Depression Casserole

Hello! Rick here again. The following dish is one my mom learned when she was in junior high during the Great Depression. As you well may already know, times were real hard back then and families had to make their food dollars go a long way. She only made it through junior high because she was needed to help with the family income. 
Alice Wheatley during Great Depression
I grew up eating this dish as well. As we kids were growing up, we went through some hard times ourselves. But mom always kept herself, dad and us five kids fed. She cooked in creative and delicious ways to get us through those times, and I am grateful for her. There is no real name for this dish. I call it "Depression Casserole" as that was the time it was introduced and later became a part of my family's life. Times can be hard now and I pray that none of you ever have to go through something like that. Still, I hope that you will try this dish and see how a little can go a long way. It is a good dish and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, even now. Take Care and Eat well!

Servings: 4-6
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 1 tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped brown onion
- 1 lb. ground venison
- 4-5 ounces of uncooked elbow macaroni (o.k., half an 8 oz. package)
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- salt to taste
- 8 ounce tomato sauce
- 8 ounce canned corn
- 2 ounces sliced olives
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

1. Follow directions for cooking macaroni on package. Drain, cover and set aside for later. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pan and add chopped onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes until translucent and then remove.

In the same pan over medium heat, add the ground venison.  Sprinkle with the garlic powder and salt.  Brown, but do not over do it because you are using venison, and it will later be going into the oven. 
3. Turn off heat. Add onions back into the meat and pour in tomato sauce. Then, add the cooked macaroni.
 Add the canned corn...
And then the olives. Combine well. 

4. Spray an 8x11 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mixture into dish and spread evenly.
5. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and place into a pre-heated 350 degree oven. 
Bake until cheese is melted and slightly browned, 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.
By adding a tasty garden salad, garlic bread and a nice red wine, it'll purdy up better than lipstick on a pig. Ya'll enjoy now! - From us and my mom.


  1. I just put 2 lbs of ground venison in the freezer. Best take it back out because this looks great!!! Florida Hunter.

  2. This is a great and easy recipe. We hope you and your loved ones enjoy!!

    Rick and Jen

  3. I just made this for my husband. I put the cheese into the mix and on top of the casserole. Then I made a tamale topping (corn meal, egg, milk, cheese)on top. He loved it! Thanks for the help.

    1. Glad you liked the recipe! Always nice to hear feedback from our followers. Always feel free to take our recipes and make it your own.


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