Chilly winter days call out for comfort food! Some of my favorite things to make during the wintertime are hearty, cheesy casseroles! They’re always sure to please, and you can make them ahead of time, then just pop into the oven when it’s time for supper!
This is a VERY old casserole that I have updated over the years, and it’s one of my all-time favorites! A sort of “taco lasagna” kind of, loaded with flavors, and assembled into just 3 easy layers!
After spending a good two hours going through tons of old cookbooks though, I could not for the LIFE of me find the original recipe. I have no idea of where this originated. I even searched online and can’t find the origin.
But I can tell you this, it has stood the test of time for more than 25 years! Yep, it’s that kind of good! I’ve been making this since my early to mid 20’s, and it has traveled to countless parties, potlucks, Super Bowls, and has even made it to many kitchen tables of friends who asked for the recipe!
Over the years though, I began to up-it and got away from using taco seasoning packets. Homemade spice blends are so much better!
I also enjoy adding extra ingredients when I have them onhand such as black olives, or mushrooms, or add my own chopped blend of peppers. But since it’s wintertime, I’m sharing the recipe using a can of chopped green chilies for ease. 😉
The rich, spicy, beef mixture is also kicked-up using spicy diced tomatoes and tomato paste rather than the old version of just tomato sauce. The combination of diced tomatoes and tomato paste makes for a much richer sauce! 😀
The creamy cottage cheese mixture is perked up by using (Superior Touch) Better Than Bouillon Beef Base instead of beef bouillon granules. I really love their products because they’re made with real meat, and so much better than those dry little rocks. 😉 You can of course use whatever you like, but when I come across something good, I like to pass on that info! 😉
Mostly-cooked egg noodles get mixed into the sauce to create the first layer.
The casserole is then topped with the meat sauce and then a nice layer of cheese!
Here you can see that it does kind of resemble a lasagna of sorts! 😀
Then just pop it into the oven and bake!
It’s best to let this casserole rest for 15 minutes before serving, ….but we were hungry!!
And I couldn’t resist getting a pretty shot of all that gooey, yummy cheese!
You can keep it super simple, and just enjoy as is, or you can garnish the servings with whatever you’d like such as more black olives, sour cream, more green onions or chives, hot sauce, avocado slices or pickled jalapeño slices!
This is definitely one to save for that blustery cold winter day, or even for a rainy day come this spring! It makes for a wonderful dish to take to someone’s house for a party, too, and you’ll come home with an empty pan every time! Be sure to take the recipe with you, as you’ll get asked for it a lot! 😉
Hope you enjoy and I’ll see you next week! ~ Kelly
For Beef Layer:
For Sauce Layer:
Rest of Ingredients: