Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cheeseburger Macaroni

I know we promised you some more side dish recipes this week and Julie promised you another soup post, and we promise that will still happen. Actually, we'll have Julie's soup post later tomorrow afternoon. We just got a little sidetracked!  

I needed a quick dinner the other night for my kids and thought I would share this recipe. My kids love a box of Hamburger Helper every now and then.  They don't ask for it often which pleases me.  We aren't perfect, but I really do try to limit the amount of processed foods I feed my family.  I have a feeling that Hamburger Helper is about as bad as it gets in the processed department! One of my New Year's resolutions is to cut out the chemicals and additives, and I knew I'd have to find a replacement for the Cheeseburger Macaroni.  I actually think this tastes a thousand percent better, and it really didn't take much longer to get dinner on the table.  It did dirty an extra pot, but I think the trade off is well worth washing an extra pot.  Don't let the length of the recipe discourage you.  The seasonings I added to the meat mixture are just a variation of a taco seasoning I make.  Remember I was trying to limit the processed ingredients, and I like to control the amount of salt.  If you would rather, just toss in a packet of taco seasoning.  I hope you'll try this the next night you need a kid friendly dish on the table quick!

Cheeseburger Macaroni

For the beef mixture:
1  pound ground beef
½  cup chopped onion
1  teaspoon minced garlic
1  tablespoon chili powder
¼  teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼  teaspoon oregano
½  teaspoon paprika
1 ½  teaspoons cumin
1  teaspoon salt
½  teaspoon pepper
1  can (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2  cups beef broth
8  ounces pasta, elbow or whatever you prefer

For the Cheese Sauce:
2  tablespoons butter
2  tablespoons flour
1  cup whole milk, can use skim or 1% but it won’t be as creamy
1  cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1  heaping tablespoon light sour cream

For the beef mixture:  Brown ground beef with onion and garlic in a large skillet.  Drain well.  Stir in chili powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.  Cook for a minute stirring constantly.  Add the diced tomatoes, beef broth, and macaroni.  Bring to a boil.  Cover pan and reduce heat, simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes or as long as it takes for your pasta to be al dente.  Be sure to stir occasionally to keep it from sticking to the pan and to evenly cook your pasta.

While the beef mixture is simmering, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the flour and whisk for about 2 minutes until bubbly.  Slowly add the milk and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened.  Remove from heat and add cheese.  Whisk until mixture is smooth and creamy. 

When the meat mixture is done add the cheese sauce to your skillet.  Stir to combine, stir in sour cream and let sit a few minutes to thicken.  Top with extra shredded cheese if desired.



Shared at these great link parties:
Gooseberry Patch Comfort Food Link Party
Carole's Chatter Food on Friday Recipes Kids Love


  1. cheeseburger and macaroni to me is the perfect marriage. I am happy to be following you. I found you on tasty kitchen. thanks for sharing

  2. Thanks Andrea! Just checked out your blog and I can't wait to look at more of your yummy recipes as well.

  3. I will definitely add this recipe to the menu plan for next week! I think I will use rotelle pasta as my boys love to eat "wheels". :)

    1. "Wheels" are a great idea Vanessa! Thanks so much for returning the visit, very sweet of you!

  4. Oh yea - this is definitely tasty comfort food! Love dishes like this! Your cheese sauce is making me hungry again!


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