Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beef Cheese & Noodle Bake

I found this recipe on the web the other day, and I watched the video, and it looked so yummy, I had to make it. Of course, like usual, I did modify it a little bit. We all loved it, and the entire casserole got eaten!!! I particularly loved the milk, flour, nutmeg, & cheese sauce you pour over the top. I used ground turkey, but I kept with the original "beef" name. :-) I could hardly tell there were carrots in it, so I would call this a "Hide Your Veggies" meal. Update 1/29/11: So this has become an absolute favorite among many who I have made this for. I make it for my son's school kids sometimes, and it get devoured. I add a lot more carrots to this, and even the kids at school who said they don't like carrots absolutely LOVE it! :-) I even make this now with 16oz of pasta instead of 8oz and it is not dry at all.


  • 8oz uncooked macaroni (2 cups) (or most times I now use 16oz) *Gluten free at bottom

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 cup prechopped onion (or 2 Tbsp dried minced onion)

  • 1 cup preshredded carrot (I used 2 small - medium sized carrots)

  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic

  • 1 pound lean ground sirloin (or lean ground turkey)

  • 15oz can tomato sauce (the recipe called for 1 cup, but I just used the whole can and loved how it turned out)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup fat-free milk

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour *Gluten free at bottom

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) 2% reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided (I like to use the whole 8oz bag for some extra cheese)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and carrot, and sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add ground beef or turkey; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, and mix.

Add pasta to beef mixture in pan, stirring to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into a 9x13 sprayed, baking dish.

Place milk, flour, nutmeg, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; stir with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add 1 cup cheese, stirring until smooth. Pour cheese mixture over pasta mixture and spread evenly. Top evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

*Gluten Free: Use brown rice noodles (I only boiled mine 10 minutes). Also instead of flour, use 1 Tbsp corrnstarch instead.

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