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 rice casserole recipes that use chicken or ham 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– See below for substitution options and a 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 oil and 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 more butter, beef broth and rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover.

Simmer for a total of 15 minutes, remove cover and stir halfway through.

Add mushrooms during last 5 minutes of cooking.

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.
  • We’re only cooking the rice for 15 minutes before baking it, and we steam the broccoli in the same pot.

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.

Cream of Mushroom Soup Substitutes

  • This recipe can be made with Cream of Celery, Cream of Chicken, Cream of Broccoli, Cheddar Cheese, and Broccoli Cheese.
  • If you prefer to make the soup from scratch, try this homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe!

Make-Ahead Beef and Rice Casserole

  • This casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days prior to baking.
  • Let it sit out for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • Cover and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.
  • If prepared 2 days in advance, it should be used within 1-2 days or leftovers should be frozen.

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! 

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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

5 from 5 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
  • 1 can 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 1 more TBS butter to the pot along with the beef broth and rice. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
  • Cover and cook for 15 minutes total. Remove the lid and briefly stir halfway through to prevent the rice from sticking to the pot.
  • Add the mushrooms during the last 5 minutes of steaming. Turn heat off.
  • 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!

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!

Nutrition

Calories: 577kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 35g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 110mg, Sodium: 703mg, Potassium: 549mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 597IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 361mg, Iron: 3mg