5 piece can instead of a 10, but this would depend on the circumference of your casserole. Just keep that in mind. 

We start by preheating the oven to 400° F.

And then we take care of the in-ingredients recipe steps. At least it only involves chopping vegetables for this recipe, instead of cooking a thing of rice. Yeah, I’m bitter. Nothing new here.

Now, getting into the actual recipe directions we take the chopped green pepper/onions and cook them along with the pound of ground beef we’re browning in a skillet. Afterwards we drain off the fat.

Next up, we add the tomato sauce, ketchup, and black pepper and heat the mixture.

Now, this is when I notice a familiar scent. I dip my finger into the quickly heating concoction to realize that, yes, I had just made a skillet of sloppy joes. Seriously. This is what happens when you’ve never made sloppy joes that didn’t come from a manwich can- you don’t realize how stupidly easy sloppy joes are.

Anyway, now realizing that this ‘Cheeseburger’ casserole is more of a cheese-sloppy-joe casserole it’s time for me to assemble the thing.

So, we take an ungreased 1 1/2 quart casserole and start alternating the meat mixture with the cheese slices. And… okay, I didn’t get a shot of the assembling process, because very shortly into putting this thing together I was struck by the horror of what 1/2 a pound of american cheese slices looked like in practice. It just never seemed to stop.

And now we’re supposed to put a whole can of biscuits on top of this thing. The picture confirms… but there is no way that is a 1 ½ quart casserole… that’s impossible.  In my attempts to use as many of these biscuits as I could, rather than making space for another pan in my too-full oven I put a biscuit in the middle as well- something I’ll come to regret shortly.

Into the oven it goes for 20 – 25 minutes- all the while I spend hoping the biscuits don’t burn.

The Verdict:

Well, the biscuits didn’t burn, and it in fact looks pretty dang good if I do say so myself.

It only took cutting into the casserole to realize the mistake with that middle biscuit. This is the reason I stick with the original recipe, because that middle biscuit (which the recipe did not call for) was still half-dough. Oh well. The parts with fully cooked biscuit were really good, with the flakiness of the biscuit being a nice contrast with the gooey meat and cheese mixture.

Boy howdy was it rich though. I mean, the sloppy joe mixture combined with the cheese was good… but that’s just a lot of cheese. Next time I’m cutting the amount in half. This thing makes 4 – 6 servings… there is not way that someone needs 2 to 3 pieces of american cheese in one serving.

Appearance – 4.5
Aroma – 4
Texture – 4
Taste – 3 –

Overall 4 – Definitely too much cheese, but that’s easily fixed. It was an interesting, less sloppy, way to eat what was essentially cheese and sloppy joes. Definitely a comfort-food sort of dish.

Cheeseburger Casserole

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Print
from Pillsbury’s Convenience Cookbook, 1960s

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
¼ cup chopped green pepper
¼ cup chopped onion
8-ounce can tomato sauce
¼ cup ketchup
⅛ teaspoon pepper
½ pound sliced american cheese (12 slices)
1 can Pillsbury Refrigerated Country style or buttermilk biscuits

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 ° F.

With onion and green pepper, brown the ground beef in a skillet. Drain off the fat.

Add the tomato sauce, ketchup, and black pepper to the beef mixture; heat.

In an ungreased 1 1/2 quart casserole, alternate the beef mixture with the american cheese slices. Arrange biscuits around the edge of the casserole.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until golden brown.

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