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    How to Make Hamburger Casserole (Depression-Era Recipe)

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    How to Make Hamburger Casserole (Depression-Era Recipe)

    I don’t mind cooking – sometimes there’s just nothing like a hot meal to make us feel warm, safe, and loved. But I have to confess that I really don’t like making recipes that have too many fancy ingredients that I’ll never use again. And I don’t have time to scour every dish in the house after every meal, either. 

    So when I discovered this 100-year-old casserole recipe, I knew we had a winner. It has simple, healthy ingredients that I almost always have on hand. It only uses a single cast iron pot, so you won’t be scrubbing pots and pans all night long. And the best part is that it's absolutely delicious. 

    It’s so good that even my pickiest eaters thought it was pretty amazing – and I think you will too! 

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    Jump to Recipe
    Hamburger Casserole Complete

    Here’s the basic recipe: 

    • 1 pound of ground beef
    • 5 potatoes 
    • 1 onion
    • 2 peppers 
    • Provolone cheese slices

    First, I gave my cast iron deep dish skillet a healthy coating of coconut oil spray and preheated it on the stove top. This helps to season the cast iron and keep anything from sticking to it while you are cooking. 

    Browning the Meat

    Next, I browned the ground beef. While the beef was cooking on the stove top, I diced the onions and potatoes. I peeled the potatoes, but you can leave the skin on if you prefer. 

    Chopped Up Potatoes

    I added the onions and peppers to the ground beef and cooked it a little bit longer to soften the onions, stirring periodically. 

    Frying the Ingredients

    Next, I added the potatoes and cooked them with the lid on for about 15 minutes, until they were tender. While the potatoes were cooking, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    Casserole Cooking in Pot

    I added a cup of milk and stirred it in. Then I layered the provolone cheese across the top. 

    Casserole Covered with Cheese

    When the potatoes were tender, I put the entire casserole in the oven, uncovered, and baked it for 20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    The entire casserole just smelled so good! I let it rest on top of the stove for a few minutes before we all dug in. 

    Cooking Hamburger Casserole

    Serving Suggestions

    I made the casserole with ingredients I had on hand. The inspiration for this recipe came from a 100-year-old recipe I found on diyjoy.com, but I put my own spin it. My family loved it just like this, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper on top. 

    If you prefer, you can switch out the milk for chicken broth or beef broth to add extra flavor, or just add some bouillon right into the casserole. 

    More Veggies 

    If it’s hard to get your family to eat their greens, you can sneak all kinds of veggies into this casserole. We used plenty of peppers and onions, but you could easily add carrots, celery, peas, and you could even add some green beans if you like them. 

    You could use fresh, frozen, or even canned vegetables. Add them with the potatoes if they need extra cook time, or right before you add the cheese if they are already cooked. 

    More Cheese 

    If you need more flavor, you can add a variety of cheese to make it extra special. I used provolone because that’s what I had, although I think more would have been better. You could use sharp cheddar, Colby jack, or any blend of cheese you like. 

    More Potatoes 

    Do you need to stretch your meat a little bit farther? I used a pound of ground beef, but you could easily stretch it further with extra potatoes or vegetables. 

    Other Meats 

    If you don’t have ground beef, you could also use ground turkey, shredded chicken or pork, or whatever you have on hand. Whatever meat you use, just make sure it’s thoroughly cooked before adding in the potatoes. 

    Hamburger Casserole in a Bowl


    If you have leftovers on hand, you can mix them in, too. Whatever you have left in the fridge – a handful of cooked veggies, a little leftover steak – if it's fully cooked, you can dice it and toss it in before you put it in the oven. 

    Don’t be afraid to serve this yummy dish with a side of vegetables, butter bread, or soup if you need to stretch it even further. 

    My family loves this casserole because it’s warm, filling, and tastes so good! I love it because it’s easy to make, easy to clean up, warms their hungry bellies, and is inexpensive, easy, and flexible. 

    Hamburger Casserole

    100 Year Old Hamburger Casserole Recipe

    Amanda Whittington
    Prep Time 25 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 45 minutes
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine American
    Servings 6
    Calories 502 kcal


    • 1 lb Ground beef
    • 5 Potatoes
    • 1 Onion
    • 2 Peppers
    • 1 cup Milk
    • 12 slices Provolone cheese


    • Season your cast iron skillet or spray with your favorite cooking spray.
    • Brown ground beef.
    • Dice onion, potatoes, and vegetables.
    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Add potatoes and vegetables to your ground beef and cook covered for around 15 minutes.
    • Stir in milk.
    • Layer cheese on top of the casserole.
    • Bake uncovered in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes.
    • Allow to rest for a few minutes.
    • Serve and enjoy.


    Serving: 13ozCalories: 502kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 28gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 355mgPotassium: 1161mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 551IUVitamin C: 68mgCalcium: 380mgIron: 3mg
    Keyword 100-year-old recipe, depression era recipe, hamburger casserole, kid-friendly casserole, kid-friendly recipe
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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      1 thought on “How to Make Hamburger Casserole (Depression-Era Recipe)”

      1. Is there an alternative to using hamburger? Gates is gonna vaccinate cows with mRNA to vaccinate vaccine hesitant people. Plus, articles out now about Gate’s lab grown meat 🤔


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