8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

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.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Lightly coat pasta with cooking spray.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Chef's Notes

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.

Ratings & Reviews

LucyLove's Review

November 16, 2013
It has all the right ingredients for an easy kid-friendly meal, and hopes were high, but it just failed. We all ate it, but no one wanted seconds and everyone asked that I delete it from my recipe file. I tried adding some taco seasoning to the leftovers, thinking that would help. I was wrong.

Melissa's Review

November 01, 2015
 I was looking for a quick dinner, and came upon this recipe.  Had some of the ingredients for a Mac and Cheese but this looked very interesting. Got hamburg, followed the recipe, mostly. did not coat the elbows with cooking spray or the casserole dish. Used super sharp cheddar cheese. Used dry mustard, 1/2 tsp in the cheese sauce, no nutmeg. On top of the rest of the cheese, i crushed Ritz crackers, and sprinkled parmesan cheese and broiled it after cooking for a little crisp on the top.  It was good, we enjoyed it, The other changes i made were to add a tiny bit of oregano in the meat. I thought the cheese would be overpowering, but was not,  Also i did not cook the pasta fully, about 7 minutes so it would not turn to mush with more cooking and it came out great. 

stellacorona's Review

December 28, 2014
followed others' suggestions, which made this a good comfort dish! my quick recap, which is a conglom of many: put cajun spice in the gr sirloin, added sweet red pepper, did half carrot shreds and zucchini. didn't make the cheese sauce, but put in directly colby jack and pepper jack, all with rotini mixed with 1.5 c homemade marinara. didn't bake either, served from stovetop. we all had 2 helpings!! will probably make again.

JoSkeen's Review

November 10, 2013
Kids LOVED this meal! Mom and dad loved it as well. Not fancy. Simple and perfect for a weeknight meal. Leftovers were just as good.

So glad I read the reviews!

June 22, 2017
I replaced the tomato sauce with BBQ sauce as another reviewer suggested and it was fabulous!  My only gripe was the number of pots/pans to clean on a work night.  Will make again.


March 27, 2016
very Bland unless you do add ins. No one wanted seconds and my 5 year old who loves macaroni wouldn't eat more than two bites

Added and change some...

April 10, 2016
I added a can of diced tomatoes, mushrooms and black olives. Used ground turkey instead of beef, 2% milk, bowtie pasta and the Mexican blend cheese. Put some breadcrumbs and parmesan on top before baking it. Delicious!

Nope, nope, nope!

September 13, 2016
"Mom, this is NOT going on the list." Ended up throwing away the whole pan. Very bland woth of "off" taste.

Easy and Delicious

December 07, 2016
This simple casserole is delicious. Everyone enjoyed it. I doubled the recipe to make one to freeze. To freeze it, I prepared it up to the point where you put it in the oven. I put it in an aluminum 13x9 utility pan, and covered it tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil. Labeled it, and as soon as it was cool, put it in the freezer. To bake it, let it thaw completely, and bake as directed or until bubbly and heated through.

CookinPC's Review

October 14, 2012
Good recipe. I followed other reviewers' advice and used marinara sauce instead of plain tomato sauce. I used whole grain pasta and diced carrots. Very tasty...no complaints.