Beef and Sour Cream Noodle Casserole

Recipe Pin
40 minutes
8 servings

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Okay fellow carboholics, this Sour Cream Noodle Bake is ‘comfort food bliss 101’ for those of you who cannot get enough beefy pasta goodness!

sour cream noodle bake on white plate

I’m just saying, there is some damn thing about this Sour Cream Noodle Bake recipe! Al dente tender egg noodles are blanketed in a creamy sauce and baked right along with ground beef and sausage for an easy weeknight meal your whole family will embrace.

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This is a great recipe to assemble on an especially busy night when time is truly limited or if you have seriously picky eaters in the family. It’s an easy recipe that boasts hearty pasta in a super cheesy sauce and I promise will put homemade meals in a whole other category of greatness.

Lately, casseroles and bakes like these have been my go-to. And, there are almost always leftovers so the answer to a repeat performance can magically emerge from beneath the lid on an airtight container should I freeze portions for another night.

Sometimes, the most satisfying meals prepared for our own tables, are the ones that are economical, comforting, and just plain simple. The fact that they taste good is a bonus…

Ingredients for This Easy Dinner Bake

  • lean ground beef (may substitute ground turkey or ground chicken)
  • mild Italian pork sausage
  • sweet onion
  • garlic
  • homemade tomato sauce or jarred marinara sauce
  • wide egg noodles
  • sour cream
  • green onions, green and light green parts only
  • small curd cottage cheese (may substitute ricotta cheese or very soft cream cheese)
  • Italian seasoning
  • garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)
  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • Monterey Jack cheese

Optional

  • red pepper flakes
  • parmesan cheese
sour cream noodle bake close up

How to Make My Noodle Sour Cream Casserole Recipe

Before You Begin

Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter or spray a pretty 9 x 13 casserole dish. Set aside while you prepare the casserole ingredients.

Grate cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses and set aside. Add the grated cheddar and Jack to a separate bowl and toss to combine.

If you like your bakes on the spicy side, consider adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce, and have them at the ready.

Cook the Components

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and sausage together, breaking up with a wooden spoon, and cooking until the crumbles are nearly browned.

Remove from skillet and spoon onto paper toweling to drain fat. Meanwhile, return the skillet to the heat and add the onions.

Cook until the onions have softened about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the fresh garlic and cook for 1 minute more, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Remove skillet from heat.

Add the beef and sausage mixture back to the skillet and stir to mix with the onion. To this mixture, add either tomato sauce if you have homemade or a basic jarred marinara, stirring to combine, and simmer on low heat while you prepare the remaining ingredients. If you plan to add some heat, give the sauce a pinch of red pepper flakes now.

Pro Tip: If the meat mixture appears too thick when you get ready to assemble, use a ladle and stir in some of the starchy pasta water before draining. Use JUST ENOUGH to thin it out slightly.

Boil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a teaspoon salt and a teaspoon of any oil to help the cooked noodles avoid sticking.

Add the entire bag and cook according to package directions minus 1 minute. They should be just slightly under cooked. Drain and set aside.

Make Sauce

In the barrel of a food processor or mini chef prep, whip the cottage cheese for 1 to 2 minutes until very smooth. This step is optional but I find with picky eaters, cottage cheese oftentimes poses a textural issue, so I whip it to sneak it in. Just substitute ricotta if it’s an issue.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the (whipped) cottage cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions (green and light green parts only), Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper until smooth and well combined. Add the sour cream mixture to the cooked pasta and stir to coat the strands well.

Assemble and Bake

To assemble the casserole, add half of the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the sauce, and then sprinkle with half of the cheese.

Repeat the layers once more making a second layer using the remaining noodles, remaining sauce, and a final layer of cheese. I then sprinkle modestly with additional black pepper but you do you 😉

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until all cheese is melted and bubbly. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and serve immediately with a side salad and a slice of garlic bread. Pass parmesan cheese tableside.

Modifying the Norm to Make It Not Entirely Average

  • Add fresh baby spinach leaves or or chopped kale to the sauce before layering.
  • Switch up from wide noodles to penne pasta or elbow macaroni.
  • Add another layer altogether of chopped artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and sundried tomatoes for a Mediterranean spin.
HERO image for a Sour Cream Noodle Bake casserole.

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

Jenny DeRemer
Okay fellow carboholics, this Sour Cream Noodle Bake is 'comfort food bliss 101' for those of you who cannot get enough beefy pasta goodness!
5 from 57 votes
Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 8 servings
Calories 457 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • ½ pound lean ground beef may substitute ground turkey or ground chicken
  • ½ pound mild Italian pork sausage
  • 1 medium sweet onion such as Vidalia diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce, homemade if available may substitute basic jarred marinara sauce in equal measure
  • 12 ounce bag wide egg noodles may substitute penne pasta or elbow macaroni in equal dry measure
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup green onion chopped; green and light green parts only
  • 1 ¼ cups small curd cottage cheese optional – whip for 1 to 2 minutes in food processor until very smooth
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder NOT garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper plus more for dusting surface of casserole if desired
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded from a large block
  • ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded from a large block

optional

  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and butter or spray 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Grate cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses and add to a separate bowl. Toss to combine.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and sausage together, breaking up with a wooden spoon, and cooking until the crumbles are nearly browned. Remove from skillet and spoon onto paper toweling to drain fat. 
  • Return the skillet to the heat and add the onions. Cook until the onions have softened about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the fresh garlic and cook for 1 minute more, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Remove skillet from heat.
  • Add the beef and sausage mixture back to the skillet and stir to mix with the onion. To this add tomato sauce, stirring to combine. Place back over heat and and simmer on low. If you desire heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes now. Pro Tip: If the meat mixture appears too thick when you get ready to assemble, use a ladle and stir in some of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta. Use JUST ENOUGH to thin it out slightly.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a teaspoon salt and a teaspoon of any oil to help the cooked noodles avoid sticking. Add the egg noodles and cook according to package directions minus 1 minute. Noodles should be slightly under cooked. Drain and set aside.
  • In the barrel of a food processor, whip the cottage cheese for 1 to 2 minutes until very smooth. This step is optional. You may add the cottage cheese straight from the container. Cottage cheese oftentimes poses a textural issue for picky eaters, so I whip it first.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the (whipped) cottage cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions (green and light green parts only), Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper until smooth and well combined. Add the sour cream mixture to the cooked pasta and stir to coat the noodles well.
  • To assemble the casserole, add half of the noodles to the prepared baking dish. Top the pasta with half of the pasta sauce, and then sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat the layers using remaining noodles, remaining sauce, and a final layer of cheese. Sprinkle modestly with additional black pepper only if desired.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until all cheese is melted and bubbly. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and serve immediately with a side salad and a slice of garlic bread. Pass parmesan cheese tableside for those needing an additional boost of cheesy goodness 😉

Notes

Please Note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not use table salt or iodized salt in any of the recipes you find on Not Entirely Average UNLESS specified otherwise.
Store Leftover Casserole in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator up to 3 days. To Reheat microwave on medium heat for 2 minutes, stir, then 30 seconds more. To Freeze place leftovers or fully baked casserole in freezer safe container/baking pan, wrap with heavy gauge aluminum foil and place in freezer for up to 2 months. To Thaw place in refrigerator overnight.

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 457kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 25gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 553mgPotassium: 516mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 546IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 200mgIron: 3mg
Did you love this recipe?Leave a comment and Let me know how it was!
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Recipe Rating




26 Comments

  1. Absolute new fam favorite! Everyone loved it there were barely any leftovers! It’s perfectly creamy, cheesy and so delicious! Thanks a lot for the recipe!5 stars

  2. I made this for my kids because I had a lot of the ingredients on hand. They LOVED it, will definitely make again. YUM!5 stars

  3. Made this Sour Cream Noodle Bake with very soft cream cheese instead of small curd cottage cheese. It is super creamy, so cheesy and absolutely delicious. I added some red pepper flakes and it gave a nice little kick to the dish. So yum!5 stars

    1. Mikee, cream cheese is one of those ingredients that offers superior textural and flavor results. If not a fan of cottage cheese, or cream cheese is just what happens to be on hand, it’s a fab stand-in in this recipe 🙂 Glad you thought enough of it to let me know! Jenny

  4. The combination of beef and sausage gave it a delicious richness to the dish. I added some artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes and it gave a Mediterranean touch that was so delicious.5 stars

  5. Made this yummy casserole last night, again! Since you mix the seasonings in later into the cottage cheese, wondered if you could just add them to the cottage cheese when you whip it.5 stars

    1. Barbara! That’s not a half-bad idea; then you could effectively taste for seasoning requirements. I just bought a new container of cottage cheese today (cottage cheese is undoubtedly having its moment, isn’t it?) so I will try doing that if I make this toward the end of the week. We are finally supposed to have a freeze here in Charleston, and this casserole is just the sort of homey comfort I love when it’s cold 🙂 x – Jenny

      1. Thanks! I also whipped some extra, and mixed a 1/2 teaspoon of Penzey’s Mural of Flavor, a salt-free mixture of herbs, with it. Let it sit overnight to meld. It was very good as a cracker dip. Next time I will add more herbs to it. Just as creamy as Philadelphia Cream Cheese, but with fewer calories.5 stars

  6. What a comforting and delicious meal…this looks amazing and sounds perfect on a cold fall evening. I have to make this for my family!5 stars

  7. Very, very good!!!! Actually reminded me of Lasagna. Slightly different of course, but the beef, Italian sausage and seasonings, cottage cheese and pasta, as well as how it is assembled, made me think of that. I did use a lot more grated cheese than a 1/2 cup of each, but we are cheese lovers. I cut the two-pound block of Jack cheese into four pieces and froze 3. Used one and about the same amount of cheddar.

    I tasted the whipped cottage cheese and loved the texture. I think it would be great to use it as a dip, instead of sour cream, with about half the calories. By the time you mix in the seasonings, I don’t think it would make a really big difference.

    One more thing. I cooked a 1 lb. beef chub and a package of 5 sausages. I drained and divided it in half, so now I have the meat already cooked for the next time around. Froze it, of course.5 stars

    1. Barbara, isn’t it fantastic that this method is entirely customizable? I assembled it two weeks ago again using a TON of fresh chopped veggies and chopped spinach. The moment you add crumbled sausage to pasta, eaters appear to be able to “see past” the vegetables! lol

      1. The addition of the spinach sounds good! My husband isn’t a big spinach eater, but in this case, I think it would work! What other vegetables did you use?5 stars

        1. Barbara, I am in a tricky position in that I have to “sneak” vegetables into my dishes, or my picky eaters push them around the plate. I, therefore, grate or food-process anything from carrots, zucchini, and butternut squash and incorporate it into my sauce. Carrots, butternut, and even sweet potatoes make for a sweet sauce, while zucchini, finely chopped spinach, and kale take on the flavor of your sauce. I do about 3/4-cup no matter what vegetable I incorporate. They don’t know it, but they get grated zucchini in the burgers we grill, too!

  8. I have made something similar, but just with ground beef! Never thought about adding the Italian Sausage! Perfect! Also thank you for your suggestion to process the cottage cheese. I use cottage cheese when I make Lasagna and never thought of that. What a great idea to smooth it out!

    Haven’t made it yet, but I am giving it a top rating, especially because of your hints! And by the way, I don’t call them leftovers, they are planned overs. The only way to cook for two people!5 stars

    1. Olivia, so glad to know you tried it and liked it! I have been experimenting with additional noodle casserole recipes because folks still in quarantine/self quarantining are asking for them. I did a French onion noodle bake two nights ago that passed the “man test,” so will post that very soon. I’d be happy for you to try it 🙂 x – Jenny