Divine CasseroleThis is one of those casseroles that's been around forever and is found in almost every old cookbook I own, though it's got as many names as the cookbooks where you'll find it.
You may remember it as Sour Cream Noodle Bake, Sour Cream Baked Spaghetti, Husband's Delight, Italian Delight and I've even heard it called Godfather Casserole. I'm sure there are others I've forgotten. The only difference, as usual, is the variation in the amounts of the ingredients, and sometimes in the process. Typically containing noodles, most often egg noodles, but sometimes spaghetti, to which is added a layer of cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream or some combination of them, the casserole is then topped with a ground beef tomato sauce.
I'd all but forgotten about this old recipe until it was shared by Doug on our Facebook recipe page more than three years ago. I've been working on my version of it since then, and have made this multiple times, before finally settling on this combination of ingredients and method.
Most of these casseroles don't include much in the way of sauce or seasonings, but I felt it too dry and in need of a boost of flavor, so I've added extra sauce and a few of my classic spaghetti and lasagna seasonings to my version. Most recipes put the dry noodles on the bottom, then add a layer of the cheese mixture and all of the meat on top. You'll find that most other recipes are also very heavy in cream cheese - as much as a full 8-ounce block. I adore cream cheese, but it was just too much for me, so I went with a small amount, only 2 ounces, but also included both cottage cheese and sour cream.
I also found that I liked it better with the cream cheese mixture tossed with the warm noodles, then layered in along with some shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and the meat sauce in two layers and finished with more shredded cheese on top. It's my twist on this classic casserole.
As always, the full recipe with measurements is further down the page, past the step-by-step photos. Here's how to make it.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-1/2 quart baking dish. Cream together cream cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream until well blended. While we're at it... this casserole is much better with 4% cottage cheese and full fat cream cheese and sour cream. It just is. Yes, you can make it with reduced fat products and lean beef, and I've done them all, but honestly, you just can't beat the real thing. Just have a smaller portion and fill up on some side veggies or a salad. Stir in green onion and set aside.
Prepare egg noodles to shortest time according to package directions, drain and stir sour cream and cheese mixture into noodles while still warm.
Meanwhile, be browning the ground beef, draining off any excess fat. I recommend chuck for the flavor. Stir in pasta sauce, Worcestershire, hot sauce, Italian seasoning, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning.
Let simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
There's my Ninja system!
I just love this appliance and it gets used a lot in my kitchen. While I do use it for blending things, I think I use the food processor bowl more. I own a larger Kitchen Aid food processor, and while it is super handy for bigger jobs and I love it for that, the unit is heavy and awkward, and since I don't use it too often, it lives on a shelf in my walk-in pantry.
The Ninja stays on the beverage and snack station in my breakfast nook all the time, making it much more handy to use. Since I buy most of my cheese in blocks and shred it myself, I find that the food processor attachment is super easy for when you need just a few cups of cheese.
We're doing two layers, so add half of the noodle mixture to the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with half of the meat mixture.
Add half of the cheddar and mozzarella. Repeat layers.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.
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Recipe: Divine Casserole©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup sliced green onions
- 1 (12 ounce) package egg noodles
- 1 pound ground chuck
- 1 (24 ounce) can pasta sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning, or to taste, optional
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-1/2 quart baking dish.
Cream together cream cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream until well blended. Stir in the green onion and set aside. Prepare egg noodles to shortest time according to package directions, drain and stir sour cream and cheese mixture into noodles while warm. Meanwhile, brown ground beef, draining off excess fat. Stir in the pasta sauce, Worcestershire, hot sauce, Italian seasoning, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning and let simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
Add half of the noodle mixture to the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with half of the meat mixture and half of the cheddar and mozzarella. Repeat layers.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through in the middle.
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©Deep South Dish
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