I remember when I was a kid, my favorite ready-to-eat meal was Chef Boyardee’s beefaroni. I begged my mom to buy them for me all the time, and when I introduced my kids to it, they loved it too! The thing is, I don’t want to feed my children processed foods, so after a lot of trial and error, this is my take on homemade cheesy hamburger casserole (aka beefaroni at my house!).
Let’s say it’s like a cheeseburger macaroni casserole, but with a very tomatoey sauce, that is just delicious. Every time I make this for my kids, I know they will clean their plates.
Try making this cheeseburger casserole recipe for your family, and let me know how they like it!
“The full recipe with ingredients can be found in the recipe card below.”
How To Make a Cheesy Hamburger Casserole?
- We start by making the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat, and saute the chopped onion and bell peppers for about 3 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and minced garlic and cook until no pink is left and break it up as it cooks, so no big clumps of meat are left.
- Pour in the pureed tomatoes, and add the Italian seasoning, paprika, and sugar. Lower the heat and simmer for one hour. Now season with salt and pepper.
- At this time, preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Cook the macaroni until al dente. You don’t want to overcook it because it will finish cooking in the oven. Drain it and mix it into the sauce.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese on top, put the lid on, and bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the pasta is fully cooked.
What To Serve with Cheesy Hamburger Casserole?
All this dish needs is a side salad. I like to make my salad without tomatoes because this dish already has a lot of tomatoes in it. Caesar salad is a good choice, or just a mixed greens salad. Homemade bread would be great, or crusty baguette from the grocery store.
You can refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze them for 4 months. Remember to let it cool to room temperature before freezing and labeling it with the date.
- Do not add salt and pepper to the sauce until after it has simmered for one hour. Remember, it will reduce, and it may become too salty.
- Cook pasta al dente (not cooked). It has to be a little bit undercooked because it will continue cooking in the oven.
- If you want a more cheesy casserole, add an extra cup of shredded cheddar. Mix one cup into the pasta and sauce, and add the other one on top.
- 1 lb lean ground beef (I use organic 93% lean)
- ½ finely chopped white onion
- ½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1- 28 oz can pureed tomatoes
- 1- 16 oz box macaroni pasta
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese