A way to stretch your boxed mac & cheese

May 21, 2007

Back in high school, I used to babysit – A LOT – for one specific family. With the parents working and going to school, I think I saw those kids more than their mom and dad did. One of the meals they used to have me fix for dinner was “goulash” to them – they didn’t have a lot of money, so this was something I could give the kids for dinner and the parents could eat off of themselves for lunch for a few days.

I kind of lost my taste for it because I ate it so often. For some reason, though, today I wanted it. Or I should say my version of it. So here it is – kinda cheeseburger mac-y, kinda not. Sorry – didn’t time anything tonight.

Mac & Cheese Stretched Thin

1 pound ground sirloin (or ground chicken or ground pork or ground turkey – you get the idea)

1 box macaroni and cheese (I use Annie’s GF)

2 4-ounce cans mushrooms

1/2 a red onion, diced

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tsp yellow mustard

sea salt

fresh ground pepper

2 tbsp butter (only if your mac and cheese mix doesn’t call for it)

In a skillet, brown the ground meat with a pinch of sea salt and pepper; when it’s halfway cooked through, add the diced onion. While the meat and onion are cooking (it’s done when the meat is cooked through and the onion is soft and translucent), cook the mac and cheese according to package directions. Drain the mushrooms and set aside.

When the meat and onion are done and the mac and cheese is ready, melt the butter (if not part of the mac and cheese instructions) in a pot large enough to hold the pasta and meat together. Add the meat, onions, pasta, mushrooms, ketchup, mustard and cheese to the butter and stir well. Continue to heat on low until mushrooms are cooked through and the additional cheese is melted.
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen May 22, 2007 at 9:47 pm

What a great idea! Now I may have to try that mac and cheese. :)

Mike Eberhart May 24, 2007 at 9:29 am

I can’t say I go out of my way for mac-n-cheese these days, unless it’s mac with some homemade cheese-sauce my wife creates. But, I know I could enjoy this dish you’ve created. If ever there’s some leftover mac-n-cheese, and some ground turkey (I don’t like ground beef) at the same time, I’m pretty sure I could handle mixing all this together. Well done!

Sheri May 25, 2007 at 5:10 am

Hi Karen and Mike – this totally hit the spot! And so easy, too.

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