One of my favorite recipes from my childhood is this ground beef noodle casserole that my grandmother used to make for us when we came for a visit. It has ground beef, egg noodles, black olives, corn, mushrooms, and shredded cheddar cheese.
It may sound like an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of recipe, or a midwestern version of tamale pie (corn, olives, mushrooms?), but wow is it good!
It also feeds a crowd—which was perfect for out big family (six kids)—and is relatively budget friendly.
I have no idea where my grandmother got the recipe, but I did find her old hand written notes for it, including its name—Talerine. Doing a quick Google search for "talerine" reveals several similar recipes that many people coincidentally got from their grandmothers.
It's a great casserole—tasty, easy to make, hearty, and makes for great leftovers too. Do you have a similar casserole in your family history? Let us know about it in the comments!
What is Talerine or Tagliarini Casserole?
This dish is one of those "my grandmother used to make a casserole like this, but she called it something different" recipes. It seems that sometime in the 1950s or 1960s, the combination of ground beef, noodles, and cheese became a go-to base for adding all manner of vegetables and spices, and probably which vegetables and spices depended on the family's cultural background.
Tagliarini and talerine are commonly found names for versions of this casserole. Tagliarini is a ribbon-shaped pasta, and home cooks often use that shaped pasta in versions of this dish. Perhaps talerine is a shortened version of the word tagliarini.
Whatever you call it—beef noodle casserole, tagliarini or talerine casserole, or even goulash (another name for a similar casserole)—it's a delicious way to feed a crowd.
Can This Noodle Casserole Be Made in Advance?
Meal planners, rejoice! You can assemble the casserole up to a day in advance, cool it, then cover with foil and refrigerate. Pull the casserole from the fridge when you preheat the oven. Bake as directed in the recipe, though you may need to add a few more minutes, since the casserole will be going into the oven cold.
Freeze an uncooked, fully assembled casserole for up to 3 months. Cover the casserole in its dish with foil and then wrap with two layers of plastic wrap. To bake, remove the plastic wrap, and bake the frozen casserole with the foil on at 350°F for 1 1/2 hours, or until fully cooked through. Remove the foil 30 minutes before it's done cooking.
Jazz Up Beef Noodle Casserole
You can add various ingredients to this casserole based on your personal preferences or perhaps what you recall your grandmother putting in something similar when you were a child. Here are some suggestions.
- Switch out the cheddar cheese for extra sharp cheddar, mozzarella, or Monterey Jack.
- Add seasonings to ground beef as it browns such as chili powder, paprika, or Italian seasoning.
- Add additional vegetables such as chopped zucchini or yellow squash.
- Add a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
- Use half ground beef and half ground pork.
5 More Crowd-Pleasing Casserole Recipes
- Sausage Breakfast Casserole
- Reuben Casserole
- Easy Shepherd's Pie
- Biscuits and Gravy Casserole
- Pastelón (Puerto Rican Plantain Lasagna)
Beef Noodle Casserole
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 /2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, finely chopped, about 1 cup
- 3 cloves garlic, minced, about 1 tablespoon
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled or crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 12 ounces egg noodles
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, defrosted
- 1 (15 ounce) can of black olives, strained and chopped
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat the oven, start heating the water:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt to 2 quarts water in a large pot, and start to bring to a boil for cooking the egg noodles.
Make the tomato sauce:
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium high heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot or skillet. Add the onions and bell pepper and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with your fingers or a knife if you are using whole canned tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to warm.
Brown the ground beef, then season:
In a separate skillet, add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat to medium-high. Working in batches, so you do not crowd the pan, add the ground beef, breaking it up with your fingers as you add it to the pan.
Do not stir the ground beef, but let it sit and cook for a minute or two until it browns on one side.
Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the salt over the meat while cooking.
Once browned on one side, turn the pieces over to get the other side browned. Once the meat is mostly browned (can still be rare in the center), remove the beef from the pan and add to the tomato onion mixture.
Sauté the mushrooms:
Add the mushrooms to the same pan that you had used for browning the beef and sauté the mushrooms in the remaining oil and beef drippings. Once browned, add the mushrooms to the beef and tomato mixture.
Cook the egg noodles:
While the mushrooms are cooking, add the egg noodle pasta to the boiling water. Cook as directed, about 4-5 minutes. Strain when cooked, but still a little firm (al dente).
Add everything to the casserole:
Add the cooked egg noodles to a large (3 quart) casserole dish. (If your casserole dish isn't big enough, you may need to use 2 casserole dishes.)
Stir in the tomato beef mixture. Stir in the corn, chopped olives, and about two thirds of the cheese.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of casserole. Place in the oven. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 30 minutes.