Creamy Hamburger Noodle Casserole

Creamy Hamburger Noodle Casserole

The EatingWell Test Kitchen takes lean ground beef and combines it with whole-grain bulgur, egg noodles and a creamy tomato sauce in a baked casserole topped with Cheddar. With less fat and calories than the original skillet meal, this dish is sure to become a new family favorite.

From EatingWell: March/April 1999
Yield: 6 servings
Active Time: 30
Total Time: 85


  1. 2 bunches scallions, trimmed
  2. 8 ounces 90%-lean ground beef
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
  4. 1/2 cup bulgur, (see Ingredient Note)
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
  7. 1/2 cup water
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  9. Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  10. 6 ounces no-yolk whole-wheat egg noodles
  11. 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  12. 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  13. 1/4 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Put a large pot of water on to boil.
  2. Separate white and green parts of scallions; thinly slice and reserve separately.
  3. Cook beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up clumps with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. Wipe out the pan, add oil and reduce heat to medium-low. Add bulgur, garlic and the reserved scallion whites. Cook, stirring, until the scallions soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomato sauce, water and the beef; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently until the bulgur is tender and the sauce is thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, cook noodles until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  6. Puree cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl; fold in sour cream and the reserved scallion greens. Season with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  7. Spread half the noodles in the prepared pan. Top with half the cottage cheese mixture and half the meat sauce. Repeat with the remaining noodles, cottage cheese and sauce. Sprinkle Cheddar over the top.
  8. Bake the casserole until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Tips & Notes

  • Ingredient Note: Bulgur is made by parboiling, drying and coarsely grinding or cracking wheat berries. It simply needs a quick soak in hot water for most uses. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets, near other grains, or online at,


Nutrition Per Serving: 377 calories; 14 g fat (7 g sat, 4 g mono); 52 mg cholesterol; 41 g carbohydrates; 22 g protein; 5 g fiber; 757 mg sodium; 631 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Calcium, Iron & Vitamin C (20% daily value), Magnesium (17% dv), Vitamin A (15% dv).

2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 1 1/2 medium-fat meat, 1 fat