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4-Ingredient Hamburger Casserole

The easiest casserole you’ll ever make.

A casserole made up of just four ingredients might sound like it’s either too good to be true or completely devoid of flavor, but this one is neither of those things. It does have just four ingredients, but it’s very very real and is as tasty as a cheeseburger but with all the comfort of a casserole. I find myself making this on busy weeknights because it’s just so easy to throw together, but unlike some other last-minute meals I’ve tried out, I never hear any whining about this one once we all sit down to dinner.

I was skeptical about this four-ingredient thing at first because I couldn’t imagine that it would actually deliver on flavor, but there was no need to worry. (And to be fair, I’m counting the two cheeses as one ingredient, so it’s really five if you’re being nit-picky.) But all you need is some shell pasta, a couple of cans of tomato soup, a pound of ground beef, and some grated cheese (cheddar and mozzarella, but the combo is really up to you).

You simply boil the pasta and brown up the ground beef with whatever seasonings you happen to like (seasoned salt or Italian seasoning are great!) and then add them to a baking dish with the cheese and tomato soup.

You give it a nice big stir…

… and top it with some more cheese and bake. That’s all. That’s it. Dinner is done. And it’s SO good.

See, the tomato soup (especially Campbell’s) is sweetened just enough that it mimics the taste of ketchup fairly well so when it mingles with the cheese and the ground beef and the carby comfort of the shells, you’re reminded of a really great cheeseburger. And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much always in the mood for a cheeseburger.

But I’m also pretty much always in the mood for pasta too, so it’s a really good thing this casserole gives you the best of both worlds. And in just four ingredients!

Serves 6

10m prep time

30m cook time

Rated 4.2 out of 5
Rated by 266 reviewers
  • 1 lb medium shell pasta
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 (10 oz each) cans tomato soup
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, or seasoned salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. While pasta is cooking, brown and break up hamburger in a skillet until no longer pink, seasoning how you'd like. (You can use just salt and pepper, seasoned salt, garlic powder, etc!)
  4. Add ground beef, tomato soup, pasta, 1/2 cup water, and half of the cheeses to the baking dish and stir to combine.
  5. Top with remaining cheese and cover with foil. Bake 20 minutes.
  6. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more. If desired, broil for 2-3 minutes to brown cheese further.
  7. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Baking with Mom.

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