I have a confession to make. I love Hamburger Helper. Especially the Cheeseburger Macaroni kind. It's so easy to put together, and so, so cheesy. Inspired by my favorite boxed pasta meal, I decided to try to put together a version of my own. The cheese sauce is modified from a Parmesan cream sauce recipe, and everything else just came together. This cheesy hamburger macaroni boasts fewer preservatives and a more authentic cheese flavor than anything out of a box.

Serves: About 4-6

Ingredients:
2 cups medium shell pasta (uncooked)
1/2 pound ground hamburger (I substituted a vegetarian alternative)
3 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour
2 1/2 cups of milk
2 cups of cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Pasta: Boil approx. 4 cups of water plus a pinch of salt, add pasta once boiling. Keep an eye on the pasta while you cook everything else.

Hamburger: Brown in skillet. Drain.

Cheese sauce:
-Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat, then add flour and whisk until golden
-Slowly add milk (only 2 cups). Bring to boil, whisking constantly.
-Add cheese, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.
-Turn stove down on low.

Combine:
-Add hamburger to cheese sauce. Mix in.
-Once pasta is finished cooking, drain and add to pan with sauce and meat. Mix in. Add 1/2 cup of milk. Continue to combine until mixture is warm throughout.

Serve and enjoy

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Comment by Tony Pinto on June 4, 2010 at 4:34pm
This is great, Andria. We love short cuts. Open a can of this, pour in a jar of that... Whatever gets dinner on the table and isn't fast food, right?

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