The EatingWell Test Kitchen takes lean ground beef and combines it with whole-grain bulgur, egg noodles and a creamy tomato sauce in a baked casserole topped with Cheddar. With less fat and calories than the original skillet meal, this dish is sure to become a new family favorite.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 1999


Recipe Summary

1 hr 25 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Put a large pot of water on to boil.

  • Separate white and green parts of scallions; thinly slice and reserve separately.

  • Cook beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up clumps with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

  • Wipe out the pan, add oil and reduce heat to medium-low. Add bulgur, garlic and the reserved scallion whites. Cook, stirring, until the scallions soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomato sauce, water and the beef; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently until the bulgur is tender and the sauce is thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.

  • Meanwhile, cook noodles until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.

  • Puree cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl; fold in sour cream and the reserved scallion greens. Season with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.

  • Spread half the noodles in the prepared pan. Top with half the cottage cheese mixture and half the meat sauce. Repeat with the remaining noodles, cottage cheese and sauce. Sprinkle Cheddar over the top.

  • Bake the casserole until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Bulgur is made by parboiling, drying and coarsely grinding or cracking wheat berries. It simply needs a quick soak in hot water for most uses. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets, near other grains, or online at,

Nutrition Facts

371 calories; protein 22.2g 45% DV; carbohydrates 39.3g 13% DV; dietary fiber 4.3g 17% DV; sugars 5.7g; fat 14.4g 22% DV; saturated fat 7.3g 37% DV; cholesterol 51.8mg 17% DV; vitamin a iu 901.4IU 18% DV; vitamin c 11.6mg 19% DV; folate 40.4mcg 10% DV; calcium 180.6mg 18% DV; iron 3.3mg 18% DV; magnesium 65.7mg 24% DV; potassium 606.2mg 17% DV; sodium 738.4mg 30% DV; thiamin 0.3mg 33% DV.

Reviews (37)

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37 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 26
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
If they are going to recommend draining the meat on paper towels just use 85% lean ground beef. It will add more flavor. Also an alternative might be to use a mix of 50/50 ground beef and ground pork. Pork can really add a lot of flavor. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Reading all the comments I was apprehensive of trying this recipe but I did and I loved it but my wife said "it was just okay" and since I am the cook; I look to please her so I will not try it again all though I thought it was excellent. I used a can of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce only one bunch of scallions and no Bulgar. I couldn't find it in the local grocery so i didn't use it and I thought the dish had a ton of flavor. I thought it a good spin on lasagna! My wife thought that it needed something crunchy like tortillas in it.. and that might be good but I was fine with the way it was! Try it for yourself and see if you like it!! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Yum! Modified the recipe to fit what was in hand but turned out great! Okay so what I made from the recipe barely qualifies as being the same dish but it turned out great so I thought I would share my adjustments. I wanted to use what was already in the house so I used an onion whole wheat couscous instead of bulgur a can of crushed Italian tomatoes and just Sharp cheddar (w/out the cottage cheese). When cooking the meat I added Italian spices and crushed red pepper and then just shredded a cup of cheddar and mixed it into the sour cream. It worked fine and added lots of cheesy flavor though the "sauce" might not have been as creamy. It turned out great and was very flavorful and tasty. So moral of the story is adaptation of this recipe works fine. Go for it! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I didn't have any bulgar so I left it out but added mushrooms and peas. I also used ground kangaroo instead of beef (as I'm in Australia and kangaroo is far lower fat than beef but tastes about the same). To add a little extra flavour I used a jar of premade pasta sauce instead of tomato sauce and it was amazing! I'll definitely make this again! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This recipe has way too much sodium. The bulgar is too hard to make. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I followed the recipe exactly and was disappointed. It was almost tasteless and certainly would have benefited from some spices. Stu in Chattanooga Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Thanks for sharing this recipe I truly enjoyed it. My family thought it was fantastic. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
3.00 I don't think so. I searched for ground beef recipes on a budget your site came up saying something along the lines of under 3.00 All I can really say is that this recipe would cost way over 3.00 unless all I needed to buy was the ground beef. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Good Concept Overall Product a Little Blah This casserole was OK but certainly nothing special. I made it pretty much as written adding only extra garlic powder to the sauce. My whole family ate it without a single whine so that definitely counts for something. I think as written it's a little blah for the time and dishes that it takes to prepare so I'm not sure that I will make it again. However I love the concept of adding bulgar to the beef though (no one could tell I even asked my husband after dinner if he noticed and he didn't) so I will use the idea of this recipe in the future. I'm thinking I might try doing something similar with marinara sauce instead and maybe a little more cheese in the filling to make it more lasagna-like. Pros: Healthy and the whole family ate without complaint Cons: Nothing special prep time Read More