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Hamburger Rice Casserole Recipe

Hamburger Rice Casserole is a quintessential comfort food that combines the heartiness of ground beef, the wholesomeness of rice, and the creaminess of a savory sauce into one delicious oven-baked dish. This casserole is celebrated for its simplicity, making it a staple in households across the globe. It’s the kind of meal that brings warmth and comfort to the dinner table, embodying the essence of home cooking. The versatility of Hamburger Rice Casserole allows it to be adapted to various tastes and preferences, making it a beloved recipe among families. Its significance in comfort food cuisine lies in its ability to deliver a satisfying and nutritious meal that appeals to all ages, making it a perfect dish for gatherings, weeknight dinners, and everything in between.

History and Origin

Casseroles have a storied history, originating as a method for creating nutritious, filling meals with whatever ingredients were on hand. The concept of baking ingredients together in a single dish dates back centuries, but the modern casserole, as we know it, began to take shape in the early 20th century. The Hamburger Rice Casserole, in particular, emerged as a popular dish in the United States during the mid-20th century, a time when convenience cooking became a new norm. This dish epitomizes the post-war American kitchen’s innovation, combining readily available ingredients into a simple yet hearty meal. Its origin is a testament to the ingenuity of home cooks who sought to provide their families with delicious, filling meals even when time or resources were limited.

Ingredients Overview

The primary ingredients of Hamburger Rice Casserole include:

  • Ground beef: The star of the dish, providing rich flavor and protein.
  • White rice: Adds texture and acts as a filling base.
  • Cream of mushroom or celery soup: Creates a creamy, savory sauce.
  • Vegetables (such as onions and celery): Offer a crunch and nutritional boost.
  • Cheese (optional): Adds a layer of gooey, melty goodness.

Ingredient variations are plentiful, allowing for customization based on dietary needs or preferences. For instance, brown rice can be substituted for white rice for added fiber, or ground turkey can replace beef for a leaner option. Vegetables like peas, carrots, or bell peppers can be added for extra color and nutrition, making the casserole a versatile dish that can cater to various tastes and dietary requirements.

Nutritional Information

A typical serving of Hamburger Rice Casserole provides a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, making it a fulfilling meal option. The ground beef offers protein and iron, while the rice serves as a source of energy through carbohydrates. The cream soup contributes to the dish’s fat content, adding richness and flavor.

To make the casserole healthier, consider the following tips:

  • Opt for lean ground beef or a plant-based alternative to reduce saturated fat.
  • Use brown rice or whole-grain rice instead of white rice to increase dietary fiber.
  • Incorporate a variety of vegetables to boost the meal’s vitamin and mineral content.
  • Choose low-sodium soup options to decrease the overall sodium intake.

By adjusting the ingredients, Hamburger Rice Casserole can be a nutritious addition to any meal plan, offering comfort without compromising on health.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Preparing the Ingredients:

  1. Start by gathering your ingredients: 1 pound of ground beef, 1 cup of uncooked white rice, 1 can of cream of mushroom or celery soup, 1 diced onion, 1 diced celery stalk, and 1.5 cups of beef broth. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

Cooking Process: 2. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef with the diced onion and celery. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the beef is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender.

  1. Stir in the uncooked rice, cream of mushroom or celery soup, and beef broth. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
  2. Transfer the mixture into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil to keep the moisture in.

Baking Tips and Tricks: 5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 50-60 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked and has absorbed the liquid. Remove the foil in the last 10 minutes if you prefer a crispier top.

  1. Let the casserole sit for a few minutes after baking. This allows the rice to absorb any remaining liquid and makes serving easier.

Variations of the Recipe

Vegetarian Version:

  • Substitute the ground beef with a plant-based ground meat alternative or a mixture of lentils and finely chopped mushrooms for a meaty texture without the meat.

Spicy Twist:

  • Add diced jalapeños or a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the beef mixture for a spicy kick. You can also mix in some hot sauce or cayenne pepper for extra heat.

Low-Carb Alternatives:

  • Replace the white rice with cauliflower rice to significantly lower the carb content. Adjust the baking time as cauliflower rice cooks faster than regular rice.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Hamburger Rice Casserole with a side of steamed green beans, roasted carrots, or a crisp salad to add freshness and balance to the meal. For presentation, sprinkle chopped fresh parsley or grated cheese on top before serving to add color and flavor.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, sprinkle a little water over the casserole to prevent it from drying out and warm it in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through. For freezing, wrap the casserole dish well with foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.


Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?

  • Yes, you can use brown rice. However, adjust the liquid and baking time as brown rice requires more of both.

Is it possible to freeze Hamburger Rice Casserole?

  • Absolutely. Freeze it before or after baking; just ensure it’s tightly wrapped or in an airtight container.

Can I make this casserole in a slow cooker or Instant Pot?

  • Yes. For the slow cooker, combine all ingredients and cook on low for 4-6 hours. In the Instant Pot, use the sauté function to brown the meat and vegetables, then add the remaining ingredients and cook on high pressure for about 22-25 minutes, followed by a natural release

Hamburger Rice Casserole is more than just a meal; it’s a testament to the simplicity and joy of home-cooked food. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with your variations, it’s sure to become a beloved dish in your recipe collection.

Hamburger Rice Casserole Recipe

This Hamburger Rice Casserole is a hearty, comforting dish perfect for any family dinner. Combining ground beef, rice, and a creamy sauce, it's baked to perfection and sure to be a hit with everyone at the table. Easy to make and delicious to eat, it's the ideal meal for those busy weeknights.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 350 kcal


  • Large Skillet
  • 9x13 inch baking dish
  • Aluminum foil


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 can 10.5 oz cream of mushroom or celery soup
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef with the diced onion and celery. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the uncooked rice, cream of mushroom or celery soup, and beef broth. Mix well.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Remove the foil in the last 10 minutes for a crispier top.
  • Let sit for a few minutes before serving.


  • For a healthier version, use lean ground beef or a plant-based meat alternative.
  • Brown rice can be substituted for white rice; adjust liquid and baking time accordingly.
  • Feel free to add vegetables like peas, carrots, or bell peppers for extra nutrition.
  • This casserole can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat in the oven or microwave, adding a little water if necessary to prevent drying out.
Keyword Comfort Food, Family Dinner, Ground Beef Casserole, Hamburger Rice Casserole