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. Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 1999

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Advertisement

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

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.

    Advertisement
  • 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.

Tips

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 kalustyans.com, buylebanese.com.

Nutrition Facts

371 calories; total fat 14.4g 22% DV; saturated fat 7.3g; cholesterol 52mg 17% DV; sodium 738mg 30% DV; potassium 606mg 17% DV; carbohydrates 39.3g 13% DV; fiber 4.3g 17% DV; sugar 6g; protein 22.2g 44% DV; exchange other carbs 3; vitamin a iu 901IU; vitamin c 12mg; folate 40mcg; calcium 181mg; iron 3mg; magnesium 66mg; thiaminmg.

Reviews (37)

Read More Reviews
37 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 26
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 1 stars
11/09/2019
I made this and added all the suggested herbs and it was still very bland. I have no idea why layering it would make this any better. I dumped it out into a big bowl and stirred it up and poured marinara sauce on it to make it more edible. The recipe is a sink full of dishes and pans. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
09/17/2015
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: 4 stars
11/19/2014
Question I see that a serving is 1/6 but i miss how much that turns out to be? Mt son lost over 100 pounds a couple of years ago and when he comes to eat he wants big amounts of food to be satisfied. I would like to know the volume amount of a serving? I can spice it up but I want to know how large of a portion it is? Pros: My son is wanting more to eat Cons: Need to know volume Read More
Advertisement
Rating: 4 stars
08/10/2014
Very good and pretty easy to make I will make this again. Very good with the below changes! I added 1 T Sriracha 1 T Herbes de Provence upped the beef to 1 lb. I changed bulgar to rice used 1 onion instead of scallions spaghetti sauce instead of tomato sauce. Next time I think I will add a can of diced tomatoes as well. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
01/15/2014
Good This is a healthy recipe which I liked but it did lack flavor. The second time I made this I added Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Still needs something... maybe basil? I like the recipe overall so I will definitely make it again with a chopped onion fresh basil along with the Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Pros: Easy one dish recipe Cons: Lacked flavor Read More
Rating: 2 stars
07/27/2013
Not 30 Minutes Anything that takes 30 minutes of work and then another hour to bake is not a 30-minute meal in my book and not suitable for a weeknight. I'm sure it's delicious but definitely mis-categorized. Pros: Ingredients On Hand Cons: Takes too long Read More
Advertisement
Rating: 3 stars
04/11/2013
Equally good with ground turkey instead of beef I've made this a few times using ground turkey instead of beef; I saute a chopped onion (instead of scallions) first then add the turkey; then follow the rest of the recipe. Add some Italian seasoning or Parmesan if your tomato sauce is bland. Good easy recipe. Pros: easy kid friendly Read More
Rating: 4 stars
02/20/2013
Slammin'!!!! It was pretty easy to make not too much prep time and it turned out amazing just as the recipe is written. I wouldn't change a thing. I have never written a review before but had to on this one. This is a definite re-peat recipe. Pros: Very tasty and healthy Cons: None Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/20/2013
Delicious! I didn't find this bland at all. I made this as written except I use marinara sauce from a jar instead of tomato sauce because I was stupid and forgot to buy tomato sauce. Perhaps that is why it tasted awesome? Anyone who keeps adding things and still finding this bland should try the marinara sauce and go back to normal for the rest of the ingredients. Pros: Easy healthy without being flavorless Cons: Lots of different cooking steps then baking - so not quick Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/07/2013
I made this for a friend that just returned home from a week long stay in the hospital. I split it into 2 1qt pans as there are only 2 of them so they can freeze one and eat one now. They had the first tonight and LOVED it! She is vegetarian so I subbed veggie crumbles for ground beef and skipped the browning step plus added more cheese as the veggie crumbles have significantly less fat than beef. Her omnivore husband loved it too. Now I guess I need to make it for myself!:) Read More
Rating: 4 stars
07/13/2012
Needed a little spice then delicious This is a family favorite so I was excited to find this healthier version. I made a few small changes which greatly improved the flavor: 1. Double the amount of garlic. 2. Saute 1/2 yellow onion (diced) with the hamburger 3. Add 1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes 4. Add 1/2 tsp Oregano 5. Add 1 Tbsp sugar Read More
Rating: 4 stars
06/06/2012
Like it the way it was....didn't add any salt...for a healthier heart. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/17/2012
Very good! This was really good. I did take to heart some of the comments about blandness so kicked it up a big notch because I need spice! Lots more fresh garlic and a stand by mix of spices I use for everything (paprika onion powder cayenne etc.) It had a good spice to it I think the bulgur adds a lot of flavor. I also used 96 lean beef and it worked great. This one is in the go to book now. Pros: Healthy and really really good! Cons: It is not a quick put together planon at least a half hour of prep. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
02/16/2012
Thanks for sharing this recipe I truly enjoyed it. My family thought it was fantastic. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
02/10/2012
Amazing and Filling This recipe is fantastic! It tastes wonderful and I make it whenever I have guests over and they love it. My boyfriend is a picky eater and hes loves it as well! Pros: Tastes great low calories personal favorite! Cons: Takes a bit of time to make Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
Pretty good. The kids ate it up. Tamara Meridian ID Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
I've made this several times and the family loves it. I'm really glad I came across this recipe. Angela California City ca Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
I agree with another reviewer that it was difficult to make and ended up being kind of bland. Next time I would add real onion instead of scallions only maybe some fresh basil even some red pepper flakes. It's a great base recipe that just needs tweaking. Fairly easy and freezes well! Erin Los Angelesc Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
This took quite a few pans and quite a while to make for a pretty bland result. It's very hearty warm and filling but definitely lacking in flavor. I won't be making this again. Valerie Sugar Land TX Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
It didn't look that great or sound that great but it was REALLY tasty. My family loved it. We'll definitely have this again. Polly CO Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
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
10/30/2011
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
10/30/2011
Seems like this is really just a simple version of lasagna. I'd try making it with low fat ricotta (save having to blend the cottage cheese) and top with parmesan or mozzarella. Once could add more Italian spices and zucchini to jazz it up. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Meh. This was really bland. I added some red wine to the sauce. I added some Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes per the previous reviews. But it didn't help. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I forgot to add that I'm going to use chicken stock instead of water next time for flavor. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This dish was good. Definately light enough to have for dinner. I really enjoyed the bulgur in it. I will make this dish again but I will add another can of tomato sauce a litle extra bulgur and pepper flakes to add a bit more flavor because it is a bit on the bland side. I put the cottage cheese in the food processor ALONG with the greens of the onions. It spread the flavor throughout the entire dish. It worked out perfect! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
its good but bland. definitely needs more sauce and italian seasoning or something so its not so bland... i would use mozzarella instead of cheddar. and dont use water red wine or chicken stock are much better for additional flavor Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Very filling and tasty but a bit bland. It needs a bit more tomato sauce or some extra seasoning to kick up the flavor. My 18 month old loved it though so it's great with the kids!! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
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
10/30/2011
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
10/29/2011
This was super yummy. I substituted flour for the bulgar since I didn't have any on hand and still needed to thicken the sauce. I just used the same 1/2 C amount. It turned out great and everyone in the family liked it. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
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
10/29/2011
This recipe has way too much sodium. The bulgar is too hard to make. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
I used TVP and fluffed it up using beef broth. I put lots of garlic in because I'd read the comments about it being bland. Added red pepper flakes per the previous reviews. Still bland. We added more sour cream to it and more salt which bumps up the calories and sodium I'm sure. But it had NO flavor at all. Very boring. I will not make this again. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
10/29/2011
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
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Yummy and perfect comfort food... We loved this casserole. It was tasty creamy melt in your mouth wonderful. We are dedicated to a low salt diet and little dairy so I cut out the salt and about 1/3 of the dairy. It was still great! After reading the reviews I made a few changes. I didn't have green onions so I substitued a small yellow onion shallots and garlic. In the pureed cottage cheese I added a bit of onion powder. I didn't have bulgar on hand so I used couscous... it was an excellent substitute! I will definitely make this again. My husband and I both had seconds and I had to stop him from going for thirds!! This would make a great potluck casserole. Pros: Very tasty and creamy can be made to individual taste. Cons: A bit time consuming... a labor of love putting this together! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Fabulous! This will go into my favorites box. I loved it. I didn't find it bland at all though the flavors are subtle. The bulgar was a wonderful addition both in taste and tecture. To the person that said making the bulgar was too much...you must not have followed the recipe. It's just measure and pour. Doesn't get any easier than that. Pros: Easy to make freezes well Cons: None Read More