Monday, January 10, 2011

Cheeseburger Unplugged!

As you all know by now I'm on a mission to re-event dinner each night. I try to have at least 4 nights a week with something new. Yes it still drives Rick nuts he would like just "a normal meal" as he calls it but sorry dude it's not a hamburger helper house anymore :). So trying to please everyone I found a cheeseburger theme meal done two ways. One of my FAVORITE foodies is Alex @ Ma, What's for dinner? (yes I love her even since our names are close =D) she always has something easy and something I can whip up quickly.
by Ma, What's for dinner?

2 T olive oil

1 lb ground beef

½ large onion, chopped

1 can diced tomato

1 clove garlic, chopped

8 oz mushrooms sliced thin

½ T dried oregano

1 t dried red pepper flakes

1 lb whole wheat penne pasta

3 T butter unsalted

3 T all purpose flour

3 cups whole milk

1/2 t fresh grated nutmeg

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set a large pot of water over high heat to boil for your pasta. In large skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat. When oil is hot add in onions and mushroom and sauté until soft. About 6 minutes or so. When they are soft add in garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook for additional minutes. Add in your ground beef and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Once meat has browned toss in the tomato, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Season again with S&P and allow simmering for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan melt butter over medium high heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk, and bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Once the milk has thickened add in nutmeg and season with S&P. Reduce to medium low heat and melt in cheddar and Swiss cheeses. Allow to cook on low for a few minutes.

When water is boiling season water with salt and add pasta. Note package cooking time and reduce by 2 minutes, the macaroni will continue cooking in the oven later. Once pasta is cooked, drain and return to pot. Toss the penne with cheese mixture.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and pour half of the pasta mixture into the bottom of the dish. Spoon the Italian burger mixture over the top in an even layer. Then cover with remaining pasta. Top with additional cheddar cheese if desired. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes and enjoy!

ALEXIS NOTES: I used diced tomatoes with chilies, skipped the mushrooms, whole wheat flour and just had cheddar on hand.
An a favorite of mine :)
by Ma, What's for dinner?

1 lb ground beef

1 onion chopped

1 packet onion soup mix

2 T Worcestershire sauce

½ T flour (optional)

½ cup water

½ cup ketchup

¼ cup mustard

2 russet potatoes sliced thin (either by hand or with a mandolin)

2 cups cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and cook ground beef until brown. Add in onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

When onions are soft, stir in onion soup and a touch of flour. Mix well. Pour in water and scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.

Next pour in your ketchup, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Once it begins to boil knock back your heat to medium low and allow your mixture to simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour your burger mixture into a 8×8 baking dish. Line the top with potato slices then top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

ALEXIS NOTES: I skipped the onion (since the batch I bought was bad), whole wheat flour and I had red potatoes on hand. Yes that is my mandolin Rick bought me for Christmas (LOVED it).


  1. YUM i love that ur household is no longer a hamburger helper type house :) that stuff is ucky in my opinion! And when u make ur own it tastes SO much better :)

  2. Thank you so much for introducing me to Alex @ Ma, What's for dinner?
    I have been looking for some fast and easy, healthy meals I can fix.

    Both these cheeseburger meals sound good. Thanks!

  3. They both sounds great. I love anything with macaroni.

  4. homemade hamburger helper is much better than the box stuff anyway

  5. Those both sound good! I'm not sure my family would go for them, but they look good to me!

  6. i just ate.. yet my tummy STILL growled reading this... that last recipe, the casserole... sounds awesome!!!

  7. I have all the ingredients for the Cheeseburger casserole! I may have to try that one! Need to use up the potatoes from our garden... :-)

  8. My kids would love both of these - how could you miss with hamburger, cheese and pasta!

  9. Yummy I loved these. They have cheese.. I have my giveaway going on if you want to stop on by.. Have a great night.

  10. Those would be a no-go with my kids. I wish they would eat stuff like this though. Sounds yummy to me.

  11. My son would be all over this! He's a meat eater big time!

  12. Yum - these both sound good to me. Thanks so much for linking up with Tasty Tuesdays!

  13. Oh Yum! Don't you love Alex and Ma What's for dinner!! Her blog is great as well. I need to start making over meals. There is a pizza casserole I made and the kids loved it!

  14. How could you NOT win everyone over with a post title like Cheeseburger Unplugged?

    That is pure genius!

    Oh and I'm moving in by the way. My kitchen has become stagnant and boring

  15. They both sound so good. You sure do find the best recipes. I have to star these in my reader.

  16. These days its hard getting myself into the kitchen to make stuff period...let alone coming up with something new 4 nights a week lol

  17. This looks really really really good, I bet it was freakin good. You know while hubby is absent from my table, I should make something like this...dangerous though, I would eat the whole freakin good thing!!!

  18. Mmmmmm, its like you KNEW I was craving cheeseburgers!


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