I have a friend that asked me a few months ago if I could duplicate the taste of Cheeseburger Macaroni – the common store bought kind. I have struggled and struggled to try and match the taste but no matter what I do, it’s just not the same. Today I took another stab at it and again it still isn’t quite like the boxed version – – – BUT – – – I have been ordered by my husband and my kids to never change it again! They loved this dish and actually made me promise that from now on I will always make it just like this. 😀
1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Elbow Macaroni
2 cans Tomato Sauce (8oz each) – – you can substitute a marinara sauce if you like
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
1 TBSP Ketchup
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 cup Marinara Sauce, divided – – you can substitute tomato sauce if you prefer
1/2 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese
1. Brown your beef in a large, deep skillet or frying pan. Drain out the grease and return to the pan.
2. Add in the two cans of tomato sauce and all of your spices, the worcestershire sauce, and the ketchup to the browned beef. Let it all simmer together for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Most of the liquid should be absorbed or boiled off by the end.
3. While the meat and sauce are cooking together, cook the elbow macaroni up to a light al dente and set the oven to preheat at 400 degrees.
4. When the meat sauce is done cooking and the noodles are cooked, combine the two together in the sauce pan. Mix well to fully incorporate them together.
5. Pour a little marinara sauce on the bottom of a small sized casserole dish (8×8 is what I used). You can use tomato sauce here if you like, but I definitely wouldn’t use the same sauce in both situations. Either cook the meat in marinara, or use it in the casserole dish – but not in both spots (same goes for the tomato sauce, switch it up). Add your meat and sauce mixture on top of the layer of marinara and then top it off again with the remaining 1/4 cup of marinara.
6. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes.
7. Remove foil, sprinkle liberally with both cheddar and mozzarella cheese and return to the oven uncovered. Bake another. 10 minutes until cheese is fully melted.