Red Hotdish with Hamburger: A Recipe from the Farm

Last Updated on August 30, 2023 by TheFarmChicken

hotdish in a low bowl with sourdough toast

Do you know it as hotdish or casserole? Do you know it at all? Welcome to the wonderful world of what we call hotdish here in North Dakota. There are many names for this particular hotdish, and we will look at more of those below, but in our house, we call it Red Hotdish. An easy recipe, tasty, and a filling meal! Perfect for the whole family! Hotdishes are such a hearty and delicious comfort food. One of my favorite recipes for a quick supper. Red Hotdish with Hamburger starts by browning hamburger with spices for added flavor. Then the sauce is added and the boiled noodles. It is stirred up and baked with a nice layer of mozzarella cheese. Below I will break it down and look at the parts of Red Hotdish with Hamburger: A Recipe from the Farm – a family favorite!

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Noodles

Most of the time when you see a hotdish like this it is made with elbow macaroni noodles. Macaroni works just as good, but I enjoy it with egg noodles. Get a large pot and cook in boiling water with a dash of oil and salt till al dente. After being cooked rinse with cold water. Refer to the package directions on how to cook the noodles.

Browned hamburger in Smithey Cast iron

The Hamburger

I use lean ground beef and then I drain off the excess grease after it is all fried up. I like to use fresh or dried basil, minced garlic, oregano, and black pepper. It almost has an Italian seasoning feel but is more subtle than that.

Sauce added to browned hamburger

What makes up the sauce?

The sauce is mostly like a tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce but different… consisting of tomato paste, ketchup, cream, and cream of mushroom soup. I have seen this hotdish made with tomato soup before, but I like the flavor that tomato paste brings to the dish. To me it has a deeper flavor than tomato soup.

Cheese on top of hotdish ready to go in the oven

Shredded Cheese on Top

I always go for mozzarella cheese to top off this hotdish. My favorite shredded mozzarella cheese has a thick shred. It is Member’s Mark brand at Sam’s Club. It melts nicely and it also works great for homemade pizza. You probably can use other cheeses like Parmesan cheese or maybe even cheddar cheese! Mostly it is a preference thing. You can easily leave it off too!

Bake Time

I bake this hotdish in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 325 degrees with the lid on in a baking dish. Just long enough to warm everything through and make the cheese melt. You can print off the recipe card below or pin it to Pinterest to make later!

History Behind Hotdish

The first time the term Hotdish was known to be used was back in 1930 when a hot dish recipe was in a Grace Lutheran Ladies Aid Cookbook. This group of ladies was from the Mankato, MN area. The recipe included pasta noodles, canned peas and hamburger…of course and was considered a complete meal! Another one of the draws to this Midwest classic is the thought of it being a way to economically feed a family.

You can read more about it on the Eater.

All the names to call hotdishes like this:

  • Goolash
  • Funeral Hotdish – It got this name because of the ease to make this in large quantities. Maybe it could also be called Family Reunion hotdish too?
  • Red Hotdish
  • Hamburger Hotdish
  • North Dakota Hotdish
Tell me below in a comment if you have a different name your family calls this type of hotdish!
Hotdish in low bowl ready to be served

What to serve with Red Hotdish with Hamburger:

We usually have red hotdish at home with cooked vegetables like peas or peas and carrots. If we have bread baked, we will do a side of sourdough bread or toast. Other ideas:

  • Side Salad
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cornbread
Sauce added to browned hamburger

Cast Iron

We switched from non-stick pans to cast iron about a year and a half ago. I was skeptical of the change, but my husband thought we should give it a try. I did quite a bit of research beforehand and decided on Smithey Ironware. One of the reasons we decided on this brand was the smooth nonstick surface. I have it linked at the bottom of this post if you would like to check it out for your own home. They are kind of an investment, but I love that I won’t need to buy another because they last a lifetime and then some!

Pin for Later:

Pinable image for hotdish recipe

Red Hamburger Hotdish: A Recipe from the Farm

red hotdish in bowl
  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 7 basil leaves, chopped or 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or 1 tsp dried garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 12 oz egg noodles
  • ¾ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large saucepan boil the noodles according to package directions.
  2. Next, in a large skillet on medium-high heat fry up the hamburger and while that is frying add the basil, garlic, oregano, black pepper and salt. When it is cooked through remove from heat and drain the fat.
  3. Return to medium heat and add the tomato paste, cream of mushroom, ketchup, and cream. Stir until thoroughly combined and add in noodles with the beef mixture. Transfer to a casserole dish and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake with lid on for 30 minutes or until heated through. Enjoy with a vegetable side and a slice of sourdough bread!
  5. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in the casserole dish with a lid or an airtight container for 3-5 days.

Red Hamburger Hotdish: A Recipe from the Farm

A Midwest comfort food. Perfect for a quick and hearty meal for your family and a different way to use hamburger!
Print Recipe
Close up of red hotdish in low bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 7 basil leaves chopped or 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or 1 tsp dried garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 can 10.5 oz cream of mushroom
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 12 oz egg noodles
  • ¾ cup mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large saucepan boil the noodles according to package directions.
  • Next, in a large skillet on medium-high heat fry up the hamburger and while that is frying add the basil, garlic, oregano, black pepper and salt.
    Garlic Scapes and basil on cutting board
  • When it is cooked through remove from heat and drain the fat.
    Browned hamburger in Smithey Cast iron
  • Return to medium heat and add the tomato paste, cream of mushroom, ketchup, and cream. Stir until thoroughly combined and add in noodles with the beef mixture.
    Sauce added to browned hamburger
  • Transfer to a casserole dish and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
    Cheese on top of hotdish ready to go in the oven
  • Bake with lid on for 30 minutes or until heated through. Enjoy with a vegetable side and a slice of sourdough bread!
    Out of the oven and ready to eat

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in the casserole dish with a lid or an airtight container for 3-5 days.
Servings: 6

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Other Quick Recipe from the Farm for Family Dinners / Suppers:

Interested in Sourdough? Learn all about it with Agnes!

Hope you enjoy Red Hotdish with Hamburger: a recipe from the farm as an addition to your recipe box! Comment below if you have any questions or thoughts to share! Thanks!

Mariah N.| TheFarmChicken
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
Genesis 9:13
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6 Comments

  1. We call it a casserole, but I’ve never made it with the sauce combination you have in your recipe. I will have to give that a try next time I do this for my family!

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