This Ground Beef Rice Casserole is an easy dinner that your family and friends will love because it is the ultimate comfort food. Made with beef, seasoning, rice, mushrooms, cheese and more, all baked together into a delicious casserole. It goes great with a nice side salad or Easy One Pan Roasted Broccoli to make a full meal.
Why It’s Awesome
One pan dish - First, you’ll use a skillet to cook the ingredients together, but then you’ll transfer it to a baking dish and bake it all together. But, if you have an oven proof skillet, you can make it in one pan! It’s a hearty dish all in one.
Flavor - Watch your family gobble this up! The flavor of the beef, seasoning, mushrooms and cheese come together very nicely and everyone will want seconds.
Easy to make ahead - You can make this ground beef rice casserole ahead and freeze it for up to 3 months. If you have a busy day ahead you can thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and have a quick dinner ready for the next day. Full freezing instructions below in recipe tips.
Ground Beef - I prefer to use 85% or 90% lean ground beef for this hamburger casserole. It isn’t too fatty, but has plenty of beefy flavor.
Onions - Yellow or white onions have a good flavor profile for this recipe.
Beef Broth - Beef broth tastes great with the other ingredients, but if you don’t have it you can also try chicken or vegetable broth too.
Rice - I use uncooked long grain white rice for this and the cooking time isn’t too long.
Mushrooms - Packaged sliced button mushrooms are great or baby bellas work well too.
Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup - My cream of mushroom soup substitute is a must for this recipe. However, a can of condensed soup will work as well. Any variety “cream of…” can be substituted to your taste preference. You can also skip the mushroom soup and increase the amount of sour cream to one cup.
Milk - Whole milk works well in this recipe, but if you can use 2% or less if that's what you have on hand.
Sour Cream - Regular or low fat sour cream both work in this rice casserole.
Cheddar Cheese - A medium cheddar works great, but there are so many options that could work. Colby blend, mozzarella, cheddar Jack, or even pepper Jack would taste great! Top it with sliced American cheese for a classic taste.
After preheating your oven, grease a large non stick skillet over medium heat.
Crumble the ground beef into the pan, and then add oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook until browned and no longer pink. Remove meat to a plate and drain grease from the pan. By the way, I use a nylon potato masher to break the meat apart in the pan. It doesn't scratch non-stick pans either- I just love it. There's a link in the recipe card below.
In the same skillet, heat butter and add onions to cook. Then add garlic and cook for one more minute.
Add beef broth, rice and butter. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and add the sliced mushrooms on top of the rice without stirring. Cover the pan again and let stand on low heat for 5 more minutes.
Turn heat off and remove lid. Add the cooked ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, milk, sour cream and shredded cheese. Gently combine. You may need to do this in a large bowl if your skillet isn’t big enough.
Add beef mixture to a casserole dish that’s been coated in cooking spray. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until hot, bubbly and cheese is melted.
Top casserole with sliced green onions.
Be sure you have a large skillet with a tight fitting lid. This is necessary to cook the rice.
You can make this entire ground beef rice casserole dish in a skillet or pan that is oven proof. No need to transfer to a baking dish.
Try Italian seasoning blend in place of oregano and basil. Adding a pinch of red pepper flakes will give it a touch of heat. Why not add some taco seasoning for a Tex Mex twist?
Add one 14 oz. can drained petite diced tomatoes, or 2- 4 ounce cans of chopped green chili to add a zesty note to this recipe. Mix them in before baking.
If you want to use frozen mixed vegetables, I would add them in with the rice.
I always make this recipe with long grain white rice, because it cooks quickly and is neutral in flavor. If you want to try minute rice or instant rice, you will have to adjust the cooking process as those types of rice are partially pre-cooked.
For the slow cooker or crockpot: make the recipe as written, but instead of placing in a baking dish in the oven, transfer to a slow cooker insert that’s been coated in cooking spray. Sprinkle with cheese and set to high. It should be ready in about 2 or 3 hours. The meal should hold for about 6 hours on low once the cheese has melted.
To freeze: store in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in the microwave.
You may store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
For this recipe you will cook the rice in a saucepan with beef broth for a little bit before adding it to a baking pan to bake the casserole.
It’s best to cook the meat a bit before baking it in the casserole. For this one you will cook the ground beef in a skillet before baking it in the oven with the other ingredients.
Yes, you can actually freeze the casserole including the rice and when you heat it back up it will still be delicious.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
Ground Beef Rice Casserole
- Cooking spray or a couple teaspoons oil to grease skillet
- 1 lb. ground beef 85% or 90% lean
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp butter divided
- ¾ cup onions chopped, about 1 small
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic chopped fine
- 2 ½ cups beef broth
- 1 ¼ cups uncooked white rice long grain
- 8 oz. package sliced button mushrooms or baby bellas
- 10 oz cream of mushroom soup substitute or the can if that’s what you have on hand
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 cups medium cheddar cheese shredded or your favorite variety, divided
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Coat a large non stick skillet over medium heat. Crumble ground beef into pan then add oregano, basil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper and cook until browned and no longer pink. Remove cooked meat to a plate and drain any excess grease from pan.
- In the same skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until softened and lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for one minute.
- Add beef broth, rice, and remaining 1 tbsp butter. Stir to combine then bring mixture to a boil. Cover pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and add the sliced mushrooms on top of the rice without stirring. Cover the pan again and let stand on low heat for 5 more minutes.
- Turn heat off and remove lid. Add the cooked ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, milk, sour cream and 1 cup shredded cheese. Gently combine. You may need to do this in a large bowl if your skillet isn’t big enough.
- Add beef mixture to casserole dish that’s been coated in cooking spray. Top with reamining cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until hot, bubbly and cheese is melted.
- Top with sliced green onions.