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Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole

This Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole is an easy dinner recipe that is comfort food at its best! Simple, delicious and done in under an hour!

AN EASY BAKED PASTA RECIPE

Everyone needs a good casserole recipe that you know most people will enjoy. This Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole is one of our go-to recipes on a busy weeknight. I’ve been making this recipe for over 25 years when I was first married. This recipe is really a no-brainer and only requires simple ingredients. It’s a very filling recipe and makes for delicious leftovers! If you want a solid recipe for those nights when you don’t know what to make, then you should try this Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole recipe.

Horizontal picture of Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole on dish with spoon and some missing.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Do I have to use elbow macaroni?

No. You can use any smaller pasta that you like for this recipe such as rotini, farfalle, penne, etc. As long as you use the same amount as called for in the recipe. Elbow macaroni is just the standard I have always used.

Can I substitute the ground beef?

Yes! You can use ground turkey, chicken, sausage. Still use 1 pound of meat no matter the type. All steps remain the same. You could even combine half sausage and half ground beef it you like.

Do I have to use cheddar cheese?

We love the flavor of cheddar with this recipe but you can absolutely use any type of cheese that you like best such as Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, Mexican blend, etc. Test out different cheese and see what you like best!

Why do I need to cover the baking dish in aluminum foil?

Covering the baking dish with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes of baking time helps to prevent the casserole top from browning too much or burning on the surface.

I don’t have a large frying pan. What can I use instead?

If you don’t have an oversized frying pan, you can use a larger pot. You just need something large enough to hold all of the ingredients.

How do I store leftovers?

This can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to 4 days. This can also be frozen, to do that place cooled casserole in a freezer bag or container and it will keep for up to 3 months. To defrost, remove to the refrigerator overnight and you then can reheat in the microwave.

Pinterest image of serving spoon scooping out some of the Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • white onion
  • olive oil
  • italian seasoning
  • garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • ground beef
  • elbow macaroni 
  • crushed tomatoes
  • beef broth
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • parsley (optional) 
Ingredients needed: white onion, olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic, pepper, salt, ground beef elbow macaroni, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, shredded cheddar cheese and parsley.

HOW TO MAKE CHEESEBURGER MACARONI CASSEROLE:

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. In a large frying pan, over medium heat, cook chopped onion in olive oil until onions are clear and light brown. 

Oil and onions cooked in pan.

Add Italian seasoning, minced garlic, pepper and salt to the frying pan. Stir to mix.  

Italian seasoning, minced garlic, pepper and salt added to onions.

Add ground beef to the frying pan and cook until browned (thoroughly cooked) Drain any excess grease (if you use a really lean meat, you won’t have any excess grease to drain). While ground beef is cooking, cook macaroni in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Do not overcook the macaroni or it will become too soft and to hold its shape in the casserole. Strain cooked macaroni and set aside. 

Ground beef cooked in frying pan.

Add crushed tomatoes and beef broth to the cooked ground beef mixture. Stir well to mix. Cook over medium heat until it reaches a light simmer.

Crushed tomatoes and beef broth added to pan with beef mixture.

Add cooked macaroni to ground beef mixture and stir well to mix. Add two cups of shredded cheese to the ground beef mixture and stir well to mix. Pour mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. 

Ground beef mixture with cheese and pasta added to baking dish.

Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese over top. 

Cheese added to top of ground beef and pasta mixture.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove aluminum foil and let it bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve hot.

Overhead of Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole in baking dish with a portion missing.

WANT MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES?

Square image of serving spoon lifting out some of the Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole.

Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole

This Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole is an easy dinner recipe that is comfort food at its best! Simple, delicious and done in under an hour!
5 from 20 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
  • In a large oversized frying pan over medium heat, cook onion with olive oil until onions are clear and light brown.
  • Add Italian seasoning, minced garlic, pepper and salt to the frying pan. Stir to mix.
  • Add ground beef to the frying pan and cook until browned (thoroughly cooked). Drain any excess grease.
  • While ground beef is cooking, cook macaroni in a large pot of boiling water for 5-7 minutes (until al dente). Do not overcook the macaroni or it will become too soft to hold its shape in the casserole. Strain cooked macaroni and set aside.
  • Add crushed tomatoes and beef broth to the cooked ground beef mixture. Stir well to mix. Cook over medium heat until it reaches a light simmer.
  • Add cooked macaroni to ground beef mixture and stir well to mix.
  • Add two cups of shredded cheese to the ground beef mixture and stir well to mix.
  • Pour mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese over top.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove aluminum foil and let it bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve hot.

Notes

  • You can use any smaller pasta in this recipe.
  • If you use a lan ground beef (90%) you won’t have any excess grease to drain after it cooks.
  • Easily cut this in half to serve a smaller family.
  • Other meats such as ground turkey, chicken and sausage can be used.
  • This can be frozen, see my tips above on how you can do that.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 496kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 26g | Sodium: 842mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    After making various versions of the hamburger-mac recipe for years, this one really hit the mark.
    This is a keeper, going into the recipe book!

  2. 5 stars
    I was looking for a recipe for a casserole similar to what my mom used to make. This was so close, my dad and I enjoyed it very much. I did add another cup of macaroni but we just like pasta LOL. Thanks!!!!

  3. 5 stars
    I’m not sure why, but mine did not look like yours. When I added my mac, there just wasn’t much there like in your photos, so I whipped up another cup and added it to the pan. Other than that, it turned out great. Will do this one again.

  4. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious, and everyone loved it! Thank you for sharing! I can always trust your recipes, and that’s such a relief!