Rating: 4.47 stars
83 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 57
  • 4 star values: 15
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 7
  • 1 star values: 0

It's not pretty but, it's a tasty, busy-night, kid-friendly meal. It's not 'gourmet,' but it's hot filling and easy. The prep time is generally limited to how fast your can opener works and how hard it is to unwrap your meat. The big bonus is that it's a complete one-pot meal with no chopping, unless you want to.

Recipe Summary test

prep:
10 mins
cook:
20 mins
total:
30 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes.

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  • Stir pasta and cheese mixture from the macaroni and cheese package into the beef. Add tomatoes, milk, peas, and corn to the beef mixture; stir. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, place a cover on the skillet and cook at a simmer until the noodles are tender, about 12 minutes.

  • Season the dish with seasoned salt. Stir about half of the Cheddar cheese into dish to melt. Top with remaining cheese.

Tips

Cook's Notes:

So this is the good version, but the better one would use the pasta shells and cheese with the ready-to-apply cheese stuff. It's going to be essentially the same, still add the milk as you'll need it along with the juice from the tomatoes to cook the noodles.

For variety you could add Ro*tel(R) instead of plain tomatoes and use one cup of frozen prepared fajita veggies and some taco seasoning to make a "Gulf of Mexico Shipwreck." Italian seasoning, garlic, onions, and mozzarella would make it a "Sicilian Shipwreck." You get the idea: the combinations are pretty well unlimited.

Although the recipe calls for frozen vegetables and uncooked ground meat, leftovers work just as well.

Use Creole-style seasoned salt if you like a bit of spice in your easy dinners.

Nutrition Facts

636 calories; protein 42.9g; carbohydrates 55g; fat 26.7g; cholesterol 116mg; sodium 1107.9mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (64)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
05/21/2016
Everyone loved it as is from the 60 year old to the 3 year old, it was a win all over! Read More
(9)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
06/19/2020
I followed the directions to a tee. I had plenty of juice to cook the noodles, but the flavor for me was just blah. My husband and I tolerated it and finished - my son couldn't do it, despite the fact that he likes all ingredients. I wouldn't make it again. Read More
83 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 57
  • 4 star values: 15
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 7
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
01/05/2017
This was surprisingly good. (I didn't expect it to be.) It did need more cooking time and liquid than called for. I added beef broth I had open - cooked until the noodles were done. Reminded me of Hamburger Helper but so much better. A nice flash back to the comfort food of my childhood. Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
01/07/2016
I was in a pinch for a quick dinner and this fit the bill. I didn't have all the ingredients so had to do some substituting. I only had individual servings of Mac and cheese so used 3 of them. Had left over peas and carrots so used them and a can of corn, drained. No diced tomatoes so I used a can of hot ro tel. My husband is a meat and potatoes man and generally doesn't like dishes like this, but he liked this one! His suggestion- next time make it with diced potatoes instead of macaroni!! And I think I might. Good meal and very quick and easy. Will definitely make again. Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
05/20/2016
Everyone loved it as is from the 60 year old to the 3 year old, it was a win all over! Read More
(9)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/19/2020
We loved it! Made it more Southwestern style by browning the meat in Taco seasoning packet and then adding black beans and cornas the vegetables. Had a smaller package of Mac and Cheese but will make it with larger size next time. Added extra cheese as I plated it. Made six nice size servings -- froze enough for my husband and I to enjoy later. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
10/05/2020
I have been making something very similar for forty plus years. I have not added corn, but will do that next time. My method is significantly different. I make the Mac and cheese according to package directions. Then brown the ground beef, drain. mix all ingredients including some extra cheese. Put in casserole dish, bake at 350 until bubbly. I add extra cheese to the top for about the last ten minutes Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
04/27/2018
Used a bag of mixed vegetables instead of just peas and corn. Also used Annie’s GF Mac n Cheese as my little one is a Celiac. Turned out great, kids loved it and took leftovers to school the next day because I told them no seconds at dinner. Read More
(3)
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Rating: 2 stars
06/10/2021
I didn't like it very much. Read More
(3)
Rating: 4 stars
03/25/2019
I definitely will try making it again. I've found the best way to change this recipe to put your own spin on it, is one ingredient at a time. My first suggestion would be adding fresh garlic, or changing or adding something else in addition to fresh garlic, as opposed to garlic powder or salt. Read More
(3)
Rating: 2 stars
05/30/2021
Apologies, I didn't like this. It was filling but the flavor was bland and monotone. To me it really didn't taste like anything. I think it might have been the peas which overcame the flavor of the corn and mac and cheese. Like cooking lima beans with anything. They cover up flavor. I really wanted to like this as it looked and sounded so good. I did use the Rotel tomatoes and taco seasoning, but I guess not enough as I only used 1 teaspoon like the seasoned salt. If you would please update with suggestions on seasoning amounts as that would be helpful. Spice it up! Chef Charlie (Dallas Texas) Read More
(2)
Rating: 2 stars
06/19/2020
I followed the directions to a tee. I had plenty of juice to cook the noodles, but the flavor for me was just blah. My husband and I tolerated it and finished - my son couldn't do it, despite the fact that he likes all ingredients. I wouldn't make it again. Read More