Old-Fashioned Red Hotdish Recipe

Looking for a hearty and nostalgic meal that’s easy to make and sure to please the whole family? You’re in the right place! Today, we’re diving into the world of classic comfort food with a recipe for an old-fashioned red hotdish.

This Midwestern favorite combines simple ingredients like ground beef, pasta, veggies, and gooey cheese into a satisfying one-dish wonder.

Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this recipe is perfect for cozy weeknight dinners or potluck gatherings with friends. So grab your ingredients and let’s get cooking!

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What’s the Difference Between Hotdish and Casserole?

Ah, the age-old question: what’s the difference between a hotdish and a casserole?

Well, let’s break it down in a simple way.


Hotdish is a term primarily used in the Upper Midwest of the United States, particularly in states like Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota.

A traditional hotdish typically consists of a protein (like ground beef, chicken, or tuna), vegetables (such as peas, corn, or green beans), a starch (like pasta, rice, or potatoes), and a creamy or tomato-based sauce.

Hotdish is often assembled in a single baking dish, where all the ingredients are mixed together. It’s a straightforward dish, known for its simplicity and ease of preparation.

Hotdish tends to have a homestyle, comforting feel. It’s often served family-style and is a staple at potlucks, church suppers, and other gatherings in the Midwest.


Casserole is a broader term used to describe a variety of baked dishes found in many cuisines worldwide.

Casseroles can have a wide range of ingredients and variations. They can be sweet or savory, containing anything from meats and vegetables to pasta, rice, or potatoes, often bound together with a sauce or broth.

Casseroles can be assembled in a single baking dish or a casserole dish, and the ingredients are typically layered or mixed together. There’s more room for creativity and experimentation with casseroles.

Casseroles can be more versatile and adaptable to different tastes and cuisines. They can be comforting like a hotdish, but they also allow for more elaborate or gourmet versions depending on the ingredients used.

In summary, a hotdish is a specific type of casserole that is closely associated with the Midwest. It’s characterized by its straightforward preparation, simple ingredients, and comforting, homestyle feel.

On the other hand, a casserole is a broader category of baked dishes found in various cultures, allowing for more creativity and variation in ingredients and preparation methods.

Both are beloved for their convenience, versatility, and ability to bring people together around the dinner table!

Ingredients in Red Hotdish

So, for this deliciously comforting red hotdish, we’ll need a couple of cans of corn and peas, a pound of ground beef, an onion, some garlic, salt, pepper, and a dash of Italian seasoning.

Oh, and don’t forget the rotini pasta, about three-quarters of a box should do the trick.

Then, grab two cans of tomato soup (or one family-size can!), a can of tomato sauce, and two cups of shredded cheddar cheese for that gooey, cheesy topping.

That’s it! Simple ingredients for a classic, hearty hotdish that’ll warm you right up.

Substitute Ingredients for Red Hotdish

If you’re missing a few things for this red hotdish but still want that cozy, home-cooked flavor, no worries!

You can swap the ground beef for ground turkey or even crumbled tofu for a vegetarian twist.

Don’t have corn or peas? Green beans or mixed vegetables work just as well.

For the pasta, any medium-sized shape like penne or shells can substitute for rotini.

Instead of tomato soup and sauce, try a jar of marinara sauce mixed with a bit of broth for a tangy base.

And if cheddar isn’t on hand, Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese will melt beautifully on top.

Get creative with what you have – it’s all about making a warm, comforting meal that suits your taste and pantry!

Making this Red Hotdish Recipe

Alright, let’s whip up this classic red hotdish!

First up, brown the ground beef in a skillet until it’s nice and crumbly, then toss in the chopped onion and garlic until they’re soft and fragrant.

Season it all with some salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning for that extra flavor punch.

Next, mix in one can of “undrained” corn and a can of drained corn and peas, followed by the cooked rotini pasta in a big bowl.

Pour in the tomato soup and sauce, giving everything a good stir to coat it evenly.

Transfer this tasty mixture into a greased baking dish, then sprinkle that glorious shredded cheddar cheese throughout and on top.

Pop it into the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 25-30 minutes, until the cheese is melty and bubbly.

And voila! A warm, hearty red hotdish ready to be devoured.

It’s simple, comforting, and perfect for any cozy dinner night at home.

Storing and Reheating Leftover Red Hotdish

Got some leftovers of this delicious red hotdish? No worries, it’s easy to store and reheat!

Simply let the hotdish cool down to room temperature, then cover it tightly with foil or transfer it to an airtight container.

Pop it in the fridge where it’ll stay good for up to 3-4 days.

When you’re ready to enjoy it again, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave for a quick fix.

Reheat the whole dish! Cover it with foil and warm it up in a 350°F (175°C) oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until it’s heated through.

Easy peasy!

Whether it’s for a cozy lunch the next day or a lazy dinner, this hotdish is just as tasty when reheated.

What to Pair with Red Hotdish

Serve these items alongside this comforting red hotdish!!

A simple side salad with a tangy vinaigrette is a refreshing complement to the rich flavors of the hotdish.

If you’re in the mood for some crunch, garlic bread or dinner rolls are perfect for soaking up those saucy bits.

variety of breads for the charcuterie board

For a bit of extra veggie goodness, steamed broccoli or green beans make a colorful and nutritious addition.

And of course, a glass of your favorite beverage, whether it’s a crisp white wine, a cold beer, or a refreshing glass of iced tea, ties it all together.

With these pairings, you’ve got yourself a satisfying meal that’s sure to please everyone at the table.

If you enjoyed this recipe check out my Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole recipe or my Tator Tot Casserole recipe!

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Old-Fashioned Red Hotdish

This Midwestern favorite combines simple ingredients like ground beef, pasta, veggies, and gooey cheese into a satisfying one-dish wonder.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy casserole recipe, easy hotdish, easy meal recipe, hamburger casserole, hamburger hotdish
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 181kcal

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  • 2 cans corn drained
  • 1 can peas drained
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 box cooked rotini pasta about 12 oz
  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  • Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Cook Ground Beef: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until browned and no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
  • Add Onion and Garlic: To the cooked ground beef, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the onion is softened and translucent.
  • Seasoning: Season the beef mixture with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir well to combine.
  • Add Vegetables: Leave one can of corn "undrained". Drain the other can of corn and the can of peas. Add the corn and peas to the skillet with the beef mixture. Stir to combine everything evenly.
  • Combine Pasta and Beef Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked rotini pasta with the beef and vegetable mixture.
  • Add Tomato Soup and Sauce: Pour in the tomato soup and tomato sauce. Mix everything together until the pasta and vegetables are coated evenly.
  • Transfer to Baking Dish: Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Transfer the pasta mixture to the baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  • Top with Cheese: Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the top of the pasta mixture.
  • Bake: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Serve: Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. This hotdish is delicious on its own or served with a side of crusty bread.
  • Enjoy your old-fashioned red hotdish!

Your Own Private Notes


Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 137mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 198IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 1mg
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