The Cozy Cook

Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole

This Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole is easy to make with pantry ingredients like cream of mushroom soup. Your family will LOVE this quick dinner recipe!

Be sure to try my other rice casserole recipes that use chicken and broccoli, sausage and peppers, ham and broccoli, or chicken cordon bleu next!

A casserole dish filled with cheesy ground beef and rice casserole.

Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole

On occasion, I’ll make a recipe where I know that I need to freeze any leftovers right away to keep myself away from them. This, is one such recipe.

This beefy, cheesy rice casserole is the ultimate way to use up the ground beef you have tucked away in your fridge or freezer. The ingredients are super simple. You’ll likely already have them all on hand, and there are tons of substitution options.

You can make this beef casserole days ahead of time and it makes a great freezer meal. You are going to love having this in your rotation.

Ingredients

See recipe card for ingredient quantities and full written instructions

  • Ground Beef- 85% lean is best
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Butter
  • Oil– olive, vegetable, or canola
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Beef Broth
  • White Long Grain Rice- See below for why long grain (vs. Instant Rice.)
  • Mushrooms
  • Sour Cream
  • Milk– any kind is fine
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup– Click the link for my homemade version!
  • Cheese– Shred your own from a block for best results. Any kind of Cheddar works!

Instead of mushrooms, you can mix in frozen peas, corn, and/or carrots.


How to Make it

Brown the ground beef in a large pot over medium high heat.

Mix in salt, pepper, & Italian seasonings as the beef cooks. Drain any excess grease if needed. Set the beef aside and cover with foil.

Add butter to the pot along with diced onions, cook until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

A pot filled with ground beef and diced onions being cooked.

Add beef broth, butter, and rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover tightly.

Simmer for 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and replace cover. Do not stir. Steam for 5 more minutes.

Turn off heat, leave the cover on and let the rice stand for 10 minutes, any rice on the bottom of the pot will release.

A pot of uncooked rice and beef broth next to a pot of cooked rice and mushrooms.

Add the ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, milk, and cheese.

Use a silicone spatula and gently stir to combine.

A pot showing the before and after shot of ingredients being mixed to make cheesy ground beef and rice casserole.

Don’t Use Minute Rice

I highly recommend you use regular long grain rice instead of minute rice:

  • Long grain rice = creamier consistency. Short grain rice tends to be stickier.
  • Regular rice has higher nutritional value and better flavor.

Using Brown Rice

Brown rice takes longer to cook and requires more liquid than white rice.

  • For that reason I would cook it separately, portion it out so that you have 2 cooks cooked rice at the end.
  • You may want to throw a bouillon cube into the water to add some additional flavor.
  • You can then combine it with the other ingredients as outlined and skip the beef broth ingredient which is only needed to cook the white rice.

Make-Ahead Beef and Rice Casserole

  • This casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days prior to baking.
  • You can also freeze the unbaked casserole for another day. To reheat, let it defrost in the fridge overnight.

To Bake:

  • Let it sit out for 30 minutes prior to baking. Cover and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.

Storage

  • Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • Frozen leftovers can be microwaved for a quick lunch.
  • You can defrost in the fridge overnight, cover and bake in a 350° oven until heated through, the amount of time depends on portion size.

A white plate with cheesy ground beef and rice casserole with a fork. Green beans in the background.

Love This Recipe?

Try my other rice casserole recipes that use chicken or ham! And check out all of my casserole recipes.

And don’t forget to leave a review below this post! 

Try These Next!

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A spoon holding a scoop of cheesy ground beef and rice casserole in a casserole dish.

Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole

4.89 from 27 votes
Ground Beef and Rice Casserole is easy, cheesy, and a pantry friendly meal that your family will love! Cream of mushroom soup and other staple ingredients come together for the creamiest casserole ever.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef, 85% lean
  • 1.5 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, separated
  • ¾ cup onions, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 ½ cups beef broth
  • 1 ¼ cups uncooked white long grain rice, (not instant rice)
  • 8 oz. sliced button mushrooms, washed
  • 10.5 oz. cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ cup milk, any kind
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, separated

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Brown the ground beef in a large pot over medium-high heat. Mix in salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings as the beef cooks.
  • Drain if necessary and set the ground beef aside. Cover with foil.
  • Melt 2 TBS butter in the same pot. Add the diced onions and cook for 5 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add the beef broth, butter, and rice. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
  • Cover tightly and cook for 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, replace the cover, and cook for 5 more minutes. Do not stir.
  • Turn heat off, leave the cover on, and let it stand for 10 minutes without stirring. Any rice on the bottom of the pot will release during this time.
  • Add the ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, milk, sour cream, and HALF of the cheese. Stir to combine.
  • Transfer to a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Serve!

Video

Notes

• If you prefer to use brown rice, refer to package instructions for cooking time and amount of liquid as it requires more of both. You want to end up with 2 cups cooked rice.

• To make this ahead of time, assemble the casserole, cover, and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Let it sit out for 30 minutes prior to baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

• Instead of mushrooms, you may choose to use frozen peas, carrots, and/or corn.

• Leftovers freeze very well!

If you prefer to avoid condensed canned soup, you can make this with my homemade Cream of Chicken Soup!

Nutrition

Calories: 480kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 116mg, Sodium: 1085mg, Potassium: 650mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 714IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 354mg, Iron: 3mg

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Recipe Rating




74 comments on “Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole”

  1. Just made this tonight. Changed it up a little, added taco seasoning instead of Italian herbs, no mushrooms becaus I didn’t have any in hand, used quest cheese to give it a little kick and used a 4 cheese Mexican blend for the cheese.  Turned out awesome.  Will definitely make again. Lots of variety in this recipe with substitutions. 

  2. This was really good, really easy, and made with what I had on hand. 

    • Isn’t it the best feeling when you find a recipe you want to make and realize you have all the ingredients!😃 Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  3. This recipe is amazing, I found it a few months ago and have made it a dozen times, you can just toss everything into the baking dish and add an extra cup of liquid (milk water or broth) and just bake it an extra 30 or 40 minutes comes out great! Also I just cook in all the cheese instead of a top layer cause you stir it all up when you reheat the leftovers anyways. Thank you so much for sharing, my family loves it. 

  4. Great recipe. Tasted Very good. Thank you

  5. I’ve never commented on a recipe before but this one is just too good not to. I have considered this my official quarantine meal and have been making it since the recipe came out. Over that time I’ve made a few tweaks to my tastes.
    1. Ground turkey instead of ground beef.
    2. 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of beef broth instead of 1 1/4 cup of rice and 2 1/2 cups of beef broth.
    3. Low sodium everything and no added salt.
    4. 1 tbsp italian seasoning instead of 1 1/2 tsp.
    5. I add 1 tsp red pepper flakes with the Italian seasoning.
    6. 1/2 a bag of frozen peas before putting it in the oven.
    And lastly, if you want the cheesiest casserole, hand grate extra sharp cheddar!

    Seriously, we make this recipe at least once a month!

    • Thanks so much for the review and comments Allison!❤️ I love your substitutions. I’ve actually been trying to use more ground turkey instead of beef. I haven’t tried it yet with this recipe but will soon!😃

  6. Mine came out so soupy! I’m not sure why. I followed all the directions. I left out the mushrooms but they shouldn’t have absorbed that much liquid. 😩 I think my oven just hates me. I feel like nothing ever turns out the way it’s supposed to. 

    We’re currently cooking it uncovered for an extra 5 minutes to see if it thickens up a bit. 

    • Hi Megan! I am so puzzled by this! Was there still liquid in the pot of rice when it was done cooking? Mine is always fully absorbed by the rice after it’s done cooking and sitting for 10 minutes. Curious about that. Even when it goes in the oven, it shouldn’t be soupy at all. And not using mushrooms definitely shouldn’t matter either. I’m perplexed!

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