Missouri (Diane Bolberchak)


Is it Missouri or Messouri? It sure looks like an E to me. Anyway, Missouri Casserole is a dish of layered potatoes, ground beef and onions. There are versions that include sliced peppers, green beans, and picante sauce in place of tomatoes or tomato sauce. Most of the recipes indicate that the potatoes should be sliced thin, as should the onions. While the method as written is a little incomplete, it does seem simple – layer beginning with potatoes, then meat, then onions, repeat for a second layer, the final layer being the tomatoes. I imagine the salt & pepper could be sprinkled on the potato or hamburger layers, as you prefer.

I tried this recipe with my family, so  here are some pictures and notes.


Here I have layered the sliced potatoes, ground beef and onions. I used Idaho gold potatoes, so no peeling. Lacking any direction, I didn’t brown the ground beef. It turned out fine, so you don’t have to do that, but there was a bit of fat in the dish that I siphoned off before serving. I also added on top of this layer some cheese. It seemed to enhance the flavor nicely.


It looks basically the same as when you put it in the oven! The tomatoes roasted nicely on top and added a sweet, rich flavor. I think if I make this again I might use tomato sauce. I forgot to add the salt & pepper before cooking but it really didn’t seem to matter. My family consensus is that it is a true “meat & potatoes” dish but wasn’t something spectacular. It was flavorful and filling, as well as easy to prepare.


Peel & slice 7 medium potatoes

3 large onions

1 1/2 lb hamburg

1 large can tomatoes

salt & pepper

Lay half potatoes in baking dish. Place 1/2 of meat & layer. Half of onions until all ingredients are used. With tomatoes make another layer. Keep lid on for 1 hour, the next half hour without lid.

Bake 350º 1 1/2 hour

Serves 6

22 thoughts on “Missouri (Diane Bolberchak)

  1. My mom made this when I grew up… Something her parents made her. I’ve been looking for a long time for this recipe! Thank you!!!


  2. I think I posted in the wrong spot. Diane, I have been making Missouri for years. My mom made it for my dad when they were first married in 1942. I thought they discovered it. They used canned tomato soup poured on top instead of tomatoes. Learn something new everyday.


  3. My Grandma used to make this all the time when I was little..as I’m sure her mom did for her, etc…this is basically the same recipe and tasted exactly how I remembered it. Thanks


  4. I am from Wilkes-Barre, PA. This recipe was in the family forever and one of my favorite dinners growing up. I am glad to see it uncovered.

    I have changed the type of canned tomatoes from time to time. The old school didn’t have the choices we do with tomatoes (w/basil or whatever). It does spark up the taste depending on your preferences. I even thought about Rotel but haven’t tried that. It really won’t layer. Thanks for publishing this.


    • I am from Luzerne, PA, and remember my Mom making this. I used to think she just made up the name. I now live in South Carolina, but today my memory is in PA. We are having it for our dinner !


      • I’m originally from Edwardsville PA and just discovered this site. We were in Wyoming Valley (Harveys Lake) for Thanksgiving and I so enjoy going home. So many wonderful memories of growing up in NEPA.


    • I’m also from Wilkes-Barre, and I fondly remember my Grandma making this for dinner :) As kids we used to jokingly call it “Misery”, but it was pretty delicious.


    • Another Wilkes Barre native here! So nice to see that others from the valley remember this recipe fondly. My mom has passed and didn’t have this one written down, unfortunately. I never thought I would find it searching “Missouri”, but here it is! Thanks everyone, this made my day.


    • My parents were also from Wilkes Barre. My brothers were both born there. My Dad grew up on Gates street and my Mom on Knox street. They moved to NY in the mid-50’s. Mom always made this when I was growing up.


  5. From Pennsylvania grew up eating MIssouri and loved it. Making it tonite for company dinner. I use stewed tomatoes. Can .not wait…PA MOM


  6. I’ll be the 3rd Wilkes-Barre native to comment. I remember this as a kid. Left the valley 20 years ago, but when I visited my dad a few years ago, he whipped up a batch.


      • I’m also from Wilkes Barre and grew up on this! My mom added a can of tomato soup instead of tomatoes.. delicious with a side of buttered bread☺️


  7. Grew up across the Susquehanna in Edwardsville.My Mom made Missouri frquently.Its a go to comfort food.IVisiting this week and making a batch right now for my brother.Moms rice pudding for dessert.


  8. We were just talking about this dish at the table tonight with my daughter. My brothers and I really did it like this dish, but we ate it anyway. We knew it was all we were going to have to eat or be hungry! Brings back great memories of growing up in Wilkes-Barre!


  9. Thanks for this recipe, my mom used to make this and I couldn’t remember the name, it was a family favorite. I’m glad to see it on the recipe card, it was a great way to stretch ingredients to fee a large family I sent It to my five brothers and sisters, they all got a little nostalgic. Thanks I made it and my husband and kids liked it.


  10. My Grandmother used to make this all the time but she made it in a Pyrex loaf pan. My family still has the original recipe she wrote down but she didn’t give any exact measurements so we tried various measurements but it just didn’t come out like hers. Thanks so much for sharing as I have also shared it with my family!


  11. I live in California, originally from Plains PA (Wilkes Barre). Today I had some left over ingredients after returning from camping. I didn’t know what to do with them, but remember that once upon a time my mom made a dish she called “Missouri” …. curiously I Googled it and the above is what I discovered. Small world! I’m making this dish tonight.


  12. From Ashley, Pa near Wilkes-Barre. We loved this recipe but used ketchup instead of tomatoes on top. Add some homemade bread and real butter. It was oh so good. Enjoy!


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