Grandma Would Be Giggling Over How Great This Casserole Is


Submitted by Recipe Rain

Grandma Would Be Giggling Over How Great This Casserole Is

Great-Grandma Elise, or “Gma Lessie” as we called her, was the master at making all kinds of casseroles out of whatever she had in her house.

As long as there was some meat, a pasta or rice, a few vegetables, and some cheese to drown it in, she was going to town. As soon as our family would show up to visit, she would go to town in the kitchen. There was no way that we would ever go over there right after eating, because she was going to feed us again, whether we were hungry or not. That lesson was learned by my mom very early on. We would walk in the door and within being there for an hour or less she was setting a steaming hot casserole on the table for us.

Not that we went over there to eat, well maybe sometimes we did, but it’s not like we were expecting her to cook. One of her most famous casseroles was a simple tomato sauce base, some noodles, and ground beef hamburger. Those were things that she always kept in her house for sure. I don’t know what she did to it to make those ingredients taste so good together, but when it came out of the oven I was the first one in line to get a plate. She would get a kick out of that and just laugh at me. “Oh, you’re the hungry one today!”

When I saw this casserole, for some reason it reminded me of her. I don’t recall her ever making it, but if she did, I know that she would have done it best!


Grandma Would Be Giggling Over How Great This Casserole Is


  • 1 teaspoon Land O Lakes butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cups Barilla elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound smoked beef sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
  • 1 sweet onion, diced small
  • 2 ounces Kraft shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or more to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded American cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish and oil with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8 minutes. Drain.
  3. Stir sausage, tomatoes and reserved juice, onion, Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, 2 teaspoons olive oil, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and ground black pepper together in a large bowl. Add elbow macaroni and stir. Pour macaroni mixture into prepared baking dish, sprinkle with American cheese, and cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove aluminum foil from baking dish, increase heat to 425, and bake until sauce is bubbly, and the top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.