© 2018 Angie Sutton, created with Wix.com

The Buzz List

May 18, 2018

The Buzz List

By Angie Sutton, www.mothersapronstrings.com

Few meals satisfy like a hearty casserole with flavor combinations you crave. Most casseroles are a hodge-podge list of ingredients that create a warm and bubbly masterpiece. The basic casserole combines a starch, vegetable, protein, sauce, topping and variety of seasonings.


Often the starch is cooked pasta or rice but potatoes and cubed bread are popular as well. Short cut a casserole by making extra potatoes or rice and use them on the second day. Pasta cooks quickly so make that just before you need it.


Top recipes call for two-to-three cups of protein like ground beef, beef stew meat, chopped ham or ground ham. Cheese provides added protein and flavor. Vegetables can be canned or frozen to save time or fresh cooked. If your casserole doesn’t include a vegetable, serve a leafy green salad as a side.


The sauce will tie all the ingredients together. The easiest to use and most popular is condensed cream soup like cream of mushroom soup. Gravies and homemade sauces are worth the extra time.


It may make sense to bake a casserole the day before you need it if you have the oven on for another dish. They often taste better on the second day. Be sure to let it cool completely, cover it tightly and refrigerate it. Just warm it up the next day. Some casseroles lend themselves to assembly on the first day and baking on the second day.


Casseroles are great for breakfast, lunch and dinner as most are packed with protein. You can make it as healthy as you like based on ingredients. Work one of these easy beef-inspired dishes into your weekly menu plan to have your family asking for seconds.


Featured Recipe

Steak Pie

We often make an extra couple of steaks on the grill over the weekend and slice them up for this pie on Monday evening. It saves time but also enhances the flavor.


1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. cubed beef stew meat

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 (1-oz.) pkg. mushroom gravy mix (dry)

1 c. tap water

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 large egg

1 Tbsp. tap water


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and brown all sides. Toss in the onion and continue to cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in 1 cup water and gravy mix and stir until combined and then season with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cover and turn heat to low; simmer for 20-to-30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer the beef mixture to the baking dish. Roll the puff pastry out and cover the top, pressing the edges of the pastry onto the rim of the dish to seal. Whisk together the egg and 1 Tbsp. of water and brush over the top of the pastry.

3. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Apron Strings Tips: Add a can of sliced or diced carrots, drained, during the last few minutes on the stove in step 1.


Ground Beef and Veggies Casserole

Complete steps one, two and three simultaneously for 10 minutes of preparation. Pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes and you’ve got dinner in under an hour. Serve with cut up fresh fruit on the side or as a dessert.


1 lb. lean ground beef

1 (15-oz.) can Veg-All mixed vegetables, drained

2 c. elbow macaroni

1/4 c. onion, diced

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Sauce Mixture :

1/4 c. butter or margarine

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . and spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cook noodles according to package directions for al dente; drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain if needed.

3. While beef is cooking, make the sauce. In a medium-sized bowl, melt butter in microwave. Mix in flour and milk until smooth. Mix in 1 c. shredded cheese.

4. In the baking dish, add mixed vegetables, macaroni noodles and ground beef and stir together. Pour the sauce mixture over the top evenly. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup shredded cheese.

5. Bake for 30-to-40 minutes.

Apron Strings Tips: If you like your casseroles to be on the moist side, you can double the amount of sauce. Pepperjack cheese makes this recipe a bit spicier.


Country Beef and Tomato Casserole

This casserole comes together quickly and is on the table in about 35 minutes. Serve it with a garnish of sour cream and garlic bread and pair it with a green salad.


1 (12-oz.) bag wide egg noodles

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 (10.75-oz) can condensed tomato soup

1 (10.75-oz) can golden mushroom creamed soup

1 c. milk

2 Tbsp. dried onion flakes

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 c. shredded Italian-cheese blend


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Cook noodles according to package instructions for al dente; drain and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain if needed.

4. In a large bowl mix together condensed tomato soup, golden mushroom soup, milk, onion flakes, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and garlic powder. Then add the ground beef and egg noodles and stir until combined.

5. Pour into your prepared baking dish and evenly sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake for 25 minutes.

Apron Strings Tips: I often have sliced mushrooms left from other recipes and will toss a few into this recipe. My daughter loves sweet corn so to change it up I stir about a cup and a half of frozen sweet corn into the browned ground beef and continue cooking for about 3 minutes to thaw the corn.


Runza Casserole

I use crescent dough sheets if they are available. If you like your casserole a moist you can add the pats of butter or stir a can of cream of mushroom soup into your ground beef mixture before adding it to the casserole.


2 lb. lean ground beef

1 yellow onion, diced

4 c. shredded cabbage

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

2 pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls

1 (16-oz.) pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese

5 Tbsp. butter (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Spread one tube of crescent rolls into the bottom the baking dish and bake 7 minutes or until brown.

3. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef and onion in a large skillet; drain if necessary. Turn off heat.

4. Stir shredded cabbage, salt and pepper into the ground beef. Cover and let it steam for four minutes.

5. Spread the beef mixture on top of the baked crescent dough and evenly sprinkle the cheese on top of the meat mixture. Optional: cut butter into thin pats and place on top.

6. Spread the second tube of crescent rolls over the top of the cheese and press down lightly.

7. Bake for 35-to-40 minutes, covering with foil the last 10 minutes.

Apron Strings Tips: I purchase the pre-shredded cabbage to save time. You can easily shred your own head of cabbage and select the size of shreds you desire. Add a light layer of Dijon mustard just before you add the second layer of crescent rolls.




Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload