Adding a few extras to a box of macaroni and cheese always has my kids asking for extra helpings. This Bacon Ranch Cheeseburger Mac was a big hit at our dinner table.
When our kids were younger, I used to dream of the days when they would be just a little bit older and able to do more on their own. There was someone always into something, someone fighting, or someone that needed to be changed. It felt like none stop busy each day.
Then my kids grew up and hit the teen years, and we are even busier than ever. Part of that is because as they have gotten older, they have become involved in different activities. Now I dream about those days when they were little and wonder why I was so anxious to move past the toddler years.
Add all those activities to parents that work full time, and you get one very crazy, hectic schedule. We try very hard to have dinner together most nights though.
It is an important time for everyone to just breathe, relax, and regroup before going to the next thing. With a busy schedule, I sometimes have a hard time putting together a fancy meal.
Let’s be honest, some nights it is even fast food or pizza around here. That’s why I am always on the lookout for ways to create a meal that starts with something simple.
Mac and cheese is always met with smiles around here. I love that I can feed my family Horizon® Mac and Cheese, and know that it is going to taste great every time. I know that has to do with the real organic cheese and organic wheat pasta used in every box of Horizon® Mac and Cheese.
Now my kids love it made right from the box, but they really love it when I get creative and jazz it up. Now when I say jazz it up, believe me, it is still a simple meal that can be on the table in 30 minutes. That is an important factor when we all have activities and homework to get to.
I created a quick and easy meal that our entire family would love using a box of mac and cheese. One of the favorite meals around here are cheeseburgers. But grilling out when it is 20 degrees and snowy doesn’t always sound appealing to my husband, so I thought I would incorporate some of our favorite burger flavors into the mac & cheese.
As the noodles were cooking in a saucepan, I cooked up some hamburger with some onions and garlic in another pan. When that was finished and drained, I added a can of spicy tomatoes, some crumbled bacon, and some ranch powder.
By this time the noodles had finished boiling, so I added milk and butter to get it nice and creamy. Add the meat mixture and dinner is ready to go.
If you want to really go all out on dinner, spoon the mixture into a baking dish and top it with some shredded cheddar cheese and crushed crackers. It only takes an extra 15 minutes in the oven for an extra cheesy and amazing dinner option.
Our youngest asked if we could have it for three meals in a row. I’m going to call that another quick dinner success.
- 1 pound hamburger
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes & chilies, undrained
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 3 Tablespoons ranch seasoning
- 1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
- 2 boxes macaroni and cheese
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup crumbled crackers
- green onions, crumbled bacon, chopped tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick baking spray.
- Cook the hamburger and onions until cooked through. Drain the grease. Stir in the garlic, ranch seasoning, bacon, and diced tomatoes. Set aside.
- Cook both boxes of macaroni & cheese, according to the package directions. Drain and add the butter and milk. Stir until creamy.
- Stir the hamburger mixture into the noodles. Spoon into a greased baking dish. Top with the cheese and crumbled crackers.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Serve immediately with green onions, crumbled bacon, and fresh tomatoes, if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 630Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 1336mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 25g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and are not guaranteed to be accurate. If you need special diet advice, please see a registered dietician.