Every family has certain recipes that are family favorites. I was introduced to this recipe for Johnny Marzetti by my best friend Sarah, as it has been a favorite of her family for many years. If you search for recipes for Johnny Marzetti you will find so many different recipes. Each one though, has some basic ingredients: ground beef, noodles, cheese, vegetables, and some canned soup.
Origin of Johnny Marzetti
Johnny Marzetti originated in Columbus, Ohio at Marzetti’s, an Italian restaurant established in 1896 by an Italian immigrant named Teresa Marzetti. One of the dishes Marzetti offered her customers was a baked casserole of ground beef, cheddar cheese, tomato sauce, and noodles that she named for her brother-in-law, Johnny. Teresa Marzetti was the first person to serve the casserole Johnny Marzetti in a restaurant.
By the 1920s, it had become popular across Ohio and the Midwestern United States. The original restaurant closed in 1942, but a second location, opened in 1919, remained in operation until Teresa Marzetti died in 1972. Marzetti’s later became known for various salad dressings, which are still produced under the T. Marzetti Company label.
The Columbus Public School System learned of the casserole and it soon became a staple in cafeterias across the country. Several websites report that this is the most popular cafeteria meal that is most often replicated at home.
Johnny Marzetti–The Recipe
There are so many variations of this recipe, many of which resemble Goulash. Many recipes for Johnny Marzetti call for a combination of canned tomato soup and canned cream of mushroom soup. Many recipes you will find use elbow macaroni or egg noodles. Here is my version of Johnny Marzetti:
Ingredients for Johnny Marzetti
2 lbs ground beef, browned & drained
1 package egg noodles
1 green bell pepper, sliced thin
1/2 medium onion, sliced thin
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1. Brown ground beef & drain any excess grease.
2. Boil egg noodles and drain.
3. Combine egg noodles and ground beef.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the Cream of Mushroom Soup, water, and sour cream. Whisk until smooth. Add mixture to noodles and ground beef and mix well.
5. Pour noodle mixture into 9×13 casserole dish.
6. Slice bell pepper & onion into thin slices and arrange on top of the noodle mixture.
7. Slice Velveeta and arrange on top of noodle mixture.
8. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
9. Remove foil, turn on broiler until cheese is brown and bubbly.
Serve and enjoy! The best part of Johnny Marzetti is it’s one of those recipes that tastes even better the next day!