Eating Healthy Recipe ~ South African Bobotie

I love it when I discover a new recipe that combines my favorite flavors.

I found this recipe a few years ago but it took me forever to make it because I never seemed to have apples and ground beef in the house at the same time. When I did try it, I could have kicked myself for waiting so long.

Eating Healthy Recipe: South African Bobotie Casserole Recipe | Future Expat

I just love curry…the mild yellow curry you get in the spice aisle in America, not the authentic spicy ethnic varieties. My favorite brand is Sweet Curry Powder from Penzey’s.

I also really like ground beef, onions, apples and custards…so this recipe is a real winner for me.

I know it looks like a lot of ingredients. But I always have everything but the ground beef, apples and lemon in the house. Take a good look…you might have most of the ingredients in your pantry too. If not, substitute what you do have or make a trip to the grocery. It’s worth it.


Eating Healthy Recipe: South African Bobotie Casserole Recipe | Future Expat


  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil (original recipe stated just oil, so use what you want)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef (original recipe was in metric and called for 500 grams which translates to .88 lb)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup powdered milk (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds (original recipe used tarragon)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (original recipe used chopped almonds)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (to taste)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 bay leaves


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Chop the onion and the apple, keeping them separate.
Eating Healthy Recipe: South African Bobotie Casserole Recipe | Future Expat

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add curry powder, stirring until it is incorporated. Add onions and saute until transparent, then add the chopped apple and saute until the apples is softened.

While the onion and apple is cooking, mix 1/2 cup milk and bread crumbs in a large bowl. The powdered milk does not have any affect on the taste or texture of this dish. It simply gets more calcium into each serving. If you want to add it, stir it into the milk and bread crumbs mixture.

When the onion/apple mixture is softened, add it to the breadcrumb mixture. Add the remaining seasonings to the onion mixture (thyme, fennel seeds, lemon juice, nuts and salt). Stir well.
Eating Healthy Recipe: South African Bobotie Casserole Recipe | Future ExpatIn the same frying pan, saute the beef until brown, stirring it up to break the ground beef into crumbles. When the meat is no longer pinker, pour it into a strainer to drain away the grease (I set the strainer on top of an old can to catch the grease. It will harden and you can toss it in the trash rather than down your plumbing pipes).
Eating Healthy Recipe: South African Bobotie Casserole Recipe | Future Expat Eating Healthy Recipe: South African Bobotie Casserole Recipe | Future ExpatAdd the ground beef to the onion/breadcrumb mixture. Stir well and pour into baking dish that was coated in cooking spray. Mix eggs and remaining milk and pour over the dish. Place the bay leaves in the middle as decoration. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes.
Eating Healthy Recipe: South African Bobotie Casserole Recipe | Future Expat Eating Healthy Recipe: South African Bobotie Casserole Recipe | Future ExpatEating Healthy Recipe: South African Bobotie Casserole Recipe | Future ExpatPrintable recipe with nutrition information below. 

Original recipe from Food.com.

If you try it, I would love to hear what you think and any changes you made to the recipe in the comments below.

I love Pinterest, Facebook and Google+ shares!


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8 Responses

  1. lazyme says:

    I love curry so knew that I would enjoy this. I especially liked the fennel in this. I made it as directed other than I halved the recipe since I’m the only one who likes curry in my house. Thanks for sharing Karen. Made for For Your Consideration tag.

  2. Lucy says:

    I made this today, Shepherd Pie style, meaning I used leftover pork that I chopped up fine. It was really delicious and a great dish to try if you think you do not like curry, since the curry flavor is not overly strong here. I also made the recipe in individual ramekins. It cooks faster and is easy to portion if you are watching your portions! I also used finely ground bulgur in place of the breadcrumbs like I do in meatloaf and meatballs. I will like to make this again with some red curry powder I have that is hotter and see how that comes out. A really nice dish. Oh and also I made the filling the night before, refrigerated it, then just poured on the egg/milk mixture and baked. Super simple.

    • Karen Goodman says:

      I love how you took this recipe and modified it to make it your own. It never occurred to me to change up the meat, but now I’m tempted to try it next time I have leftover chicken or pulled pork.

  3. Carolyn Haas says:

    I loved the combination of flavors is this yummy dish. I halved everything for two of us and baked it in a cast iron pan, It looked like it may have dried out a bit b/c of the large size pan that I used, but it tasted fine. I’ve been wanting to make this for a long time now!

  4. KateL says:

    Karen, this was a big hit here – the essence of sausage without the unhealthy attributes of sausage! So it reminded us of sausage with apples, a wonderful breakfast combination! I used moose meat because that is what we had on hand, so I had to add some fat to the pan to compensate for the ultra lean meat, but I drained that browned meat before combining with the milk/bread crumb/seasonings mixture. There was a lot of liquid in the casserole, making it difficult to cut into clean slices. I might try again with a meatloaf pan that has an insert to allow juices to fall to the bottom (but I would halve the recipe to fit that pan).

    • Karen Goodman says:

      I’ve had the same problem with too much liquid. I find it absorbs some of it as it cools a bit, and I usually serve with a slotted spoon scoopfuls rather than cleanly sliced portions. Loved the tweaks you made and your ideas!

  1. June 12, 2015

    […] games where we tag each others recipes with a promise to make the dish within 2 weeks.  I tagged South African Bobotie and I knew I would like it.  I didn’t have any ground beef, but decided that it would be […]

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