If you love the flavor of burgers and are looking for a one-pot main the whole family will love, look no further: This hamburger casserole is where it’s at. With a cheesy burger base seasoned with ketchup and mustard topped with a buttery, sesame seed-scattered crust made from pre-made crescent rolls, it’s a quick and easy casserole to add to your regular rotation.
"This casserole is a great option when you want the taste of a burger, but you also want to add something different to the rotation," says recipe developer Erin Johnson of Probably in the Kitchen, noting that a major benefit of the recipe is that it takes ingredients you probably already have in the pantry and mixes them up in a totally different way. The ketchup, mustard, pickles, and cheese you associate with a burger are all hidden beneath the crust, though of course, you’re free to garnish each portion with more before serving!
Gather the ingredients for this hamburger casserole
This hamburger casserole calls, of course, for ground beef, which is seasoned with a host of pantry staples. Worcestershire sauce is a frequent secret ingredient in burgers or meat sauces to add a kick of umami flavor, and this casserole is no exception. The familiar tastes of ketchup, yellow mustard, and chopped dill pickles help this casserole deliver on its burger-y promise. Shredded cheddar and condensed cheddar soup both add another layer of delightful flavor to the casserole. And a store-bought tube of crescent rolls makes the top layer a cinch to perfect.
Brown the beef for the hamburger casserole
To begin this hamburger casserole, you’ll first need to preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While it’s heating, turn your attention to the beef and onions, cooking them until browned and a little bit caramelized. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, then add the garlic and Worcestershire sauce, and cook until just aromatic. Garlic burns quickly and easily, so it’s always important to keep a close eye on it: You don’t want it making the whole dish bitter.
Add the condiments to the beef for the hamburger casserole
Once the beef for your hamburger casserole is cooked, it’s time to season it with some time-honored burger toppings: ketchup, mustard, and cheddar cheese.
"I like using cheddar cheese soup in situations where you want creaminess and something to bind your casserole together," says Johnson. "Similar to how cream of mushroom/chicken works in casseroles, this provides the binding but also pumps up the cheese flavor." A touch of water loosens up the thick mixture. Stir until everything is well incorporated.
Add the cheese and pickles to the hamburger casserole
The last guests to join this party are the chopped dill pickles and shredded cheddar cheese. The latter adds gooeyness and cheese pull for a truly decadent casserole that will have everyone demanding seconds.
Once you’ve stirred these ingredients in, the filling is ready to be transferred to a casserole dish or pie pan. Johnson prefers a round pan for a prettier presentation. Be sure to smooth out the beef mixture so that the topping goes on evenly.
Top the hamburger casserole with crescent rolls
Last step: covering the beef with the crescent roll dough, which Johnson loves for its buttery flavor and flaky texture. Take the time to arrange each crescent with its short edge along the outer rim of the baking dish and its point toward the center. Says Johnson: "This is a great way to make a basic casserole seem like something special!"
Scatter with sesame seeds (if you like) and slip into the oven for seven to twelve minutes or until golden brown.
Serve your hamburger casserole
Remove the hamburger casserole from the oven. It’s time to dig in! Johnson loves serving this casserole with a side salad featuring the traditional burger toppings: lettuce, onion, and tomato.
While this casserole is perfect as-is, Johnson notes that the filling can also be enjoyed more as a skillet meal. "If your heart is set on using hamburger buns," she says, "you could just scoop the mix right into them sloppy Joe style."
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup chopped dill pickles
- 1 can crescent roll dough
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onions. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the garlic and Worcestershire.
- Mix in the cheddar cheese soup, water, ketchup, and mustard. Stir until combined.
- Add the cheese and the pickles and stir.
- Pour the beef mixture into a baking dish or pie pan.
- Cover the beef with the crescent roll dough and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 12 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.
- Serve warm with your favorite burger toppings.