Cheesy Beefy Mac

by Lana Stuart on February 1, 2010 · 13 comments

Cheesy Beefy Mac

I imagine there are as many variations of macaroni and cheese as there are cooks. And, of course, that’s exactly what this is. Another macaroni and cheese recipe. Or is it? Hmmm. You might want to look a little deeper, because this beefy mac and cheese is low-fat and full of vegetables! And you could pack even more in there if you wanted. I’ve used lean ground sirloin, nearly 4 cups of vegetables and low-fat or fat-free dairy products in this special macaroni and cheese. If you have trouble getting your kids to eat their vegetables, then this may be just the dish for you.

All you need to accompany this hearty, low-fat macaroni and cheese is some bread and a salad. Let’s get started!

1 8 oz package elbow macaroni
cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic (optional)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup low-fat (or fat-free) milk
2 tblsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated

I don’t have as many step-by-step photos for you this time. I was trying out a new lens on my camera and, well, let’s just say it didn’t go real well. However, this is so straight-forward a recipe I don’t think you’ll need much help. Really. If you do, just email me at LanaAnn@gmail.com and I’ll be glad to answer any questions.

Preheat oven to 350.

Go ahead and start the macaroni cooking while you’re preparing the rest of the recipe. Just cook it according to the package directions. When it is cooked, drain and hold it while you proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray and add the onion, celery, bell pepper, carrots and garlic (if using). I didn’t have a bell pepper when I was making this, so I used several of these little sweet peppers. You use what you have on hand, you know? Besides I like the variety of colors.

Saute 4 to 5 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain the ground beef (if needed) and return it to the pan along with the reserved vegetables. Add the tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Add the cooked macaroni into the beef/vegetable mixture and stir to combine well. Spoon the beef and macaroni mixture into an 11×7 baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Place milk, flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Stir with a whisk until well blended. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add 1 cup cheese, stirring until smooth. Pour the cheese mixture over the macaroni mixture and stir together. Top evenly with the remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Cheesy Beefy Mac

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Cheesy Beefy Mac

A wonderfully, delicious and hearty one-dish family meal of macaroni, beef, tomato, and cheese sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz package elbow macaroni
  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup low-fat (or fat-free) milk
  • 2 tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and hold while you proceed with the rest of the recipe.
  3. Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray and add the onion, celery, bell pepper, carrots and garlic (if using). Saute 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain ground beef and return to pan along with reserved vegetables, tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  5. Add cooked macaroni to beef/vegetable mixture and stir to combine well.
  6. Spoon the beef and macaroni mixture into an 11x7 baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  7. Place milk, flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Stir with a whisk until well blended. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  8. Add 1 cup cheese, stirring until smooth.
  9. Pour cheese mixture over pasta mixture and stir together.
  10. Top evenly with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  11. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

All text and photographs on Never Enough Thyme are copyright protected. Please do not use any material from this site without obtaining prior permission. If you'd like to post this recipe on your site, please create your own original photographs and either re-write the recipe in your own words or link to this post.

http://www.lanascooking.com/2010/02/01/cheesy-beefy-mac/

Adapted from a recipe found on www.myrecipes.com

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Drick February 1, 2010 at 8:55 pm

sounds like something this kid would love…

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2 Lana February 2, 2010 at 9:23 am

Thanks, Drick. It’s not “gourmet” cooking by any means, but we sure do enjoy it.

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3 The Cookie Girl February 1, 2010 at 9:19 pm

This is similar to one that I make but yours has carrots. I will have to try this. :)

Reply

4 Shirley February 2, 2010 at 4:39 am

This looks cool Nana, will try to pass it through my kids.

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5 Catherine February 2, 2010 at 8:13 am

Adding beef to mac n cheese… Lana you are a GENIUS! Why have I never thought of this before?! I will definately be giving this a try, thank you so much for sharing! :)

Reply

6 Lana February 2, 2010 at 9:23 am

Thank you, Catherine! I do hope you will try this recipe and enjoy it. I had a quick look around your blog and I will definitely be back again.

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7 Eva February 7, 2010 at 10:30 am

That looks like an awesome alternative.

Reply

8 Cherine February 9, 2010 at 11:19 am

This looks really delicious!!

Reply

9 Corey @ Family Fresh Meals November 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Hey Lana! I love mac and cheese, and I REALLY love this recipe with all the veggies you pack into it! The kids would be eating tons of veggies and not even know it! Love that :) Printing now!
I would be honored if you would share it on my Recipe of the Week #2 PASTA post! There will be a small gift card giveaway ;) Feel free to share any of your pasta dishes. You can post them until tomorrow. I really hope you come join in the fun.

http://familyfreshmeals.blogspot.com/search/label/recipe%20of%20the%20week

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