Sour Cream Noodle Bake

It’s no secret that I love to cook. However, I also love to freeze!

I’m always thrilled when I find a recipe that can be easily split into two dishes – one to enjoy the same day and one to freeze for later. I love having options in the freezer that can be pulled for an easy dinner on a hectic day, or can be shared with a friend at any time! When your love language is food, it’s nice to have some ready to give at any point 😉

This Sour Cream Noodle Bake is a great example of a freezer-friendly dish. The ingredients are so simple and easy to put together that I typically double up on my shopping list and make two pans of the casserole when this finds its way to our weekly menu. Pair it with some bread and a salad and you have an easy weeknight dinner any time!

Do you love a freezer-friendly meal? Try this one out and let me know what you think!


Sour Cream Noodle Bake

  • 1 ¼ lbs ground chuck
  • 1 sm onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 8 ounces egg noodles
  • ½ C sour cream
  • 1 C small curd cottage cheese
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ C sliced green onions
  • 1 C grated sharp Cheddar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brown the meat, onion and garlic in a large skillet. 

Drain the fat, and then add the tomato sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Give it a good stir and then simmer away while you prepare the other ingredients.

Cook the egg noodles until al dente, then drain and set them aside. You can really use whatever pasta you enjoy or have on-hand here – I’m not always a fan of egg noodles, so sometimes I choose a farfalle or macaroni noodle instead. Any pasta will work here, but I would try to stick to a shorter shaped pasta over long noodles such a spaghetti or fettuccine so that the pasta will grab on and hold some of the tomato sauce when you are ready to dig in.

In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream and cottage cheese. If you aren’t a fan of cottage cheese – please give it a try here! You can use large- or small-curd cottage cheese in the recipe, the curds will mostly melt and blend in to your sauce as it bakes. Trust me and our experience… Will’s not a fan of cottage cheese in its purest form, but he really enjoys this dish!

Stir in a bunch of freshly ground black pepper and just a pinch of red pepper flakes – you can adjust the heat level to your taste here but a good amount of black pepper works nicely with the creamy sauce.

Stir in the cooked noodles.

Add the green onions and stir to combine.

To assemble the noodle bake, add half of the noodles to a baking dish.  Top the noodles with half of the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated Cheddar. 

Repeat the process with noodles, meat and then a final layer of cheese.

Bake until all the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

If you want to freeze, follow these simple directions:

To freeze: Assemble the Sour Cream Noodle Bake in a disposable aluminum oven-proof pan and seal the top of the container with the lid or heavy foil. Seal the edges to prevent freezer burn and place in the freezer.

To cook from frozen: Place directly in a 375-degree F oven and bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and bake until lightly brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes more.

This is such an easy, delicious dish to have any night for dinner or ready to pull from the freezer. What’s your favorite freezer-capable dish? Let me hear about it!


Full Recipe

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

  • 1 ¼ lbs ground chuck
  • 1 sm onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 8 ounces egg noodles
  • ½ C sour cream
  • 1 C small curd cottage cheese
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ C sliced green onions
  • 1 C grated sharp Cheddar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Brown the meat, onion and garlic in a large skillet. 

Drain the fat, and then add the tomato sauce, basil, s&p.

Stir, and then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

Cook the egg noodles until al dente. 

Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream and cottage cheese. 

Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes. 

Add to the noodles and stir. 

Add the green onions and stir.

To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. 

Top with half the meat mixture, and then sprinkle on half the grated Cheddar. 

Repeat with noodles, meat and then a final layer of cheese. 

Bake until all the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

To freeze: Assemble the Sour Cream Noodle Bake in a disposable aluminum oven-proof pan and seal the top of the container with the lid or heavy foil. Seal the edges to prevent freezer burn and place in the freezer.

To cook from frozen: Place directly in a 375-degree F oven and bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and bake until lightly brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes more.

Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole

casserole

Who needs an easy weeknight meal? Everyone, yes?!

I think we have all seen variations of a tater tot casserole – meat on the bottom, covered in cheese, topped with tots and baked.  This is no exception, but I am pretty proud of it.

I like a good Sloppy Joe now and then, the tangy almost-BBQ style sauce is a familiar, comforting flavor.  However, a Sloppy Joe sandwich presents a problem to me… soggy bread.  I am a hard pass on soggy bread. So to me, replacing bread with tater tots was a moment of brilliance. 😉

Will was challenged with the sauce recipe.  He played around and this one is our hands-down favorite.  It does closely resemble a BBQ sauce with the tang and sweet heat and utilizes ingredients that we consider pantry staples.  Perfect for a weeknight throw-down dinner.

Here’s my challenge to you: please enjoy this Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole.  But then, think about the ways you could change up the meat (Italian sausage or ground turkey anyone?), the sauce (is that jar of marinara in the pantry calling to you?) or the cheese (what about a Pepper Jack?) to enjoy a different flavor profile. You could also sneak in some veggies by adding beans or corn as you are sauteing the meat and veggies. Customize the dish to the likes of your family – and let me know how you do it!

Weeknight dinner – COVERED!


Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole

  • 1 pound ground meat
  • Bell or poblano pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1-2 T flour
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup (pretty much a 20 oz bottle)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more as needed
  • 1-2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Frozen tater tots
  • Green onion, sliced for topping

Preheat the oven to 375.

Saute the ground meat, pepper and onion in a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet.  As for the pepper – we like a little heat and tend to use poblano peppers in place of green bell peppers.  Coming up, the sauce also calls for red pepper flakes so you can adjust the heat level easily by either using bell peppers here or adding/removing the red pepper flakes later.  Customize the heat levels to your taste!

*Heads up here – you are going to bake the casserole after it comes together.  If you have one available, an oven proof skillet is great way to go here.  You can transfer it right into the oven and not mess with another dish later. I love our Calphalon cookware for this very reason!  If you don’t have an oven proof skillet available, spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray and set it aside for now.

As the meat mixture is cooking, grab a bowl and mix up the sauce ingredients. Whisk together the flour, ketchup, garlic, brown sugar, chili powder, dry mustard, red pepper flakes and Worcestershire.  Once it is all combined, check for seasoning and add salt & pepper as you like.

When the meat is browned and the veggies are softened, stir in the sauce mixture.  Simmer the mixture on low heat for about 10 minutes and check again for seasoning.

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At this point, if you are not using an oven safe skillet transfer the mixture to your prepared 9×13 pan.

Top the casserole with the shredded cheddar cheese, then the frozen tater tots.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the tater tots are toasty and brown.

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Top with the sliced green onions and enjoy!

How will you enjoy this casserole?  Traditional Sloppy Joe?  Or change it up to something like Mexican taco flavor or Italian red sauce and mozzarella cheese?  Let me know!

IMG_2156


Full Recipe

Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole

  • 1 pound ground meat
  • Bell or poblano pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1-2 T flour
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup (20 oz bottle)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more as needed
  • 1-2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Frozen tater tots
  • Green onion, sliced for topping

Preheat oven to 375.

Saute the meat, peppers and onions in a couple tablespoons olive oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients.

When the meat is browned and veggies softened, stir the sauce mixture into the meat.

Simmer over medium-low heat, about 10 minutes.

Pour in a 9×13 pan if not using an oven safe skillet.

Top with shredded cheddar and frozen tater tots.

Bake 40-45 minutes.

Top with green onion and serve.