A view of a pan of Creamy French Onion Rigatoni. The noodles bathed in a golden sauce are visible. There are french fried onions browned on top which look crispy.

Creamy French Onion Rigatoni

This recipe for Creamy French Onion Rigatoni is a variation on a recipe that I make often. We initially used two of the components of our slow cooker roast recipe, and used it to make a pasta based casserole which was delicious. One day, though, when I went to grab a can of cream of mushroom soup, I discovered I didn’t have any. Instead, I substituted a can of golden mushroom soup, and the difference was amazing.

I made the Creamy French Onion Rigatoni recipe with the golden mushroom soup, and we loved it. I took the leftovers to work and shared it for lunch the next day with one of my taste testers. She immediately requested the recipe, and she made two pans of it for her family when they visited that week. Everyone who’s tried it loved it. That’s why I’m sharing this recipe here. It’s a simple recipe that’s loaded with flavor, and it’s very easy to prepare. Creamy French Onion Rigatoni is a great weeknight meal.

Jump to Recipe
A pan, half eaten of rigatoni tht is colored golden by the mushroom sauce. Visible pieces of cooked ground beef can be seen among the noodles. A layer of browned french fried onions are on top. One side has a slice of melted cheese visible under the french fried onions.
Yes, that is cheese you see on the left side of this dish. A slice of provolone cheese was placed on one corner of this pan at Food Critics request. He loves cheese on his pasta, and that cheese was a delicious addition. He will, however, still eat it without the cheese, too. It’s amazing both ways.

What you will need to prepare this Creamy French Onion Rigatoni.

From the Pantry:

  • Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup
  • Dried Onion Soup Mix
  • Rigatoni Noodles
  • French Fried Noodles

From the Refrigerator:

  • Ground Beef
  • Sour Cream

The preparation for this recipe is very simple. All you have to do is brown the meat while the pasta cooks then assembly the sauce and combine them. Once it’s all mixed up, you throw it into the oven to bake, and just before it’s finished, you top it with the french fried onions. I love that there’s no chopping or complicated assembly for this recipe. That makes it a definite winner for weeknight meals. Add a nice salad or vegetable on the side, and you’ve got a fairly balanced meal though it is a bit heavy on sodium.

A top view of a corner of the pan of Creamy French Onion Rigatoni. The noodles tinted gold from the sauce are visible beneath a laer of french fried onions that ar a dark golden brown.

How can I make the Creamy French Onion Rigatoni “healthier?”

“Healthy” is relative to people’s needs. A diabetic might not like this recipe because it contains carbs. Someone with high blood pressure might not appreciate it as much as we do. As I mentioned above, this recipe is a bit heavy on sodium, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as you don’t eat it every day. For someone trying to lower their cholesterol, it’s also a little heavy on fat, too. There are some things that you can do to improve the sodium content in this recipe. I haven’t been able to find a low sodium onion soup mix but you could make your own and considerably lower the sodium content. I can’t find a “healthy request” version of the golden mushroom soup in my area, but if you can find it in yours, that would help to lower the sodium. If you’re interested in lowering the fat content in this recipe, you can substitute lean ground beef, or even ground turkey, for regular ground beef, and you can use either light or fat free sour cream. I have used both, and no one has noticed that there wasn’t as much fat in their rigatoni. My hubby did notice when I substituted turkey for the ground beef, though.

A view of a pan of Creamy French Onion Rigatoni. The noodles bathed in a golden sauce are visible. There are french fried onions browned on top which look crispy.

How much did my family enjoy the Creamy French Onion Rigatoni?

If you look closely at all of my photos, you will notice that they are all taken of pans which have been mostly eaten. Every time I make this, my family devours it before I have time to set up the camera. They really enjoy it and have requested that it go into regular rotation on our menu. Since this recipe is so simple to prepare, I’m not complaining.

Can you prepare Creamy French Onion Rigatoni ahead of time?

When I have done weekend meal prep, I’ve assembled the rigatoni, covered it, and stored it in the fridge for a couple of days before baking it and topping it with the french fried onions. I have also divided this recipe into two smaller pans for a friend with a smaller family. They ate one, and we froze one package without the french fried onions on top. When they pulled it out of the freezer, it took longer to bake than from fresh, but they reported that it was just as good as it had been on the day I first made it for them.

This is a two photo collage.  The top photo is A pan, half eaten, of rigatoni that is colored golden by the mushroom sauce.  Visible pieces of cooked ground beef can be seen among the noodles.  A layer of browned french fried onions are on top.  One side has a slice of melted cheese visible under the french fried onions.  The bottom photo is a view of a pan of Creamy French Onion Rigatoni. The noodles bathed in a golden sauce are visible. There are french fried onions browned on top which look crispy.  The two photos are separated by a burgundy colored banner which says "Creamy  French Onion Rigatoni" in cream colored letters.  The enteir photo is surrounced by a thin burgundy colored frame.

What do you think of this recipe for Creamy French Onion Rigatoni? Does it sound like something your family would enjoy? Let us know by leaving a comment below. We really think that you need to try this recipe. It’ll change your life. (OK, that’s probably an exaggeration, but as Sue Chef says “It’ll make your mouth happy.”)

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Creamy French Onion Rigatoni

This simple casserole makes a great weeknight meal. It's simple to prepare, but is loaded with flavor. Everyone who has tasted it has loved it and requested the recipe. It's a frugal recipe, too. The total cost for this recipe is only 9.92 or about $1.24 per serving.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Resting Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 360 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound dry rigatoni noodles $0.79)
  • 1 pound ground beef ($3.98)
  • 2 (10 oz) can condensed golden mushroom soup ($1.78)
  • 1 soup can cold water
  • 1 (1 oz) envelope onion soup mix ($0.50)
  • 1 (16 oz) container sour cream ($1.59)
  • 1 cup french fried onions ($1.28)

Instructions
 

  • Start water to boil for rigatoni and cook until al dente according to package directions.
  • While water is coming to a boil, brown ground beef in a large deep skillet on the stove.
  • Once ground beef is cooked, drain off excess fat.
  • Add onion soup mix, condensed soup mix, water, and sour cream to ground beef and mix well.
  • Drain Pasta and stir into the meat mixture until noodles are well coated with the beef and mushroom mixture.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a 9X13 inch pan with non stick spray.
  • Pour the pasta and meat mixture into the pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and top with french fried onions.
  • Return to 350 degree oven for an additional 10 – 15 minutes or until onions are lightly browned and crispy.
  • Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

If you prefer, you can use ground turkey in place of ground beef in this recipe. 
If your family loves cheese, you can top this dish with a cup, or two, of shredded cheese like Mozzarella, or slices of provolone, before you put it in the oven.  (Sliced Provolone is Food Critic’s favorite cheese right now.)
You can also substitute a different shape of pasta in this recipe. Our two favorites are medium sized shells and rigatoni, but this would work with large elbows, too. 
This recipe can be prepared ahead of time and stored, covered,  in the refrigerator for a day or two prior to baking.
 
Keyword golden mushroom soup, ground beef, onion soup mix, rigatoni, sour cream

The following nutrition information was calculated for one serving (one-eighth of the pan) of the Creamy French Onion Rigatoni prepared according to the recipe above.

Disclaimer:  Nutritional information is calculated using online tools such as those available at cronometer.com or verywellfit.com.  We make every attempt to ensure that the information is calculated correctly, but this information should be considered estimates.   Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe.  In addition, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition-fact sources, databases, and the algorithms used.   You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.  Under no circumstances will PattyCakesPantry.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information provided. 

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