Creamy Beef Noodle Bake is a well-loved family approved dinner recipe that's easy to make with inexpensive ingredients. A layered casserole recipe with cheesy egg noodles, seasoned ground beef, and shredded cheese. Family favorite comfort food at it's best!
Creamy Beef Noodle Bake Recipe
This creamy beef noodle bake is my go-to dinner! A dinner that I can count on to feed the entire family and something that no one will whine about having to eat.
Simple ingredients like ground beef, egg noodles, tomato sauce, cottage cheese, sour cream, shredded cheese, and some seasonings. It's really the best classic comfort food.
Plus this recipe can easily be customized to what you prefer. Need ideas? Just read below for all my tips for success and variation ideas!
What You'll Need To Make It
This creamy beef noodle bake is seriously so yummy. Only a few easy, inexpensive ingredients is all it takes.
- Ground Beef : I prefer the 93/7 lean ground beef but any can be used. You will drain the excess grease anyways so it does not matter if you want to use a higher fat ground beef.
- Tomato Sauce
- Salt & Pepper
- Onion Powder
- Egg Noodles
- Sour Cream : It's best to use full-fat sour cream for the best flavor but of course the reduced-fat sour cream works as well.
- Cottage Cheese : Again, I prefer to use 4% milk fat cottage cheese because it tastes the best in this recipe.
- Shredded Cheese : I recommend using shredded cheddar cheese (mild or medium) or shredded Colby Jack cheese.
How To Make Ground Beef Noodle Bake
You will need a few different dishes to prepare this casserole and of course one casserole dish as well.
- Preparation : Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Ground Beef : Cook & crumble the ground beef in a skillet pan, over medium hight heat, until it's no longer pink. Drain.
- Seasoned Beef : Add the tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and onion powder into the ground beef and stir. Bring it to a low boil and then reduce heat to medium and let it simmer while the egg noodles cook.
- Egg Noodles : Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain the noodles when done.
- Cheesy Noodles : While the noodles are cooking, combine sour cream and cottage cheese inside a bowl. Add the cooked and drained egg noodles and stir to coat.
- Casserole : Pour half the noodle mixture into the baking dish, top with half the ground beef and half the shredded cheese. Repeat once more.
- Bake : Cover the casserole with tin foil, if wanted, and bake for 20 minutes.
Tips For Success
Here are a few of my tips so that you can have success with this recipe in your own kitchen.
- Mild Casserole - This recipe, for some reason, has gotten very mixed reviews and I am not sure why! It's a mild casserole that kids will love but it's also very adaptable to whatever you want. If you follow my recommendation and use full-fat dairy products and salt the egg noodles while cooking, this casserole will always turn out so deliciously simple.
- Foil - My kids don't like casseroles with the crunchy edges and crunchy noodle edges on top. I always cover the casserole with tin foil while baking.
- Salt Egg Noodles - Don't forget to salt the boiling water when you add the egg noodles. I use about 1-2 teaspoons of kosher salt. You need at least 1 teaspoon for best flavor.
- Dairy Products - For the best taste, hands down, use full-fat diary products for the sour cream and cottage cheese. It makes a huge difference in the final taste of the dish.
- Cheese - I prefer cheddar cheese or Colby Jack cheese but any variety can be used. For best results shred the cheese from a block, rather than buying pre-shredded cheese, as it tastes better and melts better into the casserole.
Variation & Substitution Ideas
There are so many ways to change up this recipe. My family loves the recipe as is, which is how I always make it, but there are plenty of ways to make it different.
- Fresh Onion & Garlic : A lot of people who have made this have added a finely diced onion + fresh garlic in with the ground beef while it's cooking. Add the garlic at the end so that it does not burn.
- Seasonings : This recipe calls for salt, pepper, and onion powder but you can add anything you want! Increase the onion powder, add garlic powder, dried basil, Italian seasoning, and seasoned salt are all the more popular ways people have changed this recipe up.
- Green Onion : For a yummy bite add some chopped green onions in with the cheesy noodle mixture. It adds some color and nice flavor.
- Tomato Sauce : Use a flavored tomato sauce instead of plain tomato sauce.
- Ground Meat : Use ground turkey, ground chicken, or even ground pork in place of the ground beef. If you use a leaner ground meat, like turkey or chicken, you will want to add some olive oil to the pan to help it cook with some fat.
Creamy Beef Noodle Bake FAQ's
Here are the most frequently asked questions that I get about this recipe.
- How Long Will Leftovers Keep?
- Leftovers store well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. The egg noodles do get softer but that does not seem to be a big deal. I store leftovers inside the casserole dish and cover it tightly with tin foil. You can also remove leftovers to an air-tight container, like Tupperware, and store that way.
- Can I Freeze Creamy Beef Noodle Bake?
- Yes you can freeze this. I have never personally frozen this but I have gotten feedback from others that say it freezes just fine. I don't like freezing anything with dairy in it (cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese) as it tends to separate and look curdled once thawed, but if you don't mind it then go ahead and freeze it in a freezer-safe container that has been double wrapped in plastic wrap and then doubled wrapped again in tin foil.
- Casserole will freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge overnight and cook according to directions.
- Do I Rinse The Egg Noodles?
- No do not rinse the egg noodles. Drain the noodles in a colander but do not rinse. We want all the cheesy good stuff to stick to the noodles so we need that little extra starch on them.
- I Don't Like Cottage Cheese Can I Use Something Else?
- This is probably the #1 asked question about this recipe. I didn't realize so many people do not like cottage cheese. I'll be honest and say that if you want the best flavor then use cottage cheese. But if that's just not possible you can try using additional sour cream or use ricotta cheese. Ricotta cheese does not have the same flavor of rich texture and taste of cottage cheese, so the final taste of the casserole will be different.
Supplies Needed To Make This Recipe
Here are a few supplies that you will need to make cheesy ground beef noodle bake. These are an affiliate link, meaning that if you purchase, I will make a very small percentage from the sale. As always, I appreciate the support for the free recipes I post. I will only recommend things that I personally own and love! Promise.
9x13 Ceramic Baking Dish : I love this white ceramic casserole dish. If you see a casserole on my site then it was made in this! I prefer to make casseroles inside ceramic baking dishes.
Ground Meat Chopper : I own at least 3 of these and I don't know how I would live without it. Use this to chop and crumble ground meats into small pieces.
Colander : I love this white plastic colander because it's big, light, and easy to clean.
Mixing Spoons : I love these wooden mixing spoons. So pretty and I find myself reaching for them all the time.
Creamy Beef Noodle Bake
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 package (12 oz) wide egg noodles
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 container (16 oz) cottage cheese (equals 2 cups)
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish and spray with cooking spray.
- Cook the ground beef in a skillet pan, over medium-high heat, until no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
- Add the tomato sauce, onion powder, salt, and pepper into the meat. Stir and let it simmer, over medium heat, while the egg noodles cook.
- Cook the egg noodles according to package directions. Don't forget to add at least 1 teaspoon of salt in with the noodles. * I usually add about 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
- In large mixing bowl, stir together the sour cream and cottage cheese.
- When noodles are done cooking, drain the noodles, but do not rinse. Add the noodles into the mixing bowl with the cottage cheese and stir to coat all the noodles.
- Pour half the egg noodle mixture into your prepared pan, top with half the ground beef mixture, and then half the shredded cheese. Repeat.
- Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes.* If you want those crunchy casserole edges and noodle edges then don't cover with tin foil.
This recipe has been updated in November 2021 with new pictures and more helpful text. Recipe is the same as before.