With large gatherings, it’s nice to have a casserole that’s easy and something everyone will like. Growing up, my mom’s go to dish was spaghetti casserole. it was prepared for all family gatherings and is my ultimate comfort food. My husband and in-laws all loved it so the tradition continued until we had children. They don’t like spaghetti casserole. How can that be? In fact, it is unusual for me to find any casserole that they’ll eat. Maybe casseroles have just gone out of style. Since they won’t eat it, I haven’t made it in ages.
I had an excuse recently to make it and try it out on a younger generation, my 5 and 6 year old food testers. I wrote down what I added so that I would have a written recipe to share. Mom’s has more tomato sauce and no mushrooms. The base is cream of mushroom soup and chili con carne. However, I don’t think they make chili con carne anymore so I used canned chili. Of course, any casserole that came out of the 70’s had to have mushroom soup in it. What’s great about this recipe is that it’s all in one pot so you could take it someplace, and you can make it in advance. You add the pasta to the sauce and then cover it with cheese and wait until the cheese is all melty and gooey before serving.
While this was a hit with the adults, the younger children were just like mine. Thank goodness, I had reserved some of the pasta before adding it to the sauce. All was not lost as we had smores for dessert and now I have lots of leftovers in the freezer.
- Category: Entree
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced, optional
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ lb ground sirloin
- 1 can mushroom soup
- 15 ounces canned chili
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato sauce, more if needed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb pasta
- 2 cups colby/chedder cheese, grated
- Saute onions, celery and garlic briefly in olive oil in large pot for about 2 minutes. Add hamburger and mushrooms and cook until no longer pink. Add soup, chili, chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaf and oregano and salt and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Cook pasta and add to sauce, mix thoroughly and add grated cheese on top. Place lid on pot and let simmer until cheese melts.