The Meaty Mac ‘n Cheese Casserole
Making dinner that can please an entire family - kids and adults alike can be a bit challenging. This casserole solves that problem, it's rich and cheesy, hearty and absolutely delicious. It will keep the young ones and grown ups alike coming back for more. It's a sure fire hit any night of the week - absolutely delicious. 😉
- elbow macaroni - 1 lb box
- unsalted butter - 4 tbsp
- garlic - 1 tbsp, chopped
- onion - 1 large, chopped
- green bell pepper - 1 large, chopped
- ground beef - 2 lbs
- dried basil - 1 tsp
- dried oregano - 1 tsp
- paprika - 1 tsp
- flour - 2 tbsp
- whole milk - 1 cup
- crushed tomatoes - 1 can
- salt and pepper - to taste
- cheddar cheese - 3 cups, grated
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and heat the oven to 400 F.
- Cook the pasta in the salted water to 2 minutes less than package directions, then drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium low heat, then add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, then add the onion and green pepper and cook until softened.
- Increase the heat to medium high and add the ground beef and cook until almost cooked through, then add the basil, oregano and paprika and cook until done.
- Reduce the heat to low, then sift the flour over the top of the beef and stir in until well combined. Stir in the milk, tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
- Put the cooled pasta in a large bowl, and pour over the beef mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Mix well.
- Grease a 9x11" baking dish, then pour the pasta mixture into it, patting it down with the back of a wooden spoon. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the cheese on top is golden brown and bubbly.
- Allow to cool for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.