Oldies But Goodies - The Mighty Casserole!

In the most recent edition of Bon Appetit, March 2010, there is a section about updated classics...one-dish dinners, aka the casserole! I have eaten and made my share of casseroles. Living at home we had the infamous Tuna Noodle Casserole, Tamale Pie, and Resa which was some kind of tomato sauce and pasta dish, as I recall, and I have no idea how to spell it...I just remember the dish.

When I started cooking I, of course, made the Tuna Casserole. Why not? It was what I knew. It did not take long for me to part ways with the Tuna Casserole. I was interested in becoming "me". What better way, than through cooking!

I mention all of this as a way to introduce all of you to my daughter's new blog, A Bit of Butter. Her goal is to share recipes from the 30's through the 70's and trace their history and how they have changed. She is featuring Tamale Pie in her posts this week. She is quite the researcher and I know you will enjoy learning about the dish...then and now! She will enjoy hearing your thoughts and memories of the dish.

There are some dishes that one does not want to change. They bring back memories of years gone by......After college I lived in a small apartment complex. I was so excited to find that three other gals lived there and we were all close age...how fun was that? We all led busy lives and didn't treat ourselves well. By that I mean our meals weren't always balanced or nutritionally sound! We decided to do something about it and each one of us took a day, Monday through Thursday, and became responsible for cooking dinner for the group. What a great way to make certain that we actually ate dinner and the bonus....? We had the benefit of sharing recipes and learning to cook from one another!

One of the recipes that has remained in by recipe box is the Martha Washington casserole. Did Martha Washington really have a casserole that she prepared and was it named after her? I seriously doubt it, but there is a casserole dish in a pattern called Martha Washington. Maybe the name refers to the dish in which it was baked. That sounds reasonable enough for me. Has anybody heard of this dish?

Martha Washington

Preheat oven: 375 degrees F.
Serves 6

8 oz. wide noodles
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 pound ground chuck
2 cans (8 oz each) tomato sauce
1/2 pound cream cheese
1/2 pound cottage cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup chopped green onion
dash fresh ground pepper
salt to taste

Cook noodles and drain.

Cook meat, drain. Add tomato sauce and remove from heat.

Combine the cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, green onion and fresh ground pepper in a bowl.

Grease a small casserole dish with butter. Place a layer of noodles across the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the cheese mixture over the noodles. (This doesn't spread easily. I have learned that small spoonfuls covering the noodles works fine.) Spread half of the meat mixture over the cheeses. Repeat the layers, ending with the meat mixture.

(Sometimes I will shred a small amount of cheddar cheese for the top.)

Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.


Quick, easy and delicious!
Martha would be proud!


  1. OMG, the second casserole I am seeing in a day, and yours looks awesome, Kate! What a unique name for a dish too. :)

  2. Your daughter is going to have a ball:) Vintage will be fun..

    I had heard of this and never seen one..Thank you!

  3. An updated casserole! Looks great.

  4. I have a similar recipe but I've never heard of this name for it. We all love it and, once in awhile, comfort meals like this are perfect.

    I'll be visiting your daughter's new blog on a regular basis. I love old recipes because so many of them are so good and because they in some way usually bring back memories of my grandmother and mother. What a great idea.

  5. Martha Washington would be proud. It looks great. Hope to try it soon:)

  6. I do love a one-dish meal and that casserole looks fabulous. Thanks. Yum. ~ Rosemary

  7. I am laughing because I just made a tuna noddle casserole after many long years and it was still a good comfort food no matter the calories:)

  8. I have never heard of this dish, but I want to try it. I love it. Funny, I posted a casserole dish tonight as well. It's been raining, hard, all day long! Will give your daughter's blog a closer inspection. I love the name of it, and the concept!

  9. Mom -- tonight's the night for my Tamale Pie...hopefully it turns out!

  10. i thought i was familiar with all the classic casseroles, but i've never seen this one! what's not to love, though, with the juicy beef and rich tomato sauce. oh, and the cheese. we musn't forget the cheese. :)

  11. Oh, does this looks good! I've never seen one with the cream cheese and green onions layered in it. This one looks like a real keeper!

    I'm off to visit your daughter's blog. I love food history!


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