Uff da, I've looked everywhere!
November 6, 2012 11:07 PM   Subscribe

Upper Midwest comfort food filter! I'm no great lover of hotdish (casserole), but when I was a kid, my grandma made this excellent hotdish that I would love to replicate. The secret ingredient was Lipton Noodle Soup. Help me eat my body weight in noodly goodness this weekend!

I know it won't be nearly as good as the stuff Grandma made, but I'm hoping to find that this isn't a dish unique to my family and that there's an actual recipe out there.

A conversation with a friend who grew up in the same part of the country I did (eastern North Dakota/extreme northwestern Minnesota) yielded no results. I've scoured the Internet but can't find anything that looks close.

The ingredients included ground beef, condensed tomato soup, the aforementioned Lipton Noodle Soup mix, and white rice (I think).

Instead of being baked like a traditional hotdish, I think it's cooked in a skillet on top of the stove. It did not contain vegetables of any sort, of course, no cheese, and no cream-of soups.

If you've eaten this or something similar, please hope me.
posted by easy, lucky, free to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
How certain are you this wasn't made with Rice a Roni and some other flavor of Lipton (French Onion, for example)?

I didn't have much luck either and I hang out at all the redneck recipe blogs. Taste of Home and Southern Living would be someplace else to ask.
posted by fiercekitten at 11:17 PM on November 6, 2012

I'm certain that the soup in question was Lipton Noodle rather than another flavor, but I guess the rice could be Rice-a-roni or something. It was almost definitely instant rice, if that helps.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 11:40 PM on November 6, 2012

My suggestion is just to experiment! You seem to have a basic idea of the ingredients. I'd dice some onions, brown the hamburger with the onions, drain that thing, add the tomato soup, the noodle soup, the instant rice, and enough water (per the package directions on the soup and instant rice boxes) to cook it properly. A little salt, a little pepper, and maybe some garlic powder. Cook it on the stove top just long enough to cook the noodles and rice, which should take about the same amount of time, and enjoy!
posted by ronofthedead at 12:45 AM on November 7, 2012

I was really hoping for more from this Ask. OP, I feel for you.

My mom used to make this AWESOME casserole with shrimp, cream of mushroom soup (I think), rice, and some kind of tomato ingredient. Geezus I loved it. We were on Long Island, my mom's mom is from Boston. Lord knows where she got that recipe.

When I moved to SD, I found out that the mac and cheese with tuna and frozen peas my mom used to make was called "Tuna Peas" by my roommate from Michigan.


As per the suggestion above, plus what I know about recipes from that era...go with that suggestion, but do the water by eye, because it sounds like too much for dehydrated ingredients, and you can always add more. Ditto adding extra seasoning - it's already in the soup blend. That's the point of using it. Start from the baseline and tweak from there.

Good luck!
posted by jbenben at 2:50 AM on November 7, 2012

Have you contacted Lipton? If there is a toll free number on the box, they might have a recipe.

There are also some cookbooks (I'll look for mine at home) that are devoted to "back of the box" recipes - they might be a source too.
posted by pointystick at 6:40 AM on November 7, 2012

Maybe one of these? I can't imaging doing noodles and rice in the same casserole. Could your rice idea have been macaroni?
posted by coolsara at 8:05 AM on November 7, 2012

I found this recipe one up from the bottom at tasteofhome.com (posted by Redraspberrygirl):

1-1/4-cup long grain rice
2-cups water
1-package Lipton Chicken Noodle soup
1/2-cup chicken broth
1-tbsp margarine
1-tsp chili powder
1-tsp garlic salt

Put all ingredients (except water) in pot
Brown ingredients, scraping the bottom of the pot
Add water
Bring to a boil
Stir then cover
Reduce heat & simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid
Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes
Fluff and serve
posted by Brody's chum at 9:09 AM on November 7, 2012

I'm going to try experimenting, and if I get really desperate I'll call Lipton. Even if they don't have a recipe, I feel like they should be advised of this deliciousness created from their soup mix. The rice was definitely not macaroni, and the noodles in the soup mix are so thin that they blend well with the rice texturally. Maybe my family is just really big on the refined carbohydrates, though.

If it's helpful at all, I remembered as I was falling asleep last night that I think my grandma called this "Spanish Rice." Yes, really.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 11:50 AM on November 7, 2012

Found it! I am so excited to eat this stuff, though I suspect my grandma's version involved some kind of black magic because it was WAY tastier than the recipe indicates it should be. I'm impressed at how well I remembered the content.

In case anyone's curious or homesick, here's the recipe. This poster is not responsible for your hemoglobin A1C level after regular consumption of this dish.

Spanish Rice

1 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 envelope Lipton noodle soup mix
2 c. rice (regular white, not instant)
4-5 c. water, "depending on how juicy you want it" (actual recipe text)

Brown hamburger and onions together. Add soups, rice, and water. Pour into casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve on a baked potato (I swear to God).
posted by easy, lucky, free at 12:08 PM on November 7, 2012 [8 favorites]

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