Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole is your dinner answer to the question, “what’s for dinner?” No more boxed dinners needed when you can make the classic dishes at home.
Remember Hamburger Helper? Back in the day before most of us knew how horrible it is for us as the sodium levels are insanely high, we used to enjoy a box of the stuff about once a week. It was a cheap meal when you are on a budget. But as with most things, there is a better way to make it. I still walk by the boxes of Hamburger Helper and marvel at the new flavor combinations but at the same time I chuckle because I can make any of those at home – healthier and even more yummy. Cheeseburger Macaroni was one of our favorites and once I began to make it at home, we’ve never looked back at buying the boxed style.
While this recipe is not a one pan meal from start to finish, it’s well worth the extra few steps in preparation. Add a tossed salad to go with this casserole and you’ve got a great meal. Leftovers reheat well, so that makes this a wonderful meal for lunch the next day.
- 2 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
- 1 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups of milk
- 14 oz. petite diced tomatoes drained
- dash nutmeg
- 2 tsp ground mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 1/2 cups pepper jack cheese shredded
- Toppings: chopped cooked bacon diced tomatoes, and green onions
- Preheat over to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Cook pasta per package directions and drain the water. Set aside and keep warm.
- While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef. Season ground beef with the Italian seasoning. Drain the grease when the ground beef is cooked through.
- In a Dutch oven pot, saute the onion and garlic with the butter until onions start to soften.
- Add the flour and whisk until blended.
- Gradually add the milk while still stirring.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Continue stirring to avoid any burning. The mixture should thicken slightly.
- Add in the can of diced tomatoes (drained) and let mixture thicken a bit more.
- Stir in the the dash of nutmeg, ground mustard, salt and pepper until smooth.
- Add 1 cup of sharp cheddar and 1 cup of pepper jack cheeses and stir until melted and smooth. Turn off heat.
- Add the drained cooked pasta and the ground beef into the sauce and stir well until all the pasta is coated.
- Transfer the mixture into a greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.
- Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.