Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cheeseburger Macaroni

Cheeseburger Macaroni
with thanks to Ezra Pound Cake


1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces macaroni
1 cup (4 ounces) cheddar cheese, grated
Scallions, chopped, for serving (optional)


In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the beef, onions and garlic, breaking apart the meat as you go, until the onions are soft and the meat cooked through. Drain off grease (or not if it's lean enough) and return pan to heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the beef broth, mustard, ketchup, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Add to meat. Bring the meat mixture to a boil, then add macaroni.

Reduce the heat to medium, and cover. Continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pasta is tender. (Note: my medium always seems a bit high on my stove, so I checked it a couple of times during cooking and stirred to make sure the pasta wasn't sticking to the bottom - which it was. Keep an eye on it.)

When the macaroni is done, sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Stir until melted, about 1 minute, and serve immediately.


Holy moly, people. If everyone discovered how easy and cheap and low-cal it was to make this shockingly good meal from scratch, I swear the boxed "helper" meals would gather dust on the shelves.

I was absolutely floored by this dish and by how much depth of flavor it had for so few ingredients. This will be a lifelong fixture in my household.

Make it make it make it.


Amy said...

I had this bookmarked when she posted it (a week? 2 weeks ago?)...from the list of ingredients I knew the family would like it. But now that it's got your endorsement, I will definitely move it up on the to do's.

Melissa said...

Do it! I thought you might like this post. Looking forward to hearing what you think.

Margie said...

Oh wow. I have been seriously craving some but just reading the label on the Hamburger Helper box deters me from getting it. This, however, looks yums!

Melissa said...

Margie, I promise you will love this and will never even have to consider the box again! So tasty and so much healthier.

Margie said...

Challenge accepted.

Amy said...

What's funny is, Paul been bugging me for months to make Kraft Mac and Cheese (with hot dogs) and I'm like "no. just no." Then I saw this and I was "okay. this I can do." I already had hers printed out. Did you change anything?

Melissa said...

Yes. I used 1/2 cup ketchup and 1/4 cup tomato paste. I think it probably saved it from being too sweet. I used 2 cups (8 ounces) of macaroni instead of a cup and a half. 1 tsp salt instead of 1/2 tsp.

Also, I would use Dijon next time (or for you, the first time) instead of regular mustard, to give it zing and kick.

Amy said...

Okay, good to know. I jotted those notes down. It's on for next week :D

Melissa said...

Also, I am tempted as heck to add cayenne or some other heat to this and yet I will concede that it is truly just fine as it is. I loved it. Crazy!

Pamela said...

this makes me want to be alone.

Melissa said...

Pamela, you must.

I'm making it again Sunday. And every week, once per week, from now until we get tired of it. Ridiculous.

Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet said...

My kids would love this!

Melissa said...

Awesome, Lisa. I promise you will love it yourself, too!

Pamela said...

I just came back to get the recipe again, and snorted at my previous comment. Oh, me, you are a funny one.

Melissa said...