This recipe is one of our favorites because we usually have most of these ingredients on hand, making it a fast and easy replacement, even if we realize at the last minute that another meal isn’t going to work for one reason or another. The best part of this recipe–aside from the fact that it’s fast, easy to make and fairly inexpensive, especially if, like me, you buy your ground beef in bulk and keep some in the freezer for emergencies–is that your kids will love it. Have you ever heard anyone complain because their food had too much cheese on it? But the tomatoes and the beef create a balanced nutritional profile, so you can serve this as a meal without even having to worry about a side dish.
Tasty, fast, filling, and inexpensive–there’s no downside to making beefy mac and cheese for your family.
2 pounds ground beef
1 green bell pepper
3-4 cloves of garlic
24 oz jar of tomato sauce
1 pound macaroni noodles
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
6-8 slices American cheese
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Chop the onion and saute it in a tablespoon of olive oil.
Add in the two pounds of ground beef and cook until the meat has browned.
Add in the onion powder, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.
Chop the bell pepper and the garlic cloves and add it to the meat mixture.
Cook this mixture until the meat is fully done cooking.
While the mixture is cooking, start your pasta. We used macaroni in this recipe but you can use penne pasta, or shell pasta, or even a combination of different pasta types. Whatever you have in your pantry is probably fine. Boil the pasta according to the directions on the package.
Add the jar of tomato sauce to the meat mixture.
When the noodles are done, drain them and add them to your meat mixture.
Pour the entire thing into a baking pan.
Cover with the cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Since the meat is already cooked and safe to eat, the cheese is the only thing you’re waiting on while it is in the oven.