Easy cheesy au gratin potatoes with beef and broccoli casserole

Semi-homemade meals are the perfect solution for families that don’t like eating out, but don’t want to make complicated dishes. Semi-homemade meals are also more economical because they feed more people for less money. Adding a few fresh ingredients to Betty Crocker Au Gratin Potatoes turns it into a satisfying casserole.

Ingredients:

  • 1 [12 ounce] package of frozen broccoli (cuts or florets)
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic (minced or press through a garlic press)
  • 1 medium sized onion (diced)
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (optional)
  • 2 – [4.9 ounce] packages of Betty Crocker Au Gratin Potatoes – You will need 3 1/2 cups of water, 1 1/3 cups of milk, and 4 tablespoons of butter or margarine to prepare the potatoes.
  • 8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese (or any mixture of shredded cheeses of your choice)

Directions:

  • Defrost the broccoli in a microwave safe bowl. Or, defrost it in a small pot filled with just enough water to defrost it. Do not cook the broccoli through. Drain all liquid from the broccoli and set it aside.
  • Cook the ground beef in a large skillet; remove the skillet from stove and drain the fat from the ground beef.
  • Season the drained ground beef with the black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt (optional).
  • Stir the drained broccoli, garlic, onions, and half of the shredded cheese into the seasoned ground beef mixture.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 to 450 degrees.
  • Heat the water, the milk, both packets of sauce mix, and butter (or margarine) in a 4-quart saucepan; stir briskly or with a whisk to keep the sauce mix from clumping.
  • Layer one pouch of the uncooked Betty Crocker potatoes into the bottom of a 9×13 inch casserole dish. Next, layer the seasoned ground beef, cheese, and broccoli mixture.  Lastly, layer the second pouch of uncooked Betty Crocker potatoes.
  • Pour the water, milk, sauce mix, and butter (or margarine) mixture over the other ingredients in the casserole pan, then bake the casserole in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Return the casserole to the oven for about 5 minutes (or long enough to melt the shredded cheese on top).
  • Remove the casserole from the oven and let it stand for about 5 minutes before serving warm.

This recipe can be adapted several different ways.  It can be made with a different flavor or variety of Betty Crocker potatoes.  Seasoned [cooked and diced] chicken could be substituted for the beef.  Or, vegetarians could substitute more vegetables (corn, carrots, peas, etc.) for the meat in the recipe.

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