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Lighter Hamburger Noodle Casserole Recipe

Lighter Hamburger Noodle Casserole Recipe

Lean ground beef and reduced-fat and fat-free items make this casserole a winner on all fronts! Everyone in your home is sure to enjoy eating dinner when you serve this as a main dish! —Martha Henson, Winnsboro, Texas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 35 min. YIELD:10 servings


  • 5 cups uncooked yolk-free noodles
  • 1-1/4 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
  • 2/3 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese


  • 1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook beef until no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, sugar, salt and pepper; heat through. Drain noodles; stir into beef mixture.
  • 2. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, ricotta cheese and sour cream until blended. Stir in half of the onions.
  • 3. Spoon half of the noodle mixture into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with cheese mixture and remaining noodle mixture.
  • 4. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with remaining onions. Yield: 10 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 290 calories, 12g fat (7g saturated fat), 56mg cholesterol, 650mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 22g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 fat.

Reviews for Lighter Hamburger Noodle Casserole

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MurphyNJ User ID: 7103738 181177
Reviewed Feb. 26, 2014

"This is similar to the 'Heavenly Family casserole', the recipe that I want to review but can't find online. It was demonstrated at a November 2013 TOH Cooking School. It uses 8 oz of noodles, 2 lb of ground beef, 1 clove of garlic, S&P, 8 oz of cream cheese, 2 cups sour cream, 24 oz tomato sauce, and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. The ingredients were prepared the same way with 3 layers (noodles, cream cheese mixture, meat) put into a 9x13 baking dish. It was topped with 1 cup of shredded cheddar. Baked at 350 for 30 minutes. Well, the 'Heavenly Family casserole' I prepared for (literally) a team of professional basketball players got rave reviews! I actually doubled the ingredients to make two - one is still in my freezer. Can't wait to defrost and bake for my family this weekend. Thank you TOH Cooking School for this great recipe!"

JoeRD User ID: 5760470 143771
Reviewed Oct. 9, 2012

"Loved it!"

JoeRD User ID: 5760470 97989
Reviewed Oct. 9, 2012

"The family loved this recipe!"

missdeniese User ID: 6668287 165364
Reviewed Apr. 30, 2012

"This was great, but tempts to eat too much! Used a seasoned sauce as recommended and was really good."

mjtotch User ID: 6620401 179431
Reviewed Apr. 25, 2012

"Very good. I like the suggestion of using a flavored tomato sauce. I think that would add alot."

tchr90 User ID: 2795278 210665
Reviewed Mar. 26, 2012

"This is so good! My husband complimented me twice in the same meal so this is going in my recipe box as a keeper! We even liked it reheated the next day. I changed it slightly by using lower-sodium tomato sauce (omitted salt called for), used fat free cream cheese, and used full fat cheddar. I also omitted the onions."

Susanmw User ID: 4914346 181175
Reviewed Feb. 18, 2012

"Yummy and easy!"

MommaMindy User ID: 6258821 183487
Reviewed Oct. 20, 2011

"Absolutely Awsome! Used cottage cheese instead of Ricotta. Should have made two batches. It went too fast."

edurelli User ID: 4347142 113792
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2010

"This is a Paul Prudhomme recipe, he adds lime juice, several tablespoons, to the sour cream-green onion mixture."

bdonnelly20 User ID: 2505172 181998
Reviewed May. 4, 2010

"My husband and I enjoy this recipe! I modified slightly ... I used ground turkey instead of ground beef (my ground turkey already comes in 1.25 lb packages, so it made it easier!), used cottage cheese instead of ricotta, and cut the amount of cream cheese in half (the first time I made it, my husband did not care for the full 8 oz. of sour cream). I think the green onions add a nice flavor to the dish. This recipe tastes great as leftovers too!"

jcanter User ID: 1787073 181981
Reviewed Apr. 30, 2010

"This is a new family favorite! I modified it a bit. I used 1 bag of yolk free noodles (it wasn't 5 cups) and half the cream cheese. I also used a little less of the ricotta, too. Make sure to use all the green onions. It helps to keep it from being too bland. Great recipe!"

nancye49 User ID: 4289123 97987
Reviewed Feb. 27, 2010

"I added a few things. I found tomato sauce in falvors Roasted Garlic & Roasted Garlic, Rosemary & Thyme. Also doubled the recipe because of the size of my family. I added fresh mushrooms and carmelized some onions. It was wonderful. Will make again. Wonderful recipe. Thanks Nancy"

BrytEyz User ID: 2759683 97981
Reviewed Jan. 14, 2010

"easy and delicious. From our pickiest eater to our most seasoned palate... the whole family loved this! Lots of flavor. Perfect comfort food for a cold Winter weeknight meal."

rachellestratton User ID: 2983875 97980
Reviewed Jan. 12, 2010

"The casserole is very hearty for being 290 calories. My family loved it."

shelbyamay User ID: 4171522 165363
Reviewed Aug. 10, 2009

"I used ground turkey instead of beef. I also added more Worcestershire because we love the taste! Overall good recipe, just wish it were more filling."

hervin02 User ID: 374628 98705
Reviewed Jul. 5, 2009

"Both Husband and 3 1/2 year old loved it! I used grd. turkey instead of beef, cottage instead of ricotta and used whole wheat penne since I didn't have egg noodles (they make whole wheat now too). Didn't have to use the whole 5 cups of penne. We don't like green onion so I eliminated that, and also the salt (tomato sauce has plenty!). I have no idea what would be "missing"! It was VERY flavorful!! I might add a layer of sliced zucchini to bump up the nutrition value (especially since its hard to get said hubby and child to eat veggies). Definately going in the recipe rotation!"

marciedarciestuff User ID: 3221145 122295
Reviewed Jun. 14, 2009

"Seems to be missing something"

RainCloud982 User ID: 3779444 113791
Reviewed Feb. 10, 2009

"My husband and I tried this a few nights ago and we loved it!"

nott818 User ID: 1584703 179814
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2009

"Thought this was a little bland. Will try it with some of the flavored tomato sauces you can buy next time. I did like the creamy cheese layer in the middle."

mountainberrybutterfly User ID: 684083 98704
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2009

"It's nice to say lower fat, but seeing the nutrition information would be much more helpful."

sbc1023 User ID: 173496 210664
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2009

"Soft tofu is a good substitute too.  It will pick up the flavors from the sasuce and seasoning."

tammyjeanb User ID: 1413630 113790
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2009

"Ricotta can always be replaced with cottage cheese.  It has a slightly different taste, but a larger curd.  If you don't like the larger curd, you can easily blend it before mixing in."

weesnerblw32 User ID: 1195857 143770
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2009

"What could you replace Ricoota cheese with?

Thank you very much;

locutus User ID: 3207033 112391
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2009

"My roommate won't eat Ricoota cheese. What would make a good substitute for that in the recipe? Or just leave it out all together?"

magybarra User ID: 3529303 183486
Reviewed Jan. 13, 2009

"I tried this recipe on my kids for the first time, thinking they would not like it. But come to find out, one of them said, "Why don't you make this all the time". Kids loved it."

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