Cheesy Beef and Orzo Casserole

Cheesy Beef & Orzo Casserole!

My neighbor Kerri introduced me to this casserole and it is pure comfort food. To be honest, casseroles in general are always comfort food to me. However, most of the casseroles that were popular when I was growing up included a can of cream of this or a can of cream of that.

Cheesy Beef & Orzo Casserole!

This casserole gets it’s creaminess from 3 kinds of cheese (YUM) and the only canned items are olives and tomatoes. Add some ground beef and orzo pasta and you have yourself a delicious casserole!

Cheesy Beef & Orzo Casserole!

Ellie & Lyla LOVED this. No seriously, LOVED. The babies ate leftovers for almost a whole week! They are at the point where they are starting to enjoy the flavor and taste of meat, but are not big fans of the texture. However I have found if it is ground meat or small bites with a lot of sauce, they will gobble it up.

So not only is this one adult friendly, it’s baby/kid friendly too!

Cheesy Beef and Orzo Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 8 oz orzo
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 (16 oz) can petite diced tomatoes; drained
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 4 oz can chopped olives
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded provolone cheese, divided
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • fresh mini buffalo mozzarella, sliced in half, to top

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 casserole pan, set aside.

Salt and pepper ground beef to taste. In a large pan, brown beef, drain and set aside. Cook orzo according to directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic, onions and celery, sauté until tender.

Add flour to mixture and stir until combined, cooking for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, oregano, beef broth and olives. Bring mixture to simmer for 5 minutes.

Add beef, orzo and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella and 1/2 cup shredded provolone, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to pot. Stir until combined and cheese melted.

Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Top casserole with remaining shredded mozzarella, provolone and fresh mozzarella cheeses during the last 5 minutes of cooking.