This super cheesy Macaroni and Beef Skillet recipe is a grownup version of that boxed helper you may have had as a kid. Flavored with cumin, coriander and garlic, it’s reminiscent of Chili-Mac; it’s very hearty and it’s sure to please all your meat and starch lovers.
For this recipe, ground beef is browned along with onions and sweet bell peppers. This is something I always do. By cooking the peppers and onions with the beef, you eliminate separately sauteing them in oil. One less step, and no more added fat equals a double win.
Once I browned the beef, I drain off all but about 1 tablespoon of the accumulated fat. Since I wanted to create a thick and cheesy sauce, I added a bit of flour along with cumin and coriander and let the flour cook for a bit. The flour acts as a roux to thicken liquids added from diced tomatoes, green chiles, chicken stock and half and half. The final ingredients were aged white cheddar cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
While the beef mixture was cooking, I prepared my pasta; I used gemelli, which is great for a thick sauce (any shape you like will work just fine). I then added the cooked macaroni to the beef mixture and stirred to combine, before adding more cheese to the upper surface of the dish. The entire skillet is placed into the oven to melt the cheese into a gooey topping.
- 12 ounces macaroni (shape of your choice), cooked according to package instructions to al dente
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced sweet bell pepper (I used red and orange)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 -15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- ½ cup beef stock (chicken or vegetable will work*)
- 1 -4 ounce can diced green chiles
- ¼ cup half & half (or milk)
- 2 cups grated aged white cheddar cheese (reserve ½ cup)
- 2 tablespoons dry parsley flakes
- ¾ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large oven-proof skillet, over medium heat, add the ground beef, onion and peppers.
- Cook until the beef is browned and the onions and peppers are softened (about 10-12 minutes)
- Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of the accumulated fat.
- Add the flour, cumin, coriander and garlic powder, stir to combine and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, chiles, stock and cream and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Add 1½ cups of the cheese, the parsley, salt and pepper, stir to combine (test to adjust salt as desired).
- Add the prepared macaroni and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese on the top of the mixture and place the skillet directly into the preheated oven.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the mixture is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and allow to stand for about 5 minutes.