1 August, 2018
Cheeseburger Casserole for Two
1 quart of water (for boiling the macaroni)
1 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 Tablespoons butter
¼ cup chopped sweet onion
¼ teaspoon minced garlic
4 – 6 fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced, or 1 jar (4 ounces) mushrooms
½ pound ground beef
½ of 1 can (10.5 ounce) cream of mushroom soup
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
¼ teaspoon thyme
4 – 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350°
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil and add the macaroni. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the ground beef, breaking it into small chunks with a spatula and cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Drain the grease, if any, and return to the stove but turn off the burner. Stir in the mushroom soup and milk. Add the salt, pepper and thyme and mix well.
The macaroni should be done about now, so drain that and set aside.
Prepare a standard loaf pan with a burst of cooking oil spray.
Put about half of the cooked meat mixture in the bottom of the loaf pan. Spread it evenly, then place a layer of about half of the cooked macaroni noodles. Sprinkle about half of the cheddar cheese on that – but do not stir or mix the layers.
Repeat with the remaining meat mixture, then a layer of the remaining macaroni, and the rest of the cheese.
Bake in the 350° oven for 20 minutes, then serve warm.
A standard loaf pan is 1 ½ quarts. If you don’t have a loaf pan, any oven safe casserole dish of a similar size will work. Remember this is just enough for 2 hungry people, although you can easily double the recipe and serve 4.
This reheats really well the next day – if there is any left over! I put it in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute at 50% power – just long enough to heat it through and not overcook the cheese.
I save the unused half can of mushroom soup in the refrigerator for a different recipe any time over the next few days.
My son likes to add a splash of ketchup to his portion when served.