Barbara Walters’ Western Casserole Recipe: The Legendary Journalist Could Cook by Ann Marie Patitucci

Casseroles Beef Dinner
7 months ago

Barbara Walters’ Western Casserole Recipe: The Legendary Journalist Could Cook

Barbara Walters, trailblazing TV journalist, passed away on December 30, 2021, surrounded by her loved ones. Walters was born in Boston on September 25, 1929. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1953 and began her national broadcast career in 1961 for NBC’s Today show. She was promoted to co-host in 1974, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Walters was undoubtedly a pioneering journalist, known for her “big interviews” of both celebrities and world leaders. She blazed a trail for other women in the industry who didn’t have many opportunities when she began her career. Barbara Walters was an incredible woman, one with many talents and skills. One that many people don’t seem to know about is her cooking. She was a good cook!

I came across Barbara Walters' western casserole recipe and just had to share it! I've taken some liberties with her casserole recipe by adding the option of ground turkey or ground chicken instead of ground beef, and adding cheese to the top. Serve this easy casserole recipe for dinner with a fresh garden salad

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Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (green, red, orange or yellow)
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cup canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup ripe olives, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 - 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, colby-jack, pepper jack, Mexican blend, etc.)

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Cook the ground beef until cooked through (if using ground turkey or ground chicken, cook in the optional oil). Remove the ground meat to a plate. 
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper and rice. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until browned. 
  3. Add the tomatoes, water, olives, cooked ground meat and all the seasonings. Bring to a boil. 
  4. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes. Uncover and top with the shredded cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. 

Helpful Products

Recipe Notes

  • You could substitute ground turkey or ground chicken for the ground beef.
  • This casserole recipe freezes well.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 569

Total Fat: 21.8g

Saturated Fat: 9.4g

Cholesterol: 131mg

Sodium: 571mg

Total Carbohydrate: 45.8g

Dietary Fiber: 4.9g

Total Sugars: 4.3g

Protein: 46.7g

Vitamin D: 3mcg

Calcium: 270mg

Iron: 24mg

Potassium: 943mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Donna John
Interesting recipe. I think I'd omit the olives. Thanks for sharing, Ann Marie Patitucci !
I don’t mind the olives but I do think I’d use ground turkey to make it a bit healthier. Yummy.
Elisa Schmitz
I love Barbara Walters. And now I love her western casserole recipe, too. Delicious!
Kirsten H
She died in 2022, not 2021
Brian Parks
Looks like a variation on Southern Baked Spaghetti, just with rice.

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