my foodgawker gallery



Good casserole

I tend to gravitate toward making food that I know will photograph well. Colorful food is pretty, and pretty photos are fun to gaze at. But what about food that doesn't necessarily look beautiful, yet tastes great? Well, I say all types of food deserve a chance to shine! This recipe (which comes from The Big Book of Easy Suppers, by the way) was titled well because it is good! And really, tasting good is all that matters, right? Well, unless all you want to do is look at pretty photos of food.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook 12 ounces (4 cups) of egg noodles according to package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, combine:

1 pound ground beef (I used venison to make it leaner, considering all the cheese that is about to come)

1 cup yellow onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

Cook until meat is browned and vegetables are tender, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Stir in 1 can (15 ounces) of tomato sauce and simmer for several minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup cottage cheese

1/2 cup sour cream (or plain nonfat yogurt for a healthier option)

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Place the cooked egg noodles (or, um, elbow macaroni, if you happened to grab the wrong thing at the store) in a lightly sprayed 3- to 4-quart casserole dish and toss with 2 tablespoons of butter.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the noodles in an even layer. 

Top that with the meat mixture from the skillet.

Top with 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese. 

Bake, covered, in the preheated oven until bubbly, about 35 minutes.

See? It's not beautiful. But it's totally yummy.

Good Casserole

The title says it all. This casserole is GOOD. (source: The Big Book of Easy Suppers by Maryana Vollstedt)

Contributed by Megan Porta from

Published May 1, 2011

Serves: 6-8

Total time: 50 min

Good Casserole


  • 12 ounces (4 cups) egg noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Vegetable oil, as needed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place noodles while still warm in a lightly sprayed or oiled 3- to 4-quart casserole and toss with butter. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, parsley, salt and pepper. Spread mixture over the noodles.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, combine beef, onion and garlic and sauté, breaking up meat with a spoon, until meat is browned and vegetables are tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Add a little oil if needed. Stir in tomato sauce and simmer several minutes. Pour over the noodles and top with cheese; do not mix. Bake, covered, until bubbly, about 35 minutes.



« Colombian chicken soup | Main | Chopped salad with grapes and mint »

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (19)

Very nice! Easy and delicious and I think it looks great! Totally holds it on against pictures of perfect macarons and fancy gin drinks :) Well done!

05.1.2011 | Unregistered CommenterParsley Sage

That actually looks pretty darn tasty if you ask me! Your photography is amazing. If only I had your skills with the camera! *jealous*

05.1.2011 | Unregistered CommenterFarrah

what a beautiful casserole!! grat job keeping it light with the cottage cheese and yogurt!
I agree its best to make foods that look more appealing and photograph well, we do eat with our eyes!

05.1.2011 | Unregistered CommenterChef Dennis

I think my boyfriend will love this. I'm keeping this recipe! Thank you!

05.1.2011 | Unregistered Commentercooking rookie

This looks wonderfully tasty and comforting! It's been a cold weekend here in MN and this will definitely be welcomed at our house.

Looks wonderful! I hate when I have something delicious but the pics don't make it look appetizing!

I guess its not the most beautiful food in the world, but the flavors sound dead on! Besides, I love a good casserole.

I think you did one amazing job photographing a less photographic dish...wonderful recipe as well!
And I agree, some foods don't photograph as well as others, but it does not mean they don't deserve a spot light :) Really nice!

05.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMagic of Spice

I beg to differ. I think it's absolutely beautiful. So beautiful that i'll be making it for my family very. If I hadn't already promised them another dish, it would be tonight. Many thanks for sharing this.

that looks awesome!...and super fattening, but this will definitely be on our menu soon. thanks for the cookbook recommendation, too!

05.2.2011 | Unregistered Commenterlindsey

This looks delicious, I love casseroles! Looking forward to trying this myself! :)

05.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Wow, this looks gorgeous!! And delicious, of course!
I make a lot of food that is soooo good, but does not photograph well. :)

05.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate @ Diethood

I did make this, have a look at my version. :)

Can't wait to try this one. How many does it feed?

02.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGini

We thought this casserole was rich and decadent, in the same way as lasagna is. A real hit at our house and we'll definitely make it again. So-o-o easy and made with items we have on hand.

01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy

What can I use instead of cottage cheese?

12.8.2014 | Unregistered CommenterValeigh

Hi Valeigh! You could just omit the cottage cheese or try adding a bit of greek yogurt in place of it. Let me know what you try! Good luck!

12.8.2014 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

I made this tonight and my husband was amused by its name (I told him we were having Bad Casserole tomorrow night). We both loved it though! Very fun and lasagna-ish, without all the layers and hassle. I added a little shredded Parmesan to the cheese mixture because I had a few tablespoons I needed to use soon, and that was good too. Great comfort food, and not ultra heavy! Awesome! :)

05.11.2015 | Unregistered CommenterJackie M.

Hi Jackie! I am so happy to hear that you and your husband liked this recipe! It's delicious, isn't it?! Great call on the shredded Parmesan. I hope your "bad casserole" tasted great, too. :)

05.11.2015 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>