At first glance this may seem like just another macaroni and hamburger casserole. Not so! This Poverty Casserole recipe is good enough for company. The ingredients may start out like a normal casserole, but with the addition of sun dried tomatoes and a little cream this casserole becomes something special! This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Cold Weather Cooking. The story is that Sarah Leah Chase developed this recipe as an attempt to make a quick and humble supper of hamburg and macaroni. Like I’ve said before I’ve never made a recipe from this book that wasn’t absolutely delicious! This recipe makes 4-6 servings.poverty casserole

Poverty Casserole or Fancy Baked Hamburg and Macaroni Casserole


3 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
8 whole sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and minced
1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes in puree
2 Tbsp. Oregano
2 tsp. Dried marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste
1 box (16oz) ziti
2 large eggs
2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
2 cups shredded mozzarella
3 Tbsp. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Before getting started preheat your oven to 350. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for five minutes. Stir in the ground beef and cook until it looses it’s pink color. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and seasonings. Let the mixture simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the ziti in a large pot of salted water until al dente, and drain.

Whisk the eggs and cream together in the bottom of a 3 quart Dutch oven or other ovenproof casserole. Quickly toss the drained ziti with the eggs and cream. Add the meat mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Fold in 1 ½ cups of the mozzarella. Top the pasta mixture with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella and the Parmesan.Poverty Casserole

Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole in bubbling. Serve at once with a salad and some bread.Poverty Casserole Once you try this Poverty Casserole you may never go bake to the basic recipe for hamburger and noodles again. The addition of the sun dried tomatoes gives this dish a wonderful flavor. Enjoy!Poverty Casserole

33 comments on “Poverty Casserole or Fancy Baked Hamburg and Macaroni Casserole

Mother of 3 on March 30, 2018 11:13 pm

That does look delicious! Pinned.

Nancy Wolff on March 31, 2018 2:39 pm

Tastes delicious, much better tasting than it actually looks in the photos! 🙂

Leanne on April 2, 2018 6:12 am

It looks delicious – not sure about the “poverty” part with all the cheese and cream? Maybe it’s because the meat you use is cheap and it’s bulked up with pasta? I’d eat it in a heartbeat!

Leanne |
B for Believe in Yourself

Victoria on April 2, 2018 11:34 am

This recipe sounds delicious. I love casseroles they are just the thing when in a hurry or feeding a crowd.

Nicole on April 2, 2018 3:07 pm

Pasta bakes like this one are so delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe at the #HomeMattersParty this week.

Christie Hawkes on April 2, 2018 11:05 pm

It sounds delicious to me! Thanks for linking up at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty.

Mary E. mcKay on April 6, 2018 5:27 pm

This is my kind of recipe. LOVE CASSEROLES.

Maria on April 6, 2018 6:28 pm

Delicious but I don’t know why it’s called Poverty Casserole, there was no poverty with those ingredients.

Nancy Wolff on April 7, 2018 11:59 pm

It’s an old recipe from my mother and I’m not sure why it is called poverty casserole, maybe because the ingredients used to be cheaper??

Marilyn Lestina on April 7, 2018 4:03 am

Love your recipes but why can”t I print them out? I don”t do Pintrest etc. It’s impossible to write them down and don”t have a computer in my kitchen. I am 85 but still love to cook and try new recipes.

Nancy Wolff on April 7, 2018 11:57 pm

I am sorry I need to add some sort of printing button to my blog, please stay tuned!

Cindy Burgess on April 9, 2018 9:37 am


Nancy Wolff on April 9, 2018 12:06 pm

Good option. I am working on getting a print option into my website! 🙂

Julie @ Back To My Southern Roots on April 7, 2018 1:06 pm

Looks like a delicious and filling meal!

Vicki Korzenko on April 10, 2018 11:19 pm

I add frozen corn. Delish!

Nancy Wolff on April 11, 2018 12:41 am

Excellent addition idea, I love adding corn to casseroles!

Gina on April 7, 2018 2:01 pm

I just made this. I followed the recipe, but added a pound of sausage, about a cup of Ricotta cheese, and some crushed red pepper, along with one cup of spaghetti sauce. It is delicious! This recipe is a definite keeper.

Nancy Wolff on April 7, 2018 11:57 pm

Those sound like delicious additions! 🙂

Helen at the Lazy Gastronome on April 7, 2018 6:07 pm

Oh that looks so perfectly cooked! Thank you for sharing at the What’s for Dinner Party – hope to see you again this week!

Debbie on April 8, 2018 6:05 pm

Oh my this is so good my boyfriend is a picky one when it comes to casseroles but he said this one was perfect of course I will have make a double next time so he can have leftovers for days as he said .I love your meal plans ,thank you for sharing .

Nancy Wolff on April 9, 2018 2:02 am

so glad your husband enjoyed this casserole! It was a hit in our household!

Shannon on April 9, 2018 12:08 am

Delicious! I made this tonight for the first time. I doubled the garlic and the ground beef. All family members liked it a lot which is usually tough to come by.

Nancy Wolff on April 9, 2018 2:01 am

so glad it was a hit with your family. Doubling the garlic is a great idea!

Shan Brown on April 12, 2018 2:23 am

This really sounds and looks delicious!! But who says “hamburg” ???

Nancy Wolff on April 12, 2018 11:37 am

Shan, I guess I do!

D. Stokes on October 23, 2018 5:01 pm

We grew up saying hamburg lol…Must be an Ohio thing!

Nancy Wolff on October 23, 2018 5:57 pm

D. Stokes, that would explain things I grew up saying hamburg as well and my mom was from Ohio! 🙂

Miz Helen on April 13, 2018 4:06 pm

Your post is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week and we have pinned it to our special Features Board. Thanks so much for sharing with us and enjoy your new Red Plate!
Miz Helen

Nancy Wolff on April 13, 2018 4:42 pm

Mix Helen,
Thanks for the feature!!

Michelle on April 18, 2018 3:08 pm

This sounds wonderful. Have you ever made it ahead of time and baked it just before serving?

Nancy Wolff on April 18, 2018 9:22 pm

This is absolutely one of those casseroles you could make ahead and bake just before serving!

Michelle on April 20, 2018 8:14 pm

Perfect. I’m going to make it for Sunday dinner. Thanks so much!

Nancy Wolff on April 23, 2018 1:31 am

You’re welcome, let me know how everyone likes it! 🙂

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