Cheeseburger Casserole

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Skip the drive-thru and satisfy your family's burger cravings at home with a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs entrée that feels just right for cold weather. Our Cheeseburger Casserole is winter's answer to summertime's backyard cookouts: The dish offers everything you love about a cheeseburger that's fresh off the grill, but you can quickly throw it all together in the comfort of your kitchen, no patty-flipping required. Plus, the casserole is more portable than a platter of burgers, so you can easily ferry it to the basketball team party or deliver it to the sleep-deprived new parents who live down the street. Ground round combined with all the usual suspects (onion, chiles, tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce) creates a satisfying base, but it's the finishing layer of crispy tater tots, two types of cheeses, and thick-cut bacon bits that makes our Cheeseburger Casserole the ultimate crowd pleaser. Just don't count on having leftovers; this one is sure to disappear the second it hits the table.

Cheeseburger Casserole
Photo: Photography: Alison Miksch, Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland, Food Styling: Melissa Gray
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Yield:
Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground round

  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion (about 1 small onion)

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • 1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained

  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup), divided

  • 4 ounces mild Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup), divided

  • Cooking spray

  • 4 cups frozen tater tots (from 1 [32-oz.] pkg.)

  • 4 cooked thick-cut bacon slices, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

  • Chopped fresh chives

  • Ketchup (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high; add ground round and onion, and cook, stirring often, until beef is crumbled and no longer pink and onion is tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain all fat from skillet, and place over medium.

  2. Add tomato paste to beef mixture in skillet, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Sprinkle beef mixture with flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add broth, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes and chiles, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup each of Monterey Jack cheese and Cheddar cheese, and cook, stirring often, until cheeses melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Top evenly with tater tots. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet.

  3. Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, until bubbly around edges and potatoes are golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup each of Monterey Jack cheese and Cheddar cheese, and bake until cheese is melted, about 3 more minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle casserole with crumbled bacon, and garnish with chopped chives. Drizzle with ketchup, if desired.

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