This easy French onion ground beef casserole will make you say 'oui!'

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French onion soup is a delight straight from Paris. Caramelized onions are suspended in rich beef broth and topped with tons of melted Gruyère cheese for a dish so good, 19th century Frenchmen ate it for breakfast! This casserole combines those flavors with egg noodles, ground beef and creamy French onion dip for a dish that effortlessly Americanizes the classic French flavors.
True caramelized onions can't be rushed. They'll take about 40 minutes on the stovetop, and turning up the heat will only result in burning them. Luckily, they're not very labor-intensive, and you can easily walk away from them while they cook, returning to stir every few minutes or so. You can even caramelize the onions in advance and refrigerate them, adding them to the casserole just before baking.
Cooktop Cove
French onion and beef casserole
20 minutes
1 hour 30 minutes
1 hour 50 minutes
4 onions, frenched
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
Water, as needed
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound ground beef
10 ounces egg noodles
1 pound lean ground beef
One 10.75-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
One 15-ounce jar French onion dip
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 cup canned fried onions
Salt and pepper
In a skillet over low heat, combine the onions, butter and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes, until the onions are deeply browned and caramelized. Add the sugar about 20 minutes into cooking to help the onions along, and add water by the tablespoon as needed to keep the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
Add the thyme to the onions, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside, and return the pan to the heat.
Increase the heat to medium-high, and add the beef to the pan. Season with salt, and cook until browned on all sides. Drain off any fat, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain, then transfer to a bowl. Add the reserved onions, reserved beef, condensed soup and French onion dip. Toss well to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer the noodle mixture to a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Top with the cheese and fried onions. Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and brown on top.
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