Cheeseburger Casserole

The other night we went to a game night at a good friend’s house and he made a super delicious casserole for dinner – we are talking noodles (GF rice noodles), a few kinds of cheese, spicy sausage, zucchini, sriracha sauce…YUM.  I don’t have the recipe for it, but maybe one day he can make a guest post about it.  We’ll see. 😉

IMG_20140215_193032_025(my friend’s casserole)

Speaking of casseroles…I feel like a broken record when I say things like, “Cheese…meat…noodles…how can you go wrong??”  But really…how can you go wrong? 😉  Last month we were invited to a potluck at a friend’s house and I wanted to find something yummy that would feed a lot of people that was also relatively simple and called for minimal ingredients.  This cheeseburger casserole by Six Sisters’ Stuff (adapted from Skinnytaste) fit the bill!

It seriously tasted like a cheeseburger…in pasta form.  ‘Nuff said.

Everyone at the potluck seemed to enjoy it, and I myself had two helpings.  It made a TON, so we even had some leftovers to bring home for a couple of work-lunches, which was also nice!  The only thing I really did differently was omitted the tomatoes, and instead used tomato sauce.  I do not like chunky tomatoes (and I’m not secretive about it!).  I also might have used more than 6 ounces of pasta…;);)

Regarding the health-factor, it was surprisingly NOT bad. Whole wheat pasta, leanest beef, low fat cheese…one serving was only a couple hundred calories – the same or less than a normal meal! =)

Sorry for only one quick picture – I was so busy eating and chatting, that I almost forgot the photo op!  I had to sneak back into the kitchen with my phone to snap a quick picture before more of it was gone.

IMG_20140126_183107_480

Cheeseburger Casserole

serves 6+

Ingredients:
-2cu (6oz) Penne Pasta (I used a slightly different pasta, cuz I already had it on hand, and used more like 8oz)
-2tsp olive oil
-1 onion, finely chopped
-1 garlic clove, finely chopped
-1lb leanest ground beef – or you can use ground turkey
-3/4tsp salt
-1/2tsp black pepper
-28oz diced tomatoes (or tomato sauce, but less than 28oz)
-2tbsp Dijon Mustard
-2cu reduced fat grated cheddar cheese
-2tbsp tomato paste

Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray (I used a square one cuz it’s the only size we have – same thing!). In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to the package directions, then drain well.
-Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the beef and cook until browned; season with salt and pepper. Add the diced tomatoes and mustard. Let the mixture bubble until it is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with your salt and pepper.
-Put the noodles in the greased pan and pour the meat sauce on top. Slightly mix together the noodles and sauce. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes. Take it out of the oven and remove foil. Add cheese on top and stick back in the oven until the cheese is melted. (5 to 10 minutes). Serve while it is warm.

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