Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Friendship Casserole {Share Dinner with a Friend}

Friendship Casserole is a great freezer meal or to share dinner with a friend. Ground beef, egg noodles, pasta sauce, seasoning, and parmesan and mozzerella cheese make up this easy dinner!
Have you ever had a Friendship Casserole? This is one of my favorite casseroles to make for my family and friends. If you've already tasted this casserole considered yourself blessed, if not, let me explain what it is.

The reason it is called Friendship Casserole is because this recipe makes two large casseroles. One for yourself and one to share with a friend!!! You can also double up on your casseroles and keep them both for yourself, just cook one and freeze the second casserole. 

If you're freezing the second casserole prepare and assemble both casseroles. Bake one and then cover the second unbaked casserole with plastic wrap (I double it), then cover with aluminum foil, label, date and place the casserole in the freezer for dinner on another day. 

My favorite way by far is to share with a friend. When I give this casserole out to a friend I like to present it unbaked. I do this just in case they don't want to eat the casserole on that particular day. I also like to wrap a pretty bow around the whole baking dish and add a wooden spoon as a extra touch.

Try and think of someone who might need a reminder that they have friends who care about them. A new mom in your neighborhood, a family who’s moving, someone with an illness or just someone that needs to be reminded that they're a special part of your life.

This casserole not only cheers up the gift recipient but also the person gifting it. I like to take my children along with me when we pass on a friendship casserole. I want them to experience that giving is just as wonderful as receiving.

This casserole is really easy and pretty quick to assemble. It also utilized pantry ingredients making this dish very economical.
Don't forget to include a copy of the recipe and baking instructions for the person you're gifting this casserole to.

Yield: 16 - For 2 Casseroles
Author: Tina Butler | Mommy's Kitchen
Friendship Casserole

Friendship Casserole

Friendship Casserole is a great freezer meal or to share dinner with a friend.
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 35 MinTotal time: 1 H & 5 M


  • 2  lbs ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3/4  cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1  48 oz jar good quality spaghetti sauce or use homemade
  • 1  16 oz pkg medium egg noodles (I prefer no yolk dumplings)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2  16 oz pkg shredded mozzarella or shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 2  13 x 9 inch disposable aluminum pans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, add the ground beef and brown, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Drain off any fat.
  2. Add the green pepper, onion and mushrooms and saute with the meat for an additional 5 minutes. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. While the sauce is cooking start cooking the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions for (al dente). Drain and toss with butter, garlic, powder, onion powder and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
  4. Spray two 13 x 9 inch pans with non-stick spray.
  5. In each baking pan add half of the meat sauce, divide the pasta equally between the two baking pans.
  6. Add the remainder of the meat sauce in each pan (over the pasta). Top each of the baking pans with shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese blend.
  7. Cover with foil that has been sprayed with non stick spray and bake for 35 minutes.
  8. Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.


For Gifting: If gifting the second casserole present it unbaked. This way if the person you are giving the casserole doesn't want to eat it right away, they can freeze it. Wrap the casserole in double plastic wrap and a add layer of foil. Add a bow or ribbon around the whole baking dish and slide a wooden spoon under the bow along with a recipe card with baking instructions

Freezing Instructions:

If you're freezing the second casserole prepare and assemble both casseroles. Bake one and then wrap the second one unbaked with plastic wrap (I use double plastic wrap), then cover with aluminum foil, label, date and place the casserole in the freezer for another day. When ready to use remove from freezer, thaw completely and bake.

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Leslie said... #

sooo yum.. I have never heard of a friendship casserole

Sandy said... #

Great post, Tina. I'm always doubling up my cooking!

It's the BEST way to share!

Love and hugs!

Sherrie said... #

What an awesome post. Never heard of this.

Anonymous said... #

This is great, TIna, I was actually looking for this recipe a few weeks back for a friend that had a baby and I couldn't find it, now I have a reason to make it again and i will credit you when I post it on my site, thanks! anne

Julie said... #

well great, now I'm hungry ;) seriously, this looks sooooo yummy, and what a neat idea to make 2 share 1 - I can't wait to try it!

Colleen/And Baby Makes Five said... #

That sounds delicious ... and I love the sentiment too!

I love how you prep it for delivery. So sweet!

Joy Tilton said... #

You posted this on the perfect day, my neighbor across the way just started her new job! She will so appreciate a meal ahead and we will enjoy the extra one!

Tara Broman said... #

Very thoughtful idea. You are such a sweetie. Thanks for sharing!

Crystal Harper said... #

Thanks for the great recipe. Making it to share w/ my neighbor who has 2 sick kiddos.

Tina Butler said... #

Joycee and Crystal that is really nice of you. This casserole is the perfect choice. LMK how they like it.

Katrina said... #

That looks yummy! Never had this before. I for sure will try it!

Kerri said... #

I just put your link on my blog to share your page and this recipe!

It looks yummy and I can't wait to try it and to share it with a friend.

JavaMama said... #

Love the idea!

Erin | Bygone Living said... #

Such a cute idea! :)

Nonnas News said... #

I have never heard of this! I am definitely adding this recipe to my collection and making these for my family and a friend! Thanks for sharing another awesome recipe Tina!

Jamie Cooks It Up! said... #

I am going to make this today, Tina. Thanks for the recipe.

tberry29 said... #

Made this last nite!...It was a hit...of course everything I have tried from your blog has always been yummy! We ate one last nite, and I froze the other, of course next time I will make sure I share the other, this was just a last minute desicion when I made it. I made some garlic bread to go with it as well.

Anonymous said... #

If you want to take this casserole to heights you cannot imagine, mix up a package of cream cheese and one carton of sour cream and alternate that mixture in between the sauce and noodles! Unbelievable!

Unknown said... #

I will have to try this. Thanks

Teresa Cordero Cordell said... #

Tina, what a lovely way to tell someone that you care. The recipe is simple and easily duplicated. Way to go!

Teresa Cordero Cordell said... #

Hey Tina, thanks for stopping by. YES, EP has gotten more snow and rain this winter than it has had in the last 10 years. Didn't do my Fibromyalgia any good. My kids live in Dallas and they sent me pictures of all the snow. WOW. Amazing. Stay warm my friend.

Margie said... #

Wow great idea. I can't wait to try this out. Thanks :)

DailyChef said... #

Love this recipe. Only concern is that it is too delicious that I'll want to eat it all myself. :)

Nonnas News said... #

Tina, I made this recipe yesterday. It came in handy since I needed to fix something for our supper and also for a covered dish at church today! It was really good, so I will making it again and again! I am gonna post it on my cooking blog for future reference. Thanks for sharing!

Garret said... #

Yes! we just got a new glass casserole pan. This dish will taste wonderful!

Would you recommend glass casserole dishes over metal ones?

Thanks for the recipe!


Lesley said... #

I put this together earlier this afternoon while the kids were busy playing, did it all except the cheese on top then I just put in the fridge until I was ready to bake it. Sprinkled the cheese on top, popped it in the oven and waited. We loved this SO much! I only made one but plan on making this over and over, probably will make it in batches and freeze them. Great recipe, thanks so much for sharing it!

Anonymous said... #

Yum-O I made this this weekend and was so impressed I posted it in my blog with your button!


I had made this recipe in the past and had lost it :( So when I came across it on your site I was delighted!! My family loves this recipe!! :)

FortheLoveofFood said... #

Looks delicious! Can't wait to try. I'm always a fan of easy casseroles.
For the Love of Food

Star said... #

I am so glad I came across your site. LOVE IT. Question about Friendship casserole, after you freeze it, when you are ready to cook it do you need to thaw it first or cook it straight out of the freezer?

Gailanne said... #

Hi Tina, just wanted to let you know your recipe blessed yet another family, plus me...thanks for your loving heart.

Anonymous said... #

Yum, great idea. I love this.

Kaye said... #

Thanks so much for this recipe. Going to try it for our Sunday School social this week and have printed the recipe card to share as well.
So many things to choose from on your site, but love the name of this casserole, so prayerfully it will bless our class members!
Blessings always,

Brunella Brunet said... #

My favorite casserole dish is Tamale Pie. Loved by the whole family.

Anonymous said... #

I'm pregnant and making freezer meals to freeze. Should i bake it, then freeze it or freeze it unbaked?

ctgirl717 said... #

I'm with the others that asked the same question - if I decide to keep both casseroles and I bake them at the same time and want to freeze one for later, should you thaw it before putting it in the oven? Thanks!

ctgirl717 said... #

Made this tonight and it was yummy. I think the sugar really added a great sweetness. I cut the recipe in half and it was enough for a family of 4 with 1 or 2 lunch portions still left. :)

Tina Butler said... #

I thought I answered this question a couple weeks back, but I guess the comment didn't go through. I so sorry. If you keep both and freeze one of the casseroles you would need to thaw it first and then bake.

Meredith said... #

Hi! I tried to print the recipe card according to your instructions, but I got a message saying it had a copyright and that I should contact you. My email address is mboutell40@yahoo.com. I would like to make this for a friend who is having surgery next week. Thank you.

Tina Butler said... #

Meridith try printing the recipe card again. I just uploaded the card to google docs for easier printing. I have my photos right click disabled because people were stealing the photos and uploading them to face book as their own. Sorry about that.

karin07 said... #

Hi Tina,

What spaghetti sauce do you use for this recipe?

Unknown said... #

This is also a great recipe to use for fellowship/potluck meals at church. Also, if you are vegetarian (or the friend you are making the second casserole for is) you can easily switch this recipe by using 2 packages of Morning Star Farms Burger Crumbles (in the freezer section of your local grocery store) in place of the 2 lbs of ground beef (and no one, even meat eaters, will be the wiser). Just brown the burger crumbles in about 2 TBL of vegetable oil and follow the rest of the recipe as listed.

Tina Butler said... #

I use Ragu (Super chunky mushroom, green pepper or Sun Dried Tomato and Basil) are my favorites.

Anonymous said... #

Could you use zucchini and squash?

Renee said... #

I make this quite often and share or freeze for later....the pasta I always use is penne pasta, and I don't use the bell pepper, because hubby doesn't like bell pepper. It is one of our favorite go to dishes in regular rotation for my very large family!

Unknown said... #

HOw long will it last in the freezer?

Dagoboy said... #

Hi you use 8oz noodles in each dish right?

Diane V said... #

Thank you thank you thank you!! This casserole was AWESOME! Even my picky child loved it! I made and froze the second one and 2 days later a friend asked for meal donations for a friend of hers who is extremely sick and in the hospital. Perfect timing!

Barb said... #

Sounds wonderful. Do you end up with the meat mixture on top or the egg noodles. I wasn't quite clear on that. I am anxious to try this and share. thank you

Tina Butler said... #

Barb, Spray two 13 x 9 inch pans with non-stick spray. In each pan layer half the sauce, half of the noodles (8 oz in in each pan), remaining sauce in each pan, and top with mozzarella cheese for each casserole (8 oz per casserole). Cover with foil that has been sprayed with non stick spray and bake 45 minutes.

Unknown said... #

Do you cook the noodles or put them in the casserole uncooked?

Tina Butler said... #

The complete recipe and directions is at the end of the post. Regarding the noodles: While the sauce is cooking start cooking the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions for (al dente).

Anonymous said... #

What ragu sauce did you specifically use for this recipe? I want to make it as close as yours as I can.

Tina Butler said... #

I use the Ragu super chunky mushroom or Classico Tomato Basil.

Cooking On A Budget said... #

Unfortunately this site has stolen your photograph and recipe. I found it when someone tried to post in my food group, "Cooking On All Budgets" on Facebook. They took your 3rd or 4th photograph and your name is not even cropped out. Here's the link to the page if you want to investigate and get DCM to have them take it down. If they stole yours, they probably stole everything else.

Dee said... #

This looks and sounds so yummy. I want to make it but I have a question. Is there just one layer of noodles and 2 layers of the meat sauce in both pans? When I read the directions, that's what I get from it but I'm not sure if it's 2 layers of both the noodles and sauce. Thanks for steering me in the right direction :)

Tina Butler said... #

Hi Dee!

In each pan add a layer of sauce, then noodles and the remainder of the sauce on top, so yes one layer of noodles. The shredded cheese is last on top of both casseroles. I hope this helps.

Mature women of wrestling said... #

MMM!! Nothing like a warm, cheesy comforting casserole! Can't wait to make this!

From Redding Mountain said... #

I make a similar casserole called skillet spaghetti. The name is great! Thanks for the great idea of sharing it.

Gentle Joy said... #

The casserole looks delicious... and looks like a comfort food. :)

Tamitha said... #

Friendship casserole was so easy to make and soooooo delicious! Thanks for the recipe, I plan on making it for school potlucks!

Jennifer said... #

Can you use penne noodles instead of egg noodles? I don’t have egg noodles on hand and was just wondering. Thank you!

Tina Butler said... #

Hi Jennifer!
I think penne pasta would work perfect.