Cheeseburger Macaroni

As I mentioned yesterday, we really don’t do a ton of cooking in the winter. I think part of it has to do with the lack of fresh ingredients – there’s only so much squash and citrus you can eat before it gets old. And since a lot of the cooking responsibility falls on Paul in winter, his main criteria for meals are that they are quick and simple.

He blogged last week about a childhood favorite of his called Big Burger, and while I liked the filling well enough, I thought the crust was a little overwhelming. So I mentioned that it probably would be great on pasta, and sure enough, it was.

It kind of reminds me of Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni, but without all the additives, preservatives, and excess sodium. And it took hardly any time at all to prepare. If you want to make it a bit healthier, use extra lean ground beef or ground turkey, 2% dairy, about half as much butter, and whole wheat pasta. Best of all, it’s extremely economical – getting all the items on sale, it cost all of about $5

Cheeseburger Macaroni

Cheeseburger Macaroni

8 oz. elbow noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1 tbsp. ketchup
1 tbsp. prepared mustard
¼ c. chopped onion
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Cheese Sauce:
3 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour
1 c. milk
1 c. grated cheddar

Set water for pasta on the stove to boil. To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and form a thick paste (roux). Allow to cook for a couple of minutes to lightly brown. Add the milk a little at a time, whisking to thin out. When the milk is incoporated but not especially thick, start adding cheese a little at a time and whisk through until melted. When cheese is completely incorporated, set aside.

Bring the pasta to a boil while you are making the meat. Cook to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water.

Brown the beef and onion in a skillet, and then drain. Add the mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper and cheese sauce. Thin out slightly with the pasta water if necessary. Add the pasta, adjust seasoning, and serve.

10 thoughts on “Cheeseburger Macaroni

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Columbus Foodie » Blog Archive » Cheeseburger Macaroni -- Topsy.com

  2. Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni is my guilty pleasure! Now, I don't have to feel so guilty. Thanks!

  3. Made it for dinner tonight. My wife and I both liked it and we will be taking it for lunch tomorrow. So that will be 2 meals each for just over $5. I did add a little more ketchup and mustard than it calls for.

  4. Looking for a recipe for dinner tomorrow. Definitely going to try this. Using ground turkey. Love that it's quick and I have everything on hand. Kids with love it and no preservatives. Thank you.

  5. I'm using this tonight to make a healthier twist off of a recipe that called for Hamburger Helper. Using ground turkey and adding some cajun spices and bell pepper :) Thank you for offering a healthier alternative to Hamburger Helper! I was raised making everything from scratch, so I don't tend to like using boxed items (I am a food snob…I admit it…but only on some things!!)

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