Cheesy Ranch Ground Beef and Rice Casserole

Dive into Comfort with Cheesy Ranch Ground Beef and Rice Casserole

Are you craving a hearty and flavorful dish that’s easy to prepare and loved by the whole family? Look no further than our Cheesy Ranch Ground Beef and Rice Casserole! This delicious one-pan meal combines the savory goodness of ground beef, the creamy richness of cheese, and the zesty kick of ranch seasoning, all baked to perfection in a comforting casserole. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing dish for a potluck, this recipe is sure to satisfy. Join us as we explore the ingredients, instructions, cook notes, variations, and even keto and low-carb versions of this mouthwatering casserole.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup white rice, uncooked
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: sliced green onions, chopped parsley, sour cream

Instructions:

1. Preheat the Oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter.

2. Cook the Ground Beef:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until browned and cooked through, breaking it apart with a spatula.
  2. Drain any excess fat from the skillet and transfer the cooked beef to a plate.

3. Cook the Vegetables:

  1. In the same skillet, add the diced onion, bell pepper, and minced garlic.
  2. Sauté the vegetables until they are soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.

4. Combine the Ingredients:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked ground beef, sautéed vegetables, uncooked rice, ranch seasoning mix, cream of mushroom soup, and chicken broth.
  2. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.

5. Transfer to the Baking Dish:

  1. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  2. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.

6. Bake the Casserole:

  1. Place the covered baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  2. Remove the foil and sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole.
  3. Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

7. Serve and Enjoy:

  1. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
  2. Garnish with optional toppings such as sliced green onions, chopped parsley, or a dollop of sour cream.
  3. Serve hot and enjoy the comforting flavors of this delicious casserole!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Vegetarian Option: Replace the ground beef with plant-based ground meat or extra vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, or tofu.
  • Gluten-Free Version: Ensure that the ranch seasoning mix and cream of mushroom soup are gluten-free, or use gluten-free alternatives.
  • Add Some Heat: For a spicier version, add diced jalapeños or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the mixture.

Keto Versions and Low-Carb Versions:

Keto Version:

  • Replace the Rice: Substitute cauliflower rice for white rice to reduce the carb content.
  • Use Full-Fat Ingredients: Opt for full-fat cream of mushroom soup and cheese to maintain the keto-friendly macronutrient ratios.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Omit the Rice: Skip the rice altogether and increase the amount of ground beef and vegetables for a lower-carb option.
  • Use Cauliflower: Replace the rice with cooked cauliflower florets for a low-carb alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?

Yes, you can use brown rice for a healthier and nuttier alternative. However, keep in mind that brown rice may require a longer cooking time.

2. Can I prepare this casserole ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it, covered, until you’re ready to bake it. Simply remove it from the refrigerator and bake as directed, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time if needed.

3. How long will leftovers last?

Leftover casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave or oven until warmed through.

4. Can I freeze this casserole?

Yes, you can freeze the casserole before or after baking. To freeze before baking, assemble the casserole in a freezer-safe dish, cover tightly with foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. To freeze leftovers, divide them into individual portions, wrap tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and freeze.

Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with our Cheesy Ranch Ground Beef and Rice Casserole. With its hearty combination of ground beef, rice, and creamy ranch flavor, this dish is sure to become a family favorite. Whether you’re craving a cozy weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing dish for a potluck, this easy-to-make casserole is the perfect choice. Plus, with its versatile ingredients and customizable variations, you can tailor it to suit your taste preferences or dietary needs. So why wait? Gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy the delicious flavors of this comforting casserole!

Embrace comfort with our Cheesy Ranch Ground Beef and Rice Casserole. This easy-to-make dish is perfect for any occasion and sure to satisfy your cravings.

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