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? YOU MUST TRY THESE!

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

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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!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole, Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole Recipe, Macaroni Casserole
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 496kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ cup diced white onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup dry elbow macaroni
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley optional

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 minutes. 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 496kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 842mg | Potassium: 806mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 922IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 478mg | Iron: 4mg