Hungry Boys’ Casserole

Meet the champ! The champ of the 1963 Pillsbury Bake-Off, that is.

Here’s an ad with the recipe from the January 22, 1964 edition of the The (San Mateo, California) Times:

The full ad.

A closer crop of the recipe in the ad.

As you can see, the recipe in the ad is a bit more detailed.

Hungry Boys’ Casserole
Adapted by Ann Pillsbury
$25,000 Grand Prize Winner by Mrs. Roman Walilko, Detroit, Michigan
Bake at 425 deg. for 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8. (Makes 12×8-inch casserole.)


1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup (6 oz. can) tomato paste
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate
1 lb. can Campbell’s Pork & Beans, with tomato sauce
1 can chick peas or lima beans, undrained


1-1/2 cups sifted Pillsbury’s Best All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
4 drops yellow food coloring
1/2 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds

Saute in large skillet ground beef, celery, onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender; drain. Add water, tomato paste, salt, paprika, and monosodium glutamate. Reserve 1 cup for Biscuits. Add pork and beans and chick peas. Simmer while preparing biscuits. Turn into 12×8 or 13×9-inch baking dish.

Biscuits: Sift flour with baking powder and salt into mixing bowl. Cut in butter until particles are fine. Combine milk and food coloring. Add to flour mixture. Stir until dough clings together.

Knead on lightly floured surface 12 times. Roll out to a 12×9-inch rectangle.

Combine olives, almonds and the reserved meat mixture. Spread over dough. Roll up, starting with 12-inch side; seal edge. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Place on meat mixture.

Bake at 425 deg. for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

Click to expand the retyped ad copy, if you're interested.
Meet the Champ!
$25,000 “Hungry Boys’ Casserole”

It calls for Campbell’s Pork & Beans and Pillsbury’s Best Flour!


Mrs. Roman Walilko’s winning entry is the kind of hearty, come-back-for-more, one-dish meal that American families go for! Her “Hungry Boys’ Casserole” makes good use of masculine favorites like Campbell’s Pork & Beans, hamburger, and good hot biscuits made with a special twist from Pillsbury’s Best Flour.

A talented cook, Mrs. Walilko is also a trained musician, a writer of poetry, and very active in local clubs and organizations. The attractive mother of 3 “hungry” boys–and 2 girls–says she’ll use her prize money to “educate my brood.”

Nourishing Campbell’s Pork & Beans are “Tender-Hearted”–with Campbell’s own bright tomato sauce cooked through each and every bean!

“Hungry” boys, girls and husbands can’t resist ’em! See exciting recipes now on the back of all Campbell’s beans labels.

Campbell’s makes ’em…

and that makes ’em good!

“Hungry Boys’ Casserole is a delicious example of the bake-off recipes that come in each sack of Pillsbury’s Best Flour. It’s pre-sifted! Light, fine, fluffy. There’s no finer flour you can buy today.

We’ll buy the beans for your “Hungry Boys’ Casserole.” Just send your name and address on any Campbell’s Pork & Beans label to Beans’ Offer, P.O. Box 64-E, Mt. Vernon, New York, and we’ll send you a coupon good for a one-pound can of Campbell’s Pork & Beans free. Also included Free! Colorful 16-page recipe booklet, “50 Classic Bean Dishes.”


Mmph. Well, with all due respect to Roman Walilko–who was a first-generation American born to Polish immigrants and who grew up to be an engineer–I’d like to know his wife’s name, since it’s her recipe.

Mrs. Roman Walilko was born Miraslava (Mira) Watha Kosicki in Canada in 1916 to Catherine and Witold Kosicki, immigrants from Russia of Polish descent. Mira was born in September; that same year, the Kosicki family moved to Detroit.

Witold was a construction engineer who worked for a mill supplier. Catherine, for her part, was a talented artist with paint and tapestry, and that talent ran in the family; one of Mira’s brothers later became accomplished sculptor.

By 1940, Mira was an elementary school teacher in Detroit.

She was a poet, publishing primarily in the Detroit Free Press, although she also had other stories to tell. From the Jan 21, 1956 edition of the Traverse City (Michigan) Record-Eagle:

After the Bake-Off, she stayed active in photography and school committees until her death in 1999. While she may have been most famous for something she named after her sons, that doesn’t mean she didn’t appreciate her daughters, and the special bond she had with them. Mira’s mother died in April 1961. In June of 1961, she published the following poem in LDS magazine The Improvement Era:

Going Up To Bed
By Mira Walilko


Our shadows blend upon the wall–
My little girl’s and mine–
Hers stretches high, sapling tall,
In lamplight’s edging shine.
I hold her hand more tightly still,
Rose-plump and warmly dear,
And wish with all my heart and will
The minutes be a year
To hold this time we have to share,
In thought, in touch, in care.
Yet time, like melting shadows flows–
My heart lacks chains. She grows…

There. Now you’ve met the Champ.

From the box of L.R. from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Hungry Boys’ Casserole

2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 Tablespoons onion flakes
10-1/2 oz. can condensed cream of celery soup
1/2 cup sliced stuffed green olives (if desired)
1 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb. can pork and beans

Brown ground beef in large skillet. Add onion, soup, olives, ketchup and salt. Mix well. Reserve 1 cup for biscuits. Add beans. Simmer while preparing biscuits.

Pour into 12 by 8 inch casserole. Top with biscuits.

Bake at 425 deg. for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.


1 cup all purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 tablespoons cooking oil
1/3 cup milk

Combine flour, baking power and salt in mixing bowl. Combine oil and milk; add to dry ingredients all at once, stirring until dough clings together.

Knead on lightly floured surface 8 times. Roll out to a 12 by 8 inch rectangle. Spread with reserved meat mixture.

Starting with 12-inch side, roll up jelly roll fashion; seal edge. Cut into 1 inch slices.

*(For use with self-rising flour, increase flour to 1-1/4 cups; omit baking powder and salt.)


  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I been looking for it for decades.

  2. PBonge

    My mother made this for us the first time when I was in grade school. We kids didn’t know if we liked it or not but one day we asked her to make it for us again. I get hungry for this every so often but I prepare it knowing I’ll be eating it all myself. My hubby doesn’t care for olives or almonds and it’s not the same without them.

  3. diane

    My mom made this years ago-she had all the Pillsbury prize winner books. They had great recipes through the years.

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