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!
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.
See recipe card for ingredient quantities and full written instructions
- Ground Beef- 85% lean is best
- Italian Seasoning
- Oil– olive, vegetable, or canola
- Beef Broth
- White Long Grain Rice- See below for why long grain (vs. Instant Rice.)
- 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.
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 5-10 more minutes. (Refer to rice package for cooking time.)
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.
Add the ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, milk, and cheese.
Use a silicone spatula and gently stir to combine.
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.
- Let it sit out for 30 minutes prior to baking. Cover and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.
- 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.
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Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole
- 1 lb. ground beef, 85% lean
- 1.5 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 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
- Note: This recipe is designed to allow you to prepare all of the casserole ingredients in one pot before transferring to a casserole dish for baking. Before you begin, refer to your rice package for the amount of liquid (beef broth) and cooking time. If preferred, cook the rice separately and skip the beef broth ingredient. You'll need 2 cups of cooked rice to combine with the other casserole ingredients.
- 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 grease, transfer to a plate, and cover with foil.
- Melt 2 TBS butter in the same pot. Add the diced onions and cook for 5 minutes, until softened.
- Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add 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 5-10 more minutes. (Refer to rice package for exact cooking time.) Do not stir the rice at any point.
- 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.
- 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!
• 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!