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Cheesy Ground Beef & Rice Casserole

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This Cheesy Ground Beef & Rice Casserole is a comforting and hearty dish perfect for family dinners. It combines lean ground beef, tender rice, savory mushrooms, and a creamy, cheesy sauce. It’s easy to make and guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¾ cup diced onions
  • 1 ¼ cups uncooked white long grain rice
  • 2 ½ cups beef broth
  • 8 oz. sliced button mushrooms
  • 10.5 oz. cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Prepare the Beef Mixture: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the diced onions and minced garlic, and sauté until the onions are translucent and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Cook the Ground Beef: Add the ground beef to the skillet, breaking it up with a spoon. Cook until the beef is browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Drain any excess fat.
  4. Add the Mushrooms: Add the sliced mushrooms to the beef mixture and cook until they are tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Season: Stir in the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.

Step 2: Prepare the Rice Mixture

  1. Cook the Rice: In a medium saucepan, combine the uncooked white rice and beef broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid.
  2. Combine Creamy Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, milk, and 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Stir until smooth and well combined.

Step 3: Assemble the Casserole

  1. Mix Everything Together: Add the cooked rice and beef mixture to the bowl with the creamy ingredients. Stir until everything is well combined.
  2. Add Cheese: Fold in 1 cup of the cheddar cheese into the mixture.
  3. Prepare the Baking Dish: Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Pour the casserole mixture into the dish, spreading it out evenly.
  4. Top with Cheese: Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese evenly over the top of the casserole.

Step 4: Bake the Casserole

  1. Bake: Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the casserole is heated through.
  2. Cool Slightly: Let the casserole cool for a few minutes before serving to allow it to set.

Serving Suggestions

  • Side Dishes: Serve this casserole with a side of steamed vegetables, a fresh green salad, or some garlic bread for a complete meal.
  • Toppings: Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or green onions for a pop of color and added flavor.

Cooking Tips and Variations

  • Vegetable Additions: Add more vegetables to the casserole, such as bell peppers, peas, or carrots, for added nutrition and flavor.
  • Cheese Variations: Try using different types of cheese, such as Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or Swiss, for a different flavor profile.
  • Spice It Up: For a spicier version, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a diced jalapeño to the beef mixture.
  • Rice Alternatives: Substitute the white rice with brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice for a healthier option. Adjust the cooking time and liquid amounts as needed.

Storage and Reheating

  • Refrigeration: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: This casserole can also be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, let it cool completely, then wrap tightly in aluminum foil and place in a freezer-safe bag.
  • Reheating: Reheat individual portions in the microwave or reheat the entire casserole in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through.

This Cheesy Ground Beef & Rice Casserole is a delightful and satisfying meal that is sure to become a family favorite. It’s easy to make, full of flavor, and provides a comforting and hearty option for dinner. The combination of ground beef, rice, mushrooms, and cheese creates a dish that is both rich and comforting. With the simple steps and versatile ingredients, this casserole is perfect for a busy weeknight meal or a comforting weekend dinner. Enjoy the deliciousness of this classic comfort food!

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