This is a simple recipe that I'm almost embarrassed to blog about but my family went absolutely gaga for this easy casserole. Warning - it's mild so feel free to spice it up with red pepper flakes or add some diced & cooked veggies to give it more heft. I won't win any cooking awards for this one but on a rainy Monday night when I'm tired and my husband cooks, it's award-winning to me!
1 pound ground beef
15 ounces canned tomato sauce (For more flavor we used a good quality jarred marinara instead)
1 1/2 cups long grain, white rice
3 cups water (or beef broth)
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste
green onions - optional
Add the rice and water to a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover the pan. Cook for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed. Allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, brown the ground beef in a skillet until cooked through. Remove from the heat, drain the grease, and add the tomato sauce to the pan. Add the rice to a large mixing bowl and dump in the sour cream and cottage cheese. Stir to combine. Add sliced green onions if using. (I'll do this next time) Add salt and pepper, to taste. In a 2 quart baking dish place half of the rice on the bottom of the dish. Top with half of the meat and tomato sauce mixture. Sprinkle on half of the cheese. Repeat the layers. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Recipe adapted from Buns in My Oven