Crockpot Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole






If you’re looking for a super easy, kid-pleasing crock pot recipe…give this cheeseburger macaroni casserole a try…it’s yummy 🙂

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 6 hrs

Total Time 6 hrs 10 mins  

Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound macaroni uncooked (BUT it IS better if you cooked it a couple minutes)
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ stick butter melted
  • 1 package cream cheese (softened and cut into small chunks)
  • 2-4 cups shredded cheddar
  • 1 pound precooked ground beef
  • 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella optional
  • 3 ribs celery diced (optional)
  • 1 bell pepper diced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar (optional, but adds a nice punch)
  • 2-3 tsp smoked paprika (less if you prefer a milder flavor)
  • 2-3 tsp garlic powder (less if you prefer a milder flavor)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix the milk, butter and red wine vinegar. Add the paprika, garlic powder and salt & pepper. Stir well and set aside.
  2. Butter the crock pot insert really well.
  3. Add the pasta, ground beef, diced cream cheese pieces, half the mozzarella (if you’re using it), celery and bell pepper to the slow cooker. Toss to combine.
  4. Pour the milk sauce over the top. Top with remaining shredded mozzarella cheese.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
  6. Serve it up with a side salad and some dinner rolls…I doubt there’ll be leftovers 🙂

Freezer Meal Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions BUT for only half the time indicated. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large freezer bag, combine the pasta, vegetables, cream cheese and 1/2 the mozzarella.
  3. In a quart-sized bag, combine the liquid ingredients and the spices. Place the quart sized bag inside the larger bag with the pasta-meat-vegetable mixture.
  4. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before proceeding with cooking directions shown above.

Recipe Notes

Here are a couple more seasoning options. Just delete the paprika and go a little lighter on the garlic powder…

  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix
  • Add 1 tablespoon taco seasoning or keep the paprika and go with a little less taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning

Want to make it a complete meal?

  • Add 1 to 2 cups of defrosted, frozen peas and carrots in step #3, cover and allow it to cook another 30 minutes or so.
  • If you’re going for the taco seasoning then a frozen or canned corn would work great! Add a can of black beans too! These could get tossed in during step #1 without issue.
  • If you’d rather do Italian then broccoli, cauliflower or Italian green beans would work great!