It only took 26 years but this Minnesota born and raised girl finally made her first hotdish, yes the old church ladies would be proud! The look on my husband’s face when I pulled it out of the oven was complete disbelief and then pure joy as apparently this is his favorite? Who knew I’ve been depriving him the last 4 years!
So why did it take so long for me to finally make one of these dishes? Two reasons.
1. It always makes a lot and you can only eat leftovers for so many days in a row.
2. It’s not the healthiest meal on the menu.
I actually remember going to the grocery store when we first got married and stocking up on all the necessary hotdish ingredients, things like macaroni noodles and cream of mushroom soup because I was planning on being a good old fashioned housewife but God had different plans! I never got around to making a hotdish because of reason #1 above and then reason #2 quickly came along.
After having our first son I learned the importance of proper nutrition and how to eat clean which completely changed the way I viewed cooking. No, clean eating isn’t ONLY salads and eggs whites but it’s also not eating your weight in carbs with noodles. But because I believe in balance and making meals that are husband and toddler approved I was happy to find this version of cheeseburger hotdish that I made even a little bit better with homegrown tomatoes. Admittedly, this stuff was delish and will be made again in the Ashmore household because it tasted just like a McDonald’s cheeseburger only healthier!
Before I share the recipe I would like to add one more thing, when I first started cooking cleaner Chase said, “this is the BEST cooking since we’ve been married!” That’s a huge win for clean eating and hope for all you wives and momma’s out there who are worried about what your loved ones will think if you start making healthier changes. Remember, by cooking cleaner you’re not only making yourself healthier from the inside out but your family too!
Cheeseburger Hotdish Recipe
- 2 cups uncooked whole wheat macaroni noodles
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 lb ground beef – could use ground turkey too!
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes – fresh or canned! I used 1 quart size mason jar of our canned garden tomatoes
- 6 ounces tomato paste – homemade or canned!
- 2 tbsp yellow mustard
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Chopped dill pickles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions and drain well. In a large skill cook beef until browned, add onions and continue to cook until soft. Stir in garlic, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and mustard. Let mixture sit for 2-3 minutes so it thickens then add cooked pasta.
Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, I used a nonstick 9 x 13 pan but I believe any casserole dish would work. Top with cheese and bake until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle chopped pickles on top and serve!
*I made this when my boys were napping so instead of putting it in the oven right away I covered it with tinfoil and put it in the refrigerator. I then cooked it for approximately 10 minutes before putting the cheese on and then until the cheese melted as it needed to heat more after being in the fridge. It still turned out great and would be a great dish to make over the weekend or even freeze for easy week night dinners.*
Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste
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Lexy – Thanks for sharing this! I made it last night for dinner and it was great! I actually made a double batch as partial boxes of pasta in the cupboard annoys my husband. So baked off half last night and put the other half in the freezer for another day!
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Jenna – I’m so glad to hear it was a hit for you and your family! What did you end up freezing it in? I will be curious to know how that turns out when you thaw it!
I froze everything except the cheese and pickles in a gallon size freezer bag. Laid it flat to freeze so that I can then stack it easier with other meals. I’m preparing for the arrival of baby #1 any day now, so this was a great addition to the stockpile of meals in my freezer! I then plan to thaw it and pour it into a casserole dish, top with cheese, bake then top with pickles as your recipe says to do when we’re ready to eat it. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out post freezer! I’ve had a lot of luck with freezer meals!