Mac and cheese gets heartier, and possibly even more family-friendly, when you stir ground beef and fire-roasted tomatoes into the cheese sauce. Make sure to drain the tomatoes so the sauce doesn’t get too thin. We call for whole-grain rotini, but any short pasta shape will work here; just do try to go whole-grain for more nutrition. This budget-friendly dinner costs less than $9. If you don't have dry mustard (used for added depth), stir in a teaspoon of Dijon.
8 ounces uncooked whole-grain rotini
1/2 pound extra-lean ground sirloin
1/4 cup prechopped yellow onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 (14.5-oz.) can unsalted fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
Cook pasta according to directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
Heat a large skillet over medium. Add beef, onion, Worcestershire, and mustard; cook, stirring often, until meat is done, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in tomatoes.
Whisk together milk and flour. Pour mixture into skillet; bring to a boil over high. Add cheeses; stir until cheeses melt. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta and meat mixture. Top with parsley, salt, and pepper.
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