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Cheesy Hamburger Casserole

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Cheeseburger Casserole is a one pot, 30 minute recipe that’s outrageously good. Beefy, cheesy and saucy, it tastes like cheeseburgers in pasta form. It’s a homemade Hamburger Helper – a tastier and much healthier version of the popular boxed pasta!
This Cheesy Hamburger Casserole is just as easy to make as Hamburger Helper, and you can control the ingredients. Great weekday meal and the kids love it!
Oh boy I don’t even know where to begin with this cheeseburger casserole. Okay one word.. yummilious! yeah I know it’s not a real word but that’s the only word I can think of that can possibility explain how amazing this cheeseburger casserole is.

Alright, this Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole recipe is definitely not my norm, but it is who I am and it happens to be a recipe that I get a crazy amount of emails about. A long time ago (and seriously, check out the picture and you’ll laugh your heart out at how little I knew about food photography) I posted a recipe called Busy Day Casserole and it has been one of my top recipes for years now. It never disappears from the most viewed recipes.
My mother made this recipe when I was a little girl and it has always been a favorite of mine. It is my go to recipe when I can’t think of anything to make and it works great for a potluck party or a casual meal for company. I have tweaked it to make it my own but my tweaks have only enhanced it. All you need to accompany this delicious meal is a crisp green salad and a hot crunchy roll. I hope you enjoy this wonderful one-pot meal that is just down home good eats!
“This is a hearty meal that tastes GREAT for less and has plenty of leftovers for a nice repeat meal. This tasty meal that I created had my family’s thumbs up for many repeat meals!”

See also  Grandmother’s Fresh Peach Cobbler

Ingredients:
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon canola oil
salt
black pepper
oregano
chopped garlic
paprika (to taste)
one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, pureed in the can with a hand blender or in a blender
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 box macaroni
1 cup each grated cheddar and mozzarella cheeses

Directions:
Sweat the onions in the oil with a three-fingered pinch of salt. Add the beef and cook it, breaking it up as you do. Add another three-fingered pinch of salt or two, along with the dry seasonings. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook for an hour.
Cook the macaroni in boiling water till it’s half done. Drain it and add it to the tomatoes. (I wanted this to stretch into two meals, so I used the whole box, but if you want your dish to be very tomatoey and beefy, you might want to add only half the macaroni). Stir it into the sauce. Taste it. Add more salt and other seasonings as needed, and cover. When it’s cooled and the pasta has absorbed the tomato juices, transfer it to a large baking dish and cover it with foil. It can sit out for several hours like this, be refrigerated for up to two days, or frozen a few weeks.
Bake it in a 400 degree oven till it’s piping hot (about 45 minutes if it’s cold to room temperature). Just before you’re ready to eat, remove the foil, cover macaroni with the cheese and broil till the cheese is bubbly.