As you may or may not know, yesterday was National Cheeseburger Day. I love a good cheeseburger, but just wasn’t in the mood for a cheeseburger yesterday. It was a little on the chilly side yesterday and fall was definitely in the air, so a warm and comforting casserole was what I was really craving.
So a cheeseburger mac casserole seemed like the perfect meal. It’s got the flavors of a cheeseburger in a comforting casserole. I made a creamy, cheesy sauce and added a little yellow mustard and some dill pickle relish to mimic the flavors you would find in a cheeseburger. I knew I was playing with fire by doing this, though, because Alex doesn’t put pickles OR mustard on his cheeseburger. But he ate a healthy portion and gave it a thumbs up! I loved the hint of mustard and dill pickle, it really gave the casserole the flavors of a cheeseburger without being overpowering.
One final note, this makes enough to feed six to eight people. If you have a smaller family you can bake half right away in an 8×8 pan and freeze the rest to bake later.
So will cheeseburger mac be on your table tonight?
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 lb hamburger (I used 93% lean)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 cups milk (I used 1% )
- 8 oz light cream cheese
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp pepper, divided
- 1/4 cup dill pickle relish or finely chopped dill pickle (if your family really likes pickles I would increase the amount to 1/2 cup)
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 14.5 oz box elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown hamburger in a large skillet over medium high heat. When meat is almost done, add onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes until onions are starting to soften. Add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Remove from pan and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium and melt butter. Once butter has melted sprinkle flour over the top and whisk in. Allow to cook for a minute or two.
SLOWLY whisk in milk, a little as a time, so you don’t get lumps. Bring to a bubble and allow to thicken.
Break creme cheese up into small pieces. Stir into sauce and allow to melt.
Stir in mustard and dill pickle relish, along with remaining 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
Turn heat off. Stir cheese into sauce a little at a time, allowing each addition to melt completely before adding more. This will keep your sauce from turning out grainy.
Add hamburger mixture to cheese sauce.
Add cooked macaroni to the mixture, combining well. Pour into a 9×13 pan that’s been coated with cooking spray or divide between two 8×8 pans and freeze one for later. Top with remaining cheese.
Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5-10 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.
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