Cheeseburger Pasta is meaty and cheesy – everything you’ll love in a hearty dinner! This recipe is a cool take on the American classic for the entire family to enjoy!
Cheeseburger Pasta Recipe
Cheeseburger Pasta is a complete meal already with the protein coming from the bacon and beef, fiber from the vegetables, and carbs from the shells.
It is so hearty that you will no longer need anything else; just a cool beverage and simple dessert to serve it with perhaps. But other than that, you are all set for a great dinner!
With this easy recipe, you can easily feed a crowd. And it was just amazing how my guests loved it when I served it one time.
Though easy to make, this dish is never short on flavor. There are many ingredients but everything is easy to find. And each one contributes to one perfect savory dish!
What do you need to make Cheeseburger Pasta:
There are several ingredients in this incredible dish but the majority of which can already be found in your pantry. If not, then, add these to your grocery checklist:
- large shells pasta
- ground beef
- yellow onion
- dried parsley
- Worcestershire sauce
- red pepper flakes
- tomato sauce
- cheddar cheese
To garnish, you need the following:
- more cheese
- fresh tomatoes
How do you make Cheeseburger Pasta:
- Cook the pasta: Simply follow the instructions on the package to make sure that it comes out al dente.
- Prepare the meat: In a pan, cook the bacon until crispy. Once done, remove excess fat, and then, chop into pieces. Retain only about a tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan. In the same pan, brown in the ground beef. Remove any excessive fat. Add in the rest of the ingredients except for the tomato sauce and cheese.
- Combine: Once done, add in the shells, then, finish with the addition of tomato sauce, cheese, and crispy bacon bits.
- Serve: Garnish with more cheese, pickles, parsley, and tomatoes before serving.
Why do you need to drain beef grease?
Any excess fat is undesirable and not good for health. Hence, it is necessary to drain the grease especially if the ground meat you are using is not lean.
Unlike lean meat, regular and inexpensive ground beef is composed of about 30% fat by weight. This number is significantly reduced in ground lean meat so there is not much to drain if you are using this kind.
Remember that as you drain the grease, you are also draining away flavor. If you are to avoid this, use leaner meat but the downside is that it costs more.
What are the best pasta types to make Cheeseburger Pasta?
Any kind will do and it depends on your preference. But the recommended ones are those that can hold sauces well like the large shells used in this recipe. Good alternatives would be penne, elbow macaroni, and rotini.
How to Store:
If you plan to make in advance, store the sauce and pasta separately.
- Sauce: Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days stored in airtight containers. If you freeze it properly, it can stay good for up to 4 or 6 months.
- Pasta: Refrigerate in airtight containers for 3 to 5 days. If you are to freeze it, drizzle some oil first and toss to prevent it from sticking. Put leftovers in freeze-proof containers and store for up to 2 weeks.
- To reheat: Simply reheat the sauce in a pan, and once simmering, you can add in the pasta.
- Instead of plain water, you can put in chicken broth or beef broth for a more intense flavor.
- To drain the excess grease from the meat, gather the meat in one side of the pan, and then, tilt. Let the grease flow to the other side and collect with a spoon. Then, dab the area with a paper towel to remove those that stuck to the pan. Be careful when you do this though.
- You can turn this into a one-pot dish. When you make the sauce in the Dutch oven, add in the raw pasta until everything cooks. Just add more water or broth in increments of 1/2 cup if it seems too dry.
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Total time: 30 mins
- 1/2 pound large shells pasta
- 10 slices bacon (chopped)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (cut into small cubes)
- Cheddar cheese
- Bacon (chopped)
- Pickles (diced)
- Parsley (chopped)
- Cook pasta according to the directions on the box, aim for al dente and drain. Set aside.
- Place a large pan over medium-high heat and cook bacon until crispy. Remove from pan to paper towels to drain excess fat. Chop and set aside.
- Discard bacon fat from the pan, leaving only about 1 tablespoon, over medium-high heat add the ground beef and brown well. Drain grease and return to heat.
- Add the diced onion and garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the paprika, dried parsley, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add 3/4 cup of water, stir and cook until water is gone.
- Add the pasta to the pan. Add the tomato sauce and cheese.
- Stir to combine. Add 8 chopped slices of bacon and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately, garnished with diced pickles, remaining bacon, tomatoes and parsley.