Cheesy Beefy Pasta Bake

Beefy Pasta Bake|My Kitchen AddictionsHomemade macaroni is a staple at our house, especially when our grandchildren are here.  On this particular evening I decided to spice things up and use some ideas from a recipe I saw recently.  Using my traditional homemade macaroni cheese recipe I learned to make in my 4-H years, I created this Cheesy Beefy Pasta Bake.  It was quite yummy, if I do so say so myself.  I will be preparing it again…maybe making it a little more spicy for my husband next time.  Cheesy Beefy Pasta Bake|My Kitchen Addictions

To begin, I browned lean ground beef in a non-stick skillet, drained and set aside.  In the same pan, I drizzled olive oil to coat  and heated pan over medium heat.   To the pan, I melted butter and added chopped garlic and onion, stirring until garlic and onion cooked slightly.  Then I added tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper.  I stirred all ingredients, mashing the mixture together, cooking for about 3 minutes. The last step was stirring in sea salt and black pepper. Cheesy Beefy Pasta Bake | My Kitchen AddictionsThe next step included adding  the ground beef to prepared sauce mix and stirring.  Then I layered the beefy mixture in the bottom of a buttered casserole dish.  Then it was time to make the cheesy layer.Cheesy Beefy Pasta Bake | My Kitchen AddictionsI prepared pasta shells according to directions on the bag and drained, reserving 1/2 cup water.  I then poured cold water over pasta shells to cool.  Placing pasta shells in a large bowl and stirring in reserved water was my final step before preparing the cream sauce.

Cheesy Beefy Pasta Bake | My Kitchen AddictionsThen I  prepared a cream sauce (which I’ve done so many times I think I can do it in my sleep) by melting butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  To the butter, I added flour, one tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition.  After mixture was thickened and smooth, I added milk slowly, whisking constantly.  Continuing to stir, lowering heat and letting it cook for a few minutes is a very important process, as well as watching the cream sauce to make sure it does not brown. I then removed cream sauce from heat and stirred in freshly, ground pepper and kosher salt.Cheesy Beefy Pasta Bake | My Kitchen AddictionsI then added Mexican cheese (reserving 1/2 cup)  to pasta bowl and warm cream sauce.  Finally, I stirred mixture until smooth and cheese is melted.  Cheesy Beefy Pasta Bake | My Kitchen AddictionsThen I poured this cheesy mixture over the beefy layer in casserole dish.  Sprinkling the top with remaining cheese and panko crumbs mixed together was what I did next.  Then I placed the casserole in oven preheated to 375.  As soon as I put the casserole in the oven, I instantly changed my oven setting to broil and left the casserole in just long enough to lightly brown top of panko/cheese topping. Finally, I added chopped green onions to the top after casserole came out of the oven.  I served warm.

Cheesy Beefy Pasta Bake
 
Ingredients
  • Beefy Layer….
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • Cheesy layer…
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces pasta shells, medium
  • 2 ½ cups Mexican Four Cheese
  • 4 tablespoons Panko crumbs
  • 2 green onions, chopped
Instructions
  1. Beefy Layer…
  2. Brown lean ground beef in a nonstick skillet, drain and set aside.
  3. Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat.
  4. Melt butter and add chopped garlic and onion, stirring until garlic and onion cooked slightly.
  5. Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and dash of cayenne pepper.
  6. Stir all ingredients, mashing them together and cooking for about 3 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle mixture with sea salt and pepper.
  8. Add ground beef to mix and stir.
  9. Add beefy mixture to the bottom of a buttered 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  10. Cheesy Layer,
  11. Prepare pasta shells according to directions, drain reserving ½ cup water.
  12. Pour cold water over pasta shells to cool.
  13. Place shells in a large bowl and stir in reserved water.
  14. Make a cream sauce by melting butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  15. To the butter, add flour, one tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition.
  16. After mixture thickens and is smooth, add milk slowly, whisking constantly.
  17. Continue to stir, lowering heat and letting it cook for a few minutes.
  18. Watch closely to make sure sauce does not brown.
  19. Remove cream sauce from heat and stir in some fresh ground pepper and kosher salt.
  20. Add Mexican cheese (reserving ½ cup) to pasta bowl and add warm cream sauce.
  21. Stir mixture until smooth and cheese is melted.
  22. Pour this cheesy mixture over beefy layer in casserole dish.
  23. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and panko crumbs mixed together.
  24. Place casserole in oven preheated to 375. As soon as you put the casserole in the oven, instantly change your setting to broil and leave in just long enough to lightly brown top of panko/cheese topping.
  25. Add chopped green onions to top after casserole comes out of the oven.
  26. Serve warm.

 

Comments

  1. Looks wonderful. Fall is a great time for people who love to cook! I made pumpkin bars this weekend and plan on taking the leftovers to work today. Have a good week!

  2. Yummy recipe. I’ll be making it vegan with fake meats and vegan cheese substitutions.