This is a true one-pot family favorite that is also a good source of fiber and calcium. Prepare the beef mixture in the same pan used to cook the pasta.
1 1/2 cups uncooked medium elbow macaroni
3/4 pound ground round
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions, undrained
1 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Prepare macaroni in a Dutch oven according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.
Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove beef with a slotted spoon. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, oregano, and tomatoes; cook 2 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally. Stir in macaroni, beef, and 3/4 cup cheese; cook 1 minute or until cheese melts. Stir in salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cheese over each serving.
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I don't know if it's truly "worthy of a special occasion", but I do give it 4 stars because it IS an excellent and quick weeknight meal. Hard to go wrong with this! Might add some kidney beans and/or some corn next time, just to mix things up a bit.
We have made this for a few years now. Our family loves this everyday meal, even my super picky daughter. I did have to make a few alterations. I reduced the spices to 1 t. chili powder, 1/2 t. paprika and 1/4 t. oregano. I also blend the diced tomatoes and sauted onion and garlic. There is still plenty of flavor. As another reviewer stated regular cheese melts better as does cheese I shred opposed to pre-shredded.
I rated this recipe a 4 because my family loved it, not that I would cook it as a "special occasion" meal. I did as the recipe called for and substituted Rotel for the diced+ tomatoes. Great recipe for a cold winter day!!!!
Delicious, hearty, easy to make, and a definite teen pleaser. I used regular sharp cheddar cheese because it melts better than low fat. To save time, I would like to experiment with adding dry noodles after sauteeing the onions and garlic so I don't have to cook the noodles separately. Ground turkey might also be fun to try.
Terrible. I have no idea why this got so many stars from anyone else. The canned tomatoes with chilies totally take over the entire dish. It is hot with absolutely no depth of flavor. Adding Cumin barely made it palatable. Low fat cheese has the flavor and texture of plastic. A completely unsalvageable recipe