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
- 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
- Mix the milk, butter and red wine vinegar. Add the paprika, garlic powder and salt & pepper. Stir well and set aside.
- Butter the crock pot insert really well.
- 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.
- Pour the milk sauce over the top. Top with remaining shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
- Serve it up with a side salad and some dinner rolls…I doubt there’ll be leftovers 🙂
Freezer Meal Directions:
- Cook the pasta according to package directions BUT for only half the time indicated. Drain and set aside.
- In a large freezer bag, combine the pasta, vegetables, cream cheese and 1/2 the mozzarella.
- 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.
- Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before proceeding with cooking directions shown above.
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!