I am willing to admit when my husband and I first moved out together wayyyyyy back in 1991, I had no clue how to cook. Even taking cooking classes in school, the only thing I really learned was how to have a good flour fight. Our “go to” meal was either Kraft Dinner, Ichiban soup, or some kind of Hamburger Helper.
Over the years, once we had our sons, and obviously I slowly learned to cook (this is still a work in progress) I purchased the boxed Hamburger Helper less and less. Mostly because our sons never would eat it and I really wanted to be able to make a dinner that we could all eat.
I’ve given up on those thoughts of grandeur. I live with picky eaters (okay, I’m a picky eater and I’ve given birth to two very picky eaters – and I married a picky eater – there was no hope!) and so we are still to this day, making a couple of different things for dinner. I try my best to come up with things that all of us will eat so I’m not making more than one meal. My husband on the other hand is a push over and will actually make three different meals, one for our older son, one for our younger son and then one for us. I’m not quite that nice.
This is one of those meals where my younger son will not eat. He’s not a huge fan of cheese, so he simply refuses to eat it. However, my older son, who’s actually the pickiest of all of us, loves this. I have never been so happy in my life when he wanted seconds. It was like a miracle.
You can actually boil the noodles before hand and have them ready to go when you start this, or simply boil them while frying up the ground beef (I’ve done it both ways).
You will need 2 cups of macaroni noodles, before they are cooked, boil them for 6 minutes – remember you are going to finish cooking them in the sauce with the ground beef.
In a large frying pan, brown your 1 lbs. ground beef (I use lean ground beef so there isn’t much extra fat left over, but if you use regular ground beef remember to drain off the excess fat). Season with salt, pepper and 1 tsp. of onion powder (or alternatively you can add in 1/2 a finely diced onion).
While the ground beef is browning up, measure out the remaining ingredients (1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, 2 Tbsp. ketchup, 5 to 6 dashes of Worchestershire sauce, 4 to 5 dashes of hot sauce, 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 to 3/4 cup water and 2 cups shredded cheddar/mozzarella).
Once the ground beef is browned (you want those caramelized bits), add in the remaining ingredients (except for the noodles) and turn the heat down to medium low and stir until the cheese has melted completely.
1 bls. ground beef
2 cups macaroni noodles, uncooked
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup milk
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. ketchup
5 to 6 dashes Worchestershire sauce
4 to 5 dashes hot sauce
1 Tsp. onion powder
2 cups shredded cheddar/mozzarella cheese
- Boil noodles for 6 minutes, drain and set aside.
- Brown ground beef, season with salt, pepper and onion powder.
- Once ground beef is browned, add in remaining ingredients (except the noodles). Stir to melt the cheese.
- Add in the noodles and continue to stir occasionally until all the liquid is absorbed into the noodles.
- Serve and enjoy.