One-pan Cheeseburger Mac From Boxed Mac and Cheese

If you’ve been following me for a while, this recipe may seem familiar. I made this about three months ago, however I had altered it since then. I’ve been able to alter the recipe and make this dish a one pan meal! I’ve also doubled my boxed mac and cheese to help distribute the meat better and to make a dish that would be great for a big family. For my original recipe, you can click here.

This is a homemade version of hamburger helper that just needs boxed mac and cheese. When cooking, you can choose to drain off the fat or not. Fats do add some flavor to dishes, however this dish doesn’t need that flavor to make a tasty dish. I also used 1/2 of a frozen diced onion. I just find it easier to dice and freeze my onions in bulk. I used a standard beef bouillon, but you can also use 4 cups low sodium stock in place of some water or powdered bouillon. And finally, I used Weis brand mac & cheese. You can try other types like Kraft or shells, but that’s what I had on hand. Remember to taste your food before serving, and add additional garlic, mustard powder, or ketchup as you desire.

  1. In a large dutch oven, brown and break up one pound of ground beef. Dice up 1/2 cup of onion and cook until translucent. Drain off any excess fat if you desire.
  2. Add 7 cups of water and 4 beef bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 2 boxes of mac and cheese pasta. Stir regularly. Boil 3-4 minutes longer than recommended by the box, until most water has boiled off.
  3. Add your cheese packets and any other ingredients instructed by the box. Stir. Add 8 Tbsp ketchup, 3 Tbsp mustard, and 2 Tbsp garlic powder. Combine together and serve. Makes 9 adult portions. If you desire, excess can be frozen. To reheat, add a splash of milk and microwave 1-2 minutes, or 5-7 minutes if frozen.

Ground Beef Lo Mein

If you don’t have steak, this is a great option for some tasty lo mein. First, I used spaghetti for this dish instead of lo mein noodles. You can use either, but I usually keep lots of spaghetti on hand, so I used that. I used mushrooms and green beans for my veggies, but you can use many other veggies such as bok choy, carrots, peas, or radishes. Sesame oil is one of the biggest elements to this dish. The flavor and richness it brings to the sauce is important. I also used part worcestershire sauce and part soy sauce, because the worcestershire sauce has extra flavoring like added ginger, garlic and onion. You can, however, use just soy sauce to get the same great flavor. Finally, this recipe serves a lot! We had six generous sized portions with this recipe. The recipe also holds it’s heat well, but it also doesn’t need any time to cool before serving.

  1. Begin by boiling 16 oz of spaghetti until al dente. Strain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven or wok, begin browning 1 pound of ground beef and crumbling it. Add 1/2 cup diced onion and cook until translucent.
  3. Once browned, add 1 can strained sliced mushrooms. Add 1 Tbsp ground ginger and 1 Tbsp garlic powder. Add 2 tsp sesame oil, 3 Tbsp soy sauce, and 3 Tbsp worcestershire sauce. Stir until mushrooms where heated through.
  4. Strain a can of green beans, add to beef mixture. Then add strained spaghetti. Carefully stir and keep over heat until everything is heated through. Remove from heat and immediately serve.

Mini Manicotti With Lasagna Noodles

Manicotti is a classic Italian dish. Last week I had a family member pass away, so to be able to do something productive, my mom and I made several meals to take as a gift. Besides bread and other family classics, we made lasagna. We had extra of everything, so I decided to make Manicotti as a different form of lasagna. I did make this dish with a meat sauce I had left from the lasagna, but you can choose to do whatever you wish. I also forgot this time when making them, but in the future, it would taste good to add an additional tablespoon of Italian seasoning. The green would be nice for the dish and the cheese would be a bit more varied with some seasoning.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Break 6 Lasagna noodles in half using the edge of the counter.
  2. Generously salt water. Add broken noodles one at a time and stir continuously to keep from sticking together. Boil for 10 minutes until noodles are flexible.
  3. Rinse noodles and submerge in cold water. Set at your assembly area.
  4. Grab a 7 x 11 baking dish.
  5. Mix together in a bowl, 1 cup of small curd cottage cheese, and 1 cup mozzarella. Also, brown 1/2 pound of ground beef, mix in 1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce and set aside.
  6. Begin assembly by placing a cooled noodle in the bottom of your baking dish. Place 2-3 Tbsp of cheese mixture near one end of the noodle. Roll up the noodle starting on the side with the cheese mixture. Place in open spot in dish.
  7. Repeat step 6 until there is no more room in your dish, or until you run out of noodles. Pour over top the sauce and meat mixture. Spread evenly over the noodles. Top with 1 cup of mozzarella.
  8. Heat oven to 350 F. Bake for 30-40 minutes until cheese is melted and browning. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Megan’s Cheeseburgers

I love cheeseburgers. Cheeseburgers were one of the first things I ever cooked. I like mixing the meat, picking the flavors, and the wonderful smell as the burgers cook. I started making normal cheeseburgers, but over time I started experimenting with topping. I found topping a burger with speedied mushrooms and caramelized onions to be one of my favorites. I also liked covering them with Cooper sharp cheese and covering them to fully melt the cheese before plating. After a while, I began placing the toppings under the cheese and that is my preferred method today.

  1. Place a pound of ground beef into a medium sized bowl. Add 2 tbsp A1, and about 2 tsp worcestershire sauce. Mix together with your hands. Divide into 3-5 pieces.
  2. Begin heating a small frying pan over medium low heat. Add 1 can of strained mushroom stems and pieces. Add 4 Tbsp Italian dressing or speedie sauce.
  3. Heat another large frying pan on a second burner over medium heat.
  4. Each piece, roll into a ball. Press these balls between the palm of your hand. Make them thinner in the center, and wider than you want them. They with get thicker in the center and shrink on the edges as they cook. Place each patty onto the large heated frying pan.
  5. Cook on the first side until it is browned about 3/4 up the side of the burger. Flip your burgers and cook just as long on the second side. Top flipped burgers with a dollop of A1. Once you only have about 5 minutes of cooking, top your burger with mushrooms, then top with cheese.
  6. Let burgers rest for 5 minutes before placing on buns to eat.

Korean Curry

I pulled out a pound of ground beef and I was thinking all day what I could do with it. I did some Bing searches and came across curry. Josh nor I have ever had curry, but when I passed the idea by him, he was willing to try it too. Most of these spices I’ve never used, and if I had used them, it was only a tiny bit. I’m not familiar with all the flavors, how they interact, and how they cook. I looked at several Korean recipes for curry and several Indian recipes, and so I decided to add a bit of everything I had seen. This curry was a unique experience. Every bite had a different flavor. As it cooled, new flavors developed. It was delicious! I couldn’t stop eating it; it was so full of flavor. Our curry didn’t have any heat to it at all. It was strange because it was almost sweet at times. You can add more veggies to your curry, such as celery or beans, but I decided on just onion and tomatoes. I also added about 1 1/2Tbsp of cumin, and 2 Tbsp curry powder. We served it with cooked white rice, about 3 cups cooked. And, we’ll probably get 5 servings out of this recipe.

  1. Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 2 Tbsp oil, then add about 1 lb of ground beef. Brown and break up the meat.
  2. Dice one onion, about 1 to 1 1/2 cups. Once the meat it browned, add the onion, and cook till it begins to turn translucent. Open a can of diced tomatoes and add to the pot.
  3. Next, you add your spices. Add 1 Tbsp Garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground mustard, 2 tsp turmeric, 3 tsp ground cayenne pepper, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 Tbsp ground ginger, and 1 tsp Paprika. Cook until mixture becomes thick.
  4. Add 3 cups of beef broth. Add curry powder and cumin to taste. Add 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce. Remove 1 cup of liquid, whisk in 2 Tbsp flour, then return to mixture. Boil down curry till it reaches your desired consistency and flavor.
  5. Let sit for 5 minutes to cool, then serve with rice.