I’m just saying, there is some damn thing about Sour Cream Noodle Bake!
Okay all of you fellow carboholics, this Sour Cream Noodle Bake is comfort food bliss 101. Just before I moved from my last home, a neighbor dropped in unexpectedly. I had prepared Sour Cream Noodle Bake earlier in the day and placed it into my refrigerator until dinner time. I was in the middle of actually baking it when she arrived, bottle of wine in hand, and a grin from ear to ear that screamed ‘girly night.’
Not one to say no, I stepped aside and in she popped. Laughingly, her first words to me besides “where is your wine opener” was “what smells so great in this kitchen?!” I recall setting an extra place at the table and worrying somewhat that I wasn’t about to plate up filet and potato, but rather a humble casserole. Little could I know that my friend would not only go back for seconds, but also thirds. I’m just saying, there is some damn thing about Sour Cream Noodle Bake!
My Gram used to have a version of a Sour Cream Noodle Bake that I loved, but neither my cousin nor I could find the recipe after she passed away.
I never thought of myself as a casserole kinda gal, but of late, and because it’s hard some nights to push myself to cook when I am short on time, casseroles have been my go-to. And, there are almost always leftovers with a casserole, so the answer to a next day’s hot lunch or a repeat of the night before suits me fine. Sour Cream Noodle Bake has been done by mom’s and grandma’s in home kitchens forever. My Gram used to have a version that I loved, but neither my cousin nor I could find the recipe after she passed away. Hers called for hard boiled eggs, halved and dotted across the top, as well as a lot more sausage than I am specifying here.
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…
I have heard of Sour Cream Noodle Bake also referred to as Dairy Noodle Bake, Beef & Cheese Noodle Casserole, and Shaker Noodle Casserole, but the method and ingredients largely the same. It’s a classic for sure.
This Sour Cream Noodle Bake calls for cottage cheese. I know there are those who dislike cottage cheese, but rest assured, ricotta or even softened cream cheese may be substituted in the same measurements. I prefer to stay on recipe and always use the cottage cheese. It is really not discernible once everything is mixed together and the casserole is baked. Cottage cheese adds an extra layer of cheesy goodness if you were to ask me. In lieu of the green onions being incorporated into the sour cream mixture, I have been known to on occasion sub chopped fresh basil or even chopped fresh marjoram. Ohhhhh sooooo goooood!
A wise cook once said “never forget the wine.” Actually, that may have been me who said that…
Ingredients for Sour Cream Noodle Bake
½ lb lean ground beef
½ lb mild Italian pork sausage, removed from casings if using links
1 medium-sized sweet onion, diced
1 garlic clove minced
15-ounce can tomato sauce
12-ounce bag of egg noodles
1/2 cup sour cream
¼ cup chopped green onion
1 1/4 cup small curd cottage cheese (can substitute Ricotta)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon, and cooking until the crumbles are nearly browned. Remove from skillet and spoon onto paper toweling to drain. Meanwhile, return the skillet to the heat and add the onions. Cook until the onions have softened about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Remove skillet from heat.
Add the meats back to the skillet and stir to mix with the onion. To this mixture, add the tomato sauce, stirring to combine, and simmer on low heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. *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 salted water to a boil. Add the egg noodles and cook according to package directions minus 1 minute. Noodles should be slightly under cooked. Drain and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the sour cream, cottage cheese, green onion, black pepper, and the onion powder until smooth and well combined. Add the sour cream mixture to the noodles 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 meat sauce, and then sprinkle half of the cheese over the sauce. Repeat the layers once more. Sprinkle with additional black pepper if desired.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until all cheese is melted and bubbly.
Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and serve immediately with a salad and crusty bread and butter.