Beef and Cheese Macaroni
Beef and Cheese Macaroni

Chances are you are having one of those nights when you have no idea what to cook.  You're tired. It's the end of the day, and you really don't feel like eating out again, but you don't feel like going to the grocery store either.  You also want something that everyone will eat with no complaints.  I can't tell you how often this happens to me.

Beef and Cheese Macaroni

My kids are good eaters, but I feel the case of the "ughs" coming on when they have to eat yet another night of salads or roasted vegetables. There is only so much a kid can take.  I get that. They need a break, but I'm just not willing to run out for food when I can whip up something using food I already have on hand.

Beef and Cheese Macaroni

Beef and Cheese Macaroni. Think homemade Hamburger Helper.  Tastier, fresher, and healthier than the box of so-called "helper".  It's comfort food for everyone.  All you need are a few ingredients and a short amount of time to bring this tasty family meal to the table.

The ingredients are simple:  ground beef, onion, crushed tomatoes, macaroni, cheddar cheese, and just a couple of herbs to make it tasty.  Throw it together into a skillet and you've got a hearty meal with leftovers that will actually have your family going back for seconds.

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1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 lb. ground beef

1/4 teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 Tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 16 ounce box macaroni

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated


In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add chopped onions and saute until translucent.  Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir to mix in.

Add ground beef and continue to saute until beef is browned and no pink remains.

Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste (which acts as a thickener).  Stir to mix in with the beef. Cover and continue to let meat mixture cook and thicken a bit for 15 minutes.

While meat mixture is simmering, prepare your macaroni according to package directions.  Drain the macaroni and then add the pasta to your meat mixture.  Stir to combine.

Add the parsley and the macaroni to the meat mixture.  Then, add in your grated cheddar cheese.  Stir to combine and continue stirring until the cheese has melted.