Hamburger Noodle Pleaser

You know when you read through a recipe and you get to the very end and there’s a note about how that particular recipe would be just fantastic if you doubled it and froze one portion for “a later use”?  Yeah.  I often think to myself that that would be a wonderful and wonderfully practical idea but for some reason I rarely follow through with it.  Something about freezing main dishes and heating them up later just seems overwhelming to me.  I’m not sure why. Logically, I realize that makes no sense.  In the big scheme of life’s overwhelming tasks freezing half of a casserole probably rates very low.  But still.

This is not one of those times.  A few weeks ago I actually made a big double batch of one of my most favorite casseroles and last night it was our dinner.  We had a lazy Sunday around here.  There was some cleaning and organizing to be sure but mostly it was just lolling around.  It was nice.  When dinner time rolled around it took us all by surprise.  It was then that I looked in the freezer in a desperate attempt to come up with something to feed my family. When my eyes rested upon the frosty casserole dish in the back I fell deeply in love with Jen From Three Weeks Ago.  The Jen that so conscientiously froze a yummy casserole for “a later use.”  Jen From Three Weeks Ago rocks.  I heart her.

And now I am sharing this delightful little gem of a comfort food recipe with you.  Even the name just makes me tingle with delight.  This recipe originated from a lovely woman named Allison Wagner.  Allison Wagner is a friend of my BFF Lisa’s.  I have never met Allison Wagner but I’ve heard nothing but good things.  Sometimes I think maybe she’s not actually a real person but a mythical figure that represents all that is good and perfect about noodle casseroles.  I can’t help but have a little girl crush on her.  Her casserole is just so damn good, how could you not?  You’ll understand when you try it…and when you do, I highly recommend you follow through with the note at the end and freeze half of it for “a later use” like a lazy Sunday in your future.   I promise you that you will fall deeply in love with You Three Weeks From Now. 

Allison Wagner’s Hamburger Noodle Pleaser


1 package softened cream cheese
12  ounces sour cream
1 lb. ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
1 16 ounce package extra wide egg noodles
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated


Preheat oven 350.

Combine softened cream cheese and sour cream.

Cook beef, drain fat and add onion, garlic, salt, sugar, pepper, and tomato sauce. 
Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes while you cook noodles. 
Layer half the noodles, cheese, meat sauce, then repeat layers and top with cheese. 
Bake until bubbly, about 30-45 minutes. 
Can be divided into 2 small casseroles and be frozen for later use. 

I fully intended to take a photo of the finished casserole for you but I was so excited to dig in that I completely forgot.   It’s that good!




  • Lisa

    Oh Hamburger Noodle Pleaser…you have pleased many a starving college kids, and sleep deprived families with newborns, and now the potential for pleasing is limitless thanks to the blog! I hope Deb and Allison realize the reach this little casserole has! It really is the BEST casserole ever:) Now with all this pleasing talk, I'm going to have to make it this week!

  • Allison Wagner

    Jen- You make working moms look damn good! How do you find time to blog with your amasing sense of humor as CEO of the household? Well done!

    So glad the casserole has come in handy. My mother, Debbie Van Dyke, deserves all the credit. Note that she always froze an extra one for later use.

    Enjoy your leftovers!

    Allison Wagner

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