The end of the month always brings us an empty fridge with bits and pieces of leftovers - a half can of diced tomatoes, a few veggies that aren't enough of a serving on their own etc. We budget for the month and try to hold out doing our big shopping until the first when we head to Costo and go crazy. Feast or famine.
I love making this casserole at times like this. It is good for so many reasons: you can throw almost anything but the kitchen sink in it and it still tastes great; it takes care of those odd bits of veggies languishing in your fridge; it is cheap to make and satisfying, and it disguises veggies so well even the pickiest kids will eat it up.
The recipe is from Campbell's Soup. I found it in a magazine last January, made it and loved it but feared the recipe was lost forever after one of my cleaning frenzies. I hunted it down - it is from a Canadian cook booklet.
I will post the recipe as is, but I do make changes: I hate the starchy, pasty taste of food with dry pasta cooked in so I cook the pasta half the recommended time then drain it rather than adding it dry (bleck); I add no salt even to the pasta water as the soup is so salty, and use no salt tomatoes etc.
Recently we made it with only half a pound of meat, garlic AND garlic powder (what is a meal without garlic??) red onion (we had no white), shells (had no elbow macaroni) and leftover baby spinach in place of mushrooms which we didn't have. We also add the cheese (Mozzarella as I had no cheddar ha) then finish it off in the oven rather than adding it at the end so that the cheese is brown and bubbly. Feel free to make your own substitutions. About the only thing I would not change is the diced tomatoes and the red peppers.
Mac 'n Cheeseburger Casserole
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced red and yellow peppers
1 can diced tomatoes (recommend no salt added)
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 cups uncooked elbow pasta
2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
1 TBS Chili Powder
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Brown ground beef, add onion, mushrooms, celery and peppers. Cook and stir for three minutes.
2. Add all other ingredients except cheese and stir together.
3. Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish and bake covered at 400 degrees for 50 minutes or until pasta is tender.
4. Sprinkle with cheese and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Let me know if you try it! Thanks for stoppin' by!