I adore Vintage Casseroles. What I don’t love are the Vintage cooking methods or ingredients sometimes due to them being over-processed or too fatty in calories. I have always liked the thought behind Hunt’s 7 – Layer Casserole. However, I wanted to make some much-needed modern changes to their recipe.
My version of The 7-layer Casserole contains Organic GMO-Free corn kernels, ground turkey, long-grain rice, Vidalia onions, diced tomatoes with chiles, yellow and red bell peppers, Vermont White Cheddar, crisp Hickory smoked bacon, and chopped parsley.
I did not use Hunt’s brand Tomatoes in my recipe for The 7+ Layer Casserole here today, not that I have anything against Hunt’s products. I was looking for a little more pizzaz when I made my version of the Vintage 1950’s 7-Layer Casserole. I think by now, we all know I love spicy foods and eat them often.
I have to tell you this was a fun recipe to modernize because the idea behind the Vintage 7 Layer Casserole was fantastic. What did we change? The ground raw beef layer was changed to ground seasoned and cooked turkey, the uncooked rice was pre-cooked using a dry cook method, Vidalia onions were cooked in with the ground turkey, red and yellow bell peppers instead of green, Vermont white Cheddar was added, the bacon was cooked crispy beforehand and fresh parsley to garnish.
Below you will find my Modernization of the 7 Layer Casserole with simple and easy to follow directions. The Vintage version has also been listed for you to compare or make if you wish.
The modernization of the 7 layer Casserole from circa 1950
One cup of organic GMO-free corn kernels, divided by 3
Two and 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice, divided by 2
One and 1/2 pounds cooked ground turkey meat, seasoned to taste
One large Vidalia onion sautéed, divided by 2
One can organic diced tomatoes with chiles, divided by 3
One medium yellow pepper chopped, divided by 2
One red pepper diced, divided by 2
Eight ounces Vermont white cheddar, divided by 3
Six slices of hickory-smoked crispy bacon, crumbled
1/8 cup of chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
In a large oven, safe casserole dish spray the nonstick cooking spray.
Layer ingredients as follows 1/3 of corn kernels, 1/2 of cooked rice, 1/2 of ground turkey, 1/2 diced sautéed onions. 1/3 of white cheddar cheese,1/3 can of diced organic tomatoes with chiles, 1/2 diced yellow pepper, 1/2 diced red pepper, 1/3 of white cheddar, repeat all ingredient layers (You will have one extra layer of some items, place on top of the casserole)
Top with remaining White Vermont Cheddar and crumbled bacon.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 15-2o minutes
Remove from heat, place on a safe heat area.
Garnish with parsley if desired.
*See below for original recipe*
Vintage Hunt's 7-Layer Casserole
- 1½ cup organic GMO-free corn kernels drained divided by 3
- 2½ cups cooked long-grain rice divided by 2
- 1½ pounds cooked ground turkey meat or beef seasoned to taste
- 1 large sweet onion chopped, divided by 2
- 1-14- ounce can organic diced tomatoes with chile divided by 3
- 1 large yellow pepper chopped and divided by 2
- 1 large red bell pepper chopped and divided by 2
- 8- ounces Vermont white cheddar shredded and divided by 2
- 6 slices cooked hickory-smoked bacon crumbled
- ⅛ cup parsley chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
- In a large oven, safe casserole dish spray the nonstick cooking spray.
- Layer ingredients as follows 1/3 of corn kernels, 1/2 of cooked rice, 1/2 of ground turkey, 1/2 diced sautéed onions. 1/3 of white cheddar cheese,1/3 can of diced organic tomatoes with chiles, 1/2 diced yellow pepper, 1/2 diced red pepper, 1/3 of white cheddar, repeat all ingredient layers (You will have one extra layer of some items, place on top of the casserole)
- Top with remaining White Vermont Cheddar and crumbled bacon.
- Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 15-2o minutes
- Remove from heat, place on a safe heat area.
- Garnish with parsley if desired.
History On Hunts
- Hunt’s is the name of a famous name brand of canned tomato products owned by ConAgra Foods, Inc. The Hunts company was founded in 1888, in Sebastopol, California, as the Hunt Bros. Fruit Packing Co. by Joseph and William Hunt.
- In 1943, the Hunt’s company was taken over by Norton Simon’s Val Vita Food Products. The merged firm kept the Hunt’s brand name and became Hunt Foods, Inc. The new management’s focus would become canned tomato products primarily, particularly tomato sauce.
- Afterward, Wesson Oil & Snowdrift Company merged with Hunt’s Foods, Inc. to become Hunt-Wesson Foods. Soon Hunt-Wesson would connect with the McCall Corporation and Canada Dry to form Norton Simon Inc. in 1968. Esmark acquired Norton Simon in 1983, which merged with Beatrice Foods the next year.
- Then in 1985, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts would acquire Beatrice to sell off businesses. Hunt-Wesson, the company which included the Hunt’s brands, was sold in 1990 to agribusiness giant ConAgra Foods.
- Circa the 1950’s, Hunts decided to get their kitchen testers in the Hunts Testing Kitchen. They developed the Hunts 7-Layer Casserole Dish that would surely please American Husbands everywhere. Below, you will find the original recipe pamphlet from the 1950s and Hunt’s simple to follow directions.
Original Recipe for Hunts 7-Layer Casserole (Circa 1950’s)
One cup of rice, uncooked
One cup canned whole kernel corn, drained
Sprinkle with salt and pepper
Pour one 8-ounce can Hunt’s tomato sauce and 1/2 can water over the first two layers
1/2 cup each finely chopped onion and green pepper
3/4 lb. uncooked ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper
One-8-ounce second can of Hunt’s tomato sauce and 1/4 can water over the casserole
Cover meat with four strips of bacon, cut in half
Start heating oven to moderate 350-degree oven and place these ingredients in layers in a 2-qt. baking dish with a tight-fitting lid:
Cover the baking dish and bake at 350F. for 1 hour. Uncover and bake about 30 minutes longer.
Makes 4 – 6 servings.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a paid or sponsored post of Hunt’s brand, the pamphlet provided is one we own and have paid for. We are not endorsing or representing this brand in any manner. We are merely showing where the adaptations have been made to our casserole. We do not take credit for creating the Hunts 7-Layer Casserole in any manner. The recipe rights belong to the rightful owner. Our recipe is an extreme adaptation of the Vintage 1950’s version.