We love this recipe & I've been making it for years. I always add 3/4 cup of chopped bell pepper (whatever color I have), extra garlic, oregano & 1 tbsp of tomato paste to the meat. The biggest change I make is upping the sauce by half & using regular extra sharp cheddar. I have found that an 11X7 is too small (drips & makes a mess), so usually make it in a deep square baker. Leftovers are great for quick meals.
Beef, Cheese, and Noodle Bake
Trick the picky "noodles only" eaters at the table with this macaroni and cheese casserole. It's packed with lean sirloin, shredded veggies, and lots of calcium–each serving has 200 milligrams. Serve with a green veggie or side salad.
More From Cooking Light
- Calories: 283
- Calories from fat: 24%
- Fat: 7.7g
- Saturated fat: 4.2g
- Monounsaturated fat: 2.4g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7g
- Protein: 22.3g
- Carbohydrate: 30.1g
- Fiber: 2.1g
- Cholesterol: 46mg
- Iron: 3.1mg
- Sodium: 622mg
- Calcium: 209mg
- 1 (8-ounce) package small elbow macaroni
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup prechopped onion
- 1 cup preshredded carrot
- 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
- 1 pound lean ground sirloin
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) 2% reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese (such as Cracker Barrel), divided
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Lightly coat pasta with cooking spray.
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and carrot, and sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add ground beef; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates.
- Add pasta to beef mixture in pan, stirring to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
- Place milk, flour, nutmeg, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; stir with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add 1 cup cheese, stirring until smooth. Pour cheese mixture over pasta mixture; stir. Top evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
For creamiest results, do not overbake.
MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.
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