Hamburger Rice and Cheese Dinner

20150121_175122I’m always on the look-out for yummy dinners that use ground beef, since it’s such an economical cut.

Add to that- budget friendly, and healthy, and free of packaged and preserved foods, and the options narrow down quite a bit.

But, I’ve decided this one is a keeper for my recipe books. My inspiration came from an old casserole recipe that I used to enjoy as a child.

Not only is this new and improved version really tasty, it’s also “cleaner”, using all real food- nothing processed or packaged. Budget-friendly ingredients like Ground Beef, Brown Rice, and chicken broth are key players, so it’s easy on the wallet, too.

Fresh basil adds the perfect little compliment to the creamy rice and beef- it really gives this dish a special flavor. And who doesn’t like bubbly, gooey cheese to top it all off? As a bonus, this reheats really well for great leftovers, too.

Serve up with 1 or 2 veggies as side dishes. Enjoy!


  • 1 recipe of Baked Brown Rice (recipe also shown, below)
  • 1 to 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced very fine
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • 1-2 Tbs. basil (dried or fresh- add more or less, to taste)
  • 1/3 cup white flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded

Prepare the rice according to the recipe and bake

Brown ground beef in a little bit of olive oil

Half-way through, add the onion and garlic.

When the beef is browned through, drain off the grease. Cover and set aside.

Wipe out the pan and add the 1/4 cup butter. Heat should be on medium high. When melted, add the chopped basil, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and allow to cook for about a minute.

Next, add the flour and stir until combined. Pour in the chicken broth and whisk until the rue (flour/butter mixture) has broken up and dissolved into the liquid.

When the broth has thickened up and heated through, pour in the ground beef. Add the rice. Make sure everything is well coated with the “sauce”. Sprinkle all of the grated cheese over the top.


Allow all of this to heat completely through until bubbly- stirring frequently so it does not burn on the bottom.

Baked Brown Rice:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt (optional)

Lightly grease an 8in. baking dish

Pour rice into the dish

Slice the butter into 4 or 5 pieces and place on top of the rice

As soon as your water is boiling, carefully pour over the rice.

Give it a little stir. Cover tightly with foil

Bake at 375 for 1 hour.





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