A cheesy cheeseburger mac and cheese casserole that is kid-friendly and perfect for a crowd. If the kids love cheeseburger and mac and cheese this recipe will soon be a family favorite. 3 Steps to a delicious casserole – bake 30 minutes.
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Picky Eater Meal Prep for Lunch: Not Mac and Cheese Not a Plain Cheese Burger
We have a picky eater in our home. He is getting better but veggies are not an easy food to get in food. So balancing ready to eat homemade food (so he does not eat fast food) with his limited foods he will eat can be challenging.
I needed a casserole that was hearty and filling as he is now working full time. He would eat mac and cheese every day but it does not hold him and he knows he should not eat too many snacks in the afternoon. My son and I brained stormed and came up with a filling casserole that was more than mac and cheese and could be meal prepped and just heated for lunch.
The cheese sauce is a kicked up flavor. Making a basic homemade cheese sauce that has a hint of onion and garlic without all the chopping.
Basic Steps for Cheeseburger Mac & Cheese
This recipe we make as a meal prep for lunchtime. I make a big casserole and then pack in the refrigerator in glass containers that are bright and see-through so everyone can find lunch.
It takes 4 steps but then you do not have to cook for a few days.
- The first step is to cook a box of pasta, any shape you like to just undercooked or as the Italians call al dente. Drain and set aside.
- The second step is to brown a pound and a half of ground beef, season with salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Make sure to drain off any extra fat when cooked.
- The third step is to make a homemade cheese sauce. A homemade cheese sauce does take about 15 minutes, and you can always use a store-bought Alfredo sauce. It will not be the rich yellow cheddar cheese sauce of mac and cheese but it will work. But remember I did say I had a picky eater, but he does have good taste. He loves his grandmother’s cheese sauce that I make so I make it from scratch.
- The last step is to mix the pasta, the cheese sauce, and the cooked ground beef. Put in a 13×9 casserole dish and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
- I saved a 1 and 1/2 cups of the homemade cheese sauce to use when reheating the casserole. The casserole reheats in the microwave and taste like just made.
- This week for lunch, in order to have the lunch casserole more creamy, I did not bake this week’s recipe but mixed the pasta, cheese sauce, and the cooked beef, and then divided it into the glass container. I again have my reserved sauce and will bake or microwave each container when my son comes for lunch. So another option is not to have one big casserole but 6 little casseroles.
Family Prayer for Dinner Time
For the food on this table and our home that we share
for the constant love of family and gentle care
Thank you loving heavenly Father
We fold our hands and bow our head
and thank you Lord for our daily bread’
- One box of pasta
- One pot of boiling water
- 1 1/2 pound of ground beef
- 2 table spoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt & Pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups of warmed milk
- 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 onion powder
- Set a large pot of water to boil, add a pinch of salt.
- When water is boiling add pasta and cook per the time on the box less 1 or 2 minutes so the pasta is cooked al dente.
- In a large skillet add the ground beef to brown, when almost done, drain off excess fat and add the garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano salt and pepper. Cook so no longer pink. Take off the heat.
- In a medium sauce pan place on medium heat, add the butter until it melts, then add the flour and cook on low for 1 minute. (this cooks out the flour taste, but do not brown, you are making a roux)
- While the roux is cooking, warm the milk in the microwave for about 1 and 1/2 minutes, just to take the chill off.
- After the flour butter mixture has cooked one minute, add the milk a little at a time mixing with a whisk. When the milk is all added take a spatula and make sure that the roux is not stuck on the sides.
- Stir constantly with the whisk and as it starts to thicken about 5 minutes add the cheddar cheese and and parmesan cheese. Heat while constantly whisking until hot, thick and bubble, about 10 minutes
- Finally add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and onion powder. Take off the heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix half at a time, the cooked pasta, the ground beef, and the cheese sauce.
- When all mixed put in a greased 13×9 baking dish. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Casserole
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese Casserole
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