}]; Noreen's Kitchen: Comfort Food At It's Best! Bacon Cheeseburger Mac!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Comfort Food At It's Best! Bacon Cheeseburger Mac!

Sometimes you just need some comfort food!  This bacon cheeseburger macaroni skillet fits the bill!  My daughter Micah had happened to mention that I had not made this in a while so we planned to make it for dinner on the night in question.  While I have never done a video of this particular version I have done one of a pantry style version using pantry staples.  This one is made with all fresh ingredients and is perfectly delicious.

When I was growing up in the 1970's Hamburger Helper had just launched onto the scene.  Every busy mom in America reached for that box with the helping hand on the front.  Just brown a pound of burger meat and add the ingredients included in the box and a few others like water, milk and or butter and you were on your way to a delicious meal to set in front of your family.  The iconic commercials always made it seem so homey and great.  

The trouble was that my mom was one of the last hold outs of an age.  A stay at home mother who cooked three squares a day and was there when we needed her 24/7.  She did not work outside of the home until I was 16 years old, out of necessity because my father got laid off from his job.  So the first time we were served Hamburger Helper, it was a potato stroganoff version and all I can say if "eww"!  The memory still haunts me today.  Although we did try both the cheeseburger mac and chili mac varieties and liked them, they were not really a frequently featured meal in my home growing up.  

Fast forward several years later.  I am a newlywed, young married to a man who loves anything out of a box, mix, can or bag.  He loved, loved, loved cheeseburger mac.  So I made it for him.  Truthfully, it never was my favorite.  Fast forward again, I have a couple of daughters, and a desire to prepare healthy food for my family.  Anyone who has looked at the back of that box knows that this is not the best choice and we can do better.

So, better we will do!  Using a few simple ingredients that we most likely all have on hand, we can make this delicious bacon cheeseburger macaroni in no time.  This is a super fast meal that will satisfy and the amounts I have given will feed a family of four for at least two meals and a couple of lunch servings.  This is super budget friendly and easy enough for your "learning how to cook" teens can make without much supervision.    

I have used 2 pounds of 80/20 ground chuck.  This is my go to for this type of meal.  If you prefer, you can use 93% lean or even ground turkey if you like.  Brown that up then add onions, garlic, steak seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, beef stock, milk, and cheddar cheese.  These simple ingredients come together all in one skillet to create a super satisfying and delicious, comfort food favorite that will have your kids and even your husband clamoring for more!

I have served mine with some lettuce, tomato and pickles on the side to go along with the "cheeseburger" theme and then to top everything off I also offered some additional shredded cheddar and crumbled bacon on the side in case anyone wanted theirs to be bacon cheeseburger mac!    This is the perfect meal for a busy night and the bonus is that you will have leftovers for another meal later in the week if you have a family of four like we do.

I hope you will give this homemade bacon cheeseburger mac a try.  Free from artificial ingredients, colors, flavors, additives, preservatives and a myriad of unpronounceable chemicals.  This version is quick, easy and accessible.  No special ingredients needed, just plain old fashioned goodness.  

I hope you give this bacon cheeseburger macaroni a try and I hope you love it!

Happy Eating!

Get a printable version of the recipe here:    http://bit.ly/1UpW9YH

Noreen's Kitchen
Bacon Cheeseburger Mac


2 pounds ground chuck
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound macaroni
4 cups beef stock
2 cups milk (3 if you like it super creamy)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons flour (optional)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon steak seasoning
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled.

Step by Step Instructions

Brown ground beef in a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat.  Be sure to cook the meat until it actually begins to brown on the bottom of the pan, all the water has cooked out and all that remains is a bit of fat and a good sizzle.

Add onion, garlic and seasonings and stir well to combine.

Add macaroni, beef stock, milk and cheese.  Stir well being sure to incorporate everything.  

Bring to a simmer.

Reduce heat to medium and place a lid on the pan.

Allow to cook slowly for 15 minutes or until the macaroni is soft and cooked through.

If your mixture looks a little broken, like the fat has not absorbed,  add two tablespoons of flour to your pan and stir well. 

Turn off heat.  Place lid back on the skillet and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with additional cheese and the bacon for topping if desired.

NOTE:  You can choose to stir the bacon into the macaroni mixture after it is cooked.  My girls did not want bacon in this so we compromised. 

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and should be eaten within five days.  This recipe is not recommended for freezing.

You can see how I made this in my YouTube video:

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