As a Dutchie and Coal Cracker, I never met a noodle or dough ball I didn’t like. Add cheese to the noodles or dough, and I am in 7th heaven. This casserole does that and, needless to say, is one of my favorites.
Somehow this dish was not in the rotation during my years growing in my Nana’s kitchen in our Coal Region home which was a shame because this is something my family would have been totally on board with: noodles, ground beef, and cheese! I was finally introduced to Yum-a-setta by my best friend, Peg.
Peg lived in Ashland, PA (Schuylkill County) for nearly four decades, but grew up in the Lehigh Valley and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania area. Peg’s Mom was the typical PA Dutch cook who could make something from nothing and this casserole fit the bill to feed a hungry family without breaking the budget.
Layers of egg noodles tossed with condensed cream of chicken soup, cheese, and lightly sweetened tomato soup/burger mix come together in a dish sure to become a family favorite. I was in love with it from the first bite I took sitting at my best friend’s table in the dining room of her Coal Region home. It has become one of my favorite comfort foods, never failing to invoke memories of our days together.
Eat in, take out
A pot-luck friendly, “travels-well” dish, it is kid-friendly and can be prepared ahead of baking time. I prefer to use the individually wrapped “American processed cheese” slices from the grocery refrigerated section for their melting quality in this recipe, but you can substitute deli sliced “American cheese”. I also use medium width noodles in this dish so the sauce and cheese melts and blends through nicely during baking.
The end result is a creamy, flavorful casserole great for a supper anytime of the year. You can freeze leftovers, too; chill them, cut the leftovers in serving size pieces, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then store in a freezer zip top bag. Thaw, heat in the microwave, and enjoy.
I pair this with Pennsylvania Dutch Pepper Cabbage and it becomes the ultimate comfort food meal for me!
NOTE: When draining noodles after cooking, do not drain them perfectly dry; leave them slightly damp so that the undiluted cream of chicken soup mixes in nicely. I dump the noodles into a colander, shake twice, and return to the pot for easy mixing with the soup.
The recipe originally called for one can each of condensed tomato soup and cream of chicken soup but I use two of each; this results in a creamier casserole.
Take advantage of the lower prices of store brand condensed soups over the big brand name for this recipe; the end results are just as good using the more budget friendly line.
Pennsylvania Dutch Yum-A-SettaCourse: EntreeCuisine: Pa. Dutch, Coal RegionDifficulty: Intermediate
Noodles layered with a creamy sauce and cheese, topped by a sweet tomato/beef layer, baked until bubbling.
1 1/2 pounds hamburger
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cans condensed tomato soup, undiluted (10-3/4 ounce can)
2 cans cream of chicken soup, undiluted (10-1/2 ounce can)
12 ounce bag of egg noodles
12 slices individually wrapped processed cheese or deli sliced American cheese
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large frying pan, brown hamburger and onion, season with salt and pepper. Drain off excess grease.
- To the burger in the pan, add brown sugar, and undiluted tomato soup to the meat mixture and stir well. Add black pepper to taste if desired.
- Meanwhile, cook the egg noodles according to package directions; drain lightly; they should remain moderately damp. Add undiluted cream of chicken soup to the noodles and mix in thoroughly.
- Butter a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish.
- Layer 1/2 of the noodle mixture in the bottom of the pan, top with 6 slices cheese layered evenly across the top, then top that with 1/2 of the hamburger mixture. Repeat the layering with the remaining noodle mixture, 6 cheese slices, and hamburger.
- Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 – 35 minutes. Remove from oven, cool 10 to 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
- HINT: If you user extra lean ground beef (93%) there is no need to drain off the fat from the pan.