Photography: Alison Miksch, Prop Styling: SArah Elizabeth Cleveland, Food Styling: Melissa Gray
Active Time
10 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 10 Mins
Yield
Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

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.

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.