There will be one of those days when you wake in the morning and all you can say is
"Dear God, I need me some Loaded Cheeseburger pasta"
~ Amen ~
I'm usually a healthy eating, exercising, fruit munching sort of person..but lately, I've been craving some serious melted cheese carb-loaded comfort food (it must be the time of the month coming by hmm..) Many of the loaded cheeseburger recipes out there calls for Hamburger Helper or Campbell's soup as it's based ingredient. If you never heard of Hamburger helper, it's a common american pantry ready spice and sauce mix. Some days we ALL want to binge, but those things aren't worth your calories gurl! So let's make it better and taste FAR MORE SUPERIOR!!!!
So the main thing I change about this recipe unlike most recipes on the internet, is that i cook my pasta in a Mornay sauce (or cheese sauce) instead of just plain milk. Some people used box Mac & cheese, but hey! Not worth it! Making your own Mornay, gives the pasta a little more flavor and an extra cheesey kick! I used American cheese too for the sauce because nothing says cheeseburger more than American cheese, but if you wish to go fancy..try gruyere, blue, parmesan or more complex cheeses to level up your game
Step 1: Your Ingredients
1 Box of Penne Pasta (or any short pasta of your choice)
2 cups of Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
2 cups of Mild Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 packet (15 slices or 2 cups) of American Cheese
3 cups of whole milk, cold
1/4 of all purpose flour
2 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon of salt (for Mornay sauce)
1 pound of ground Beef
1 teaspoon of salt (for beef)
1 tablespoon of ground black pepper (for beef)
1 teaspoon of Paprika (for beef)
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder (for beef)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder' (for beef)
1 Egg *not in picture (for beef)
Step 2: Prepping Your Burger
You can always omit beef and substitute for ground chicken or turkey if you do not consume beef in your diet.
In a large bowl, place your ground beef, salt, black pepper, paprika, onion and garlic powder together. Mix them thoroughly so it's well seasoned. Then add in one egg and continue to mix the meat. It should be soft so it doesn't dry up into cardboard after cooking. Set aside.
Step 3: For the Mornay Sauce
Melt your butter in a large sauce pot. Add in your flour next and stir until it thickens and becomes a paste.
Gradually add in your cold milk and whisk continuously on medium heat until the sauce thickens. It shouldn't thicken that much, instead it should be about the same consistency as heavy whipping cream, liquidy with some viscosity.
Step 5: Add in Your Cheese
Turn off your stove, and place 8 slices or 1 cup of shredded American cheese and let it melt over the residual heat. Whisk gently until it melts completely into the sauce. Then add in your salt.
Step 6: Ready for Assembly!
Pour all the contents of your pasta box into the bottom of your crockpot. Then pour in your Mornay sauce and mix it thoroughly so it gets coated with the sauce well.
Layer in your American cheese slices or shreds followed by your Cheddar cheese.
Then place your ground beef in small little nuggets. The nugget will help it cook more evenly and prevent any beef fats seeping too much. Then lastly, top of with your Mozzarella cheese.
Step 10: Cooking Directions
Cook in your crockpot in HIGH for 3 Hours or LOW in 5-6 hours. It should be ready when the pasta is cook al dente and the meat is cooked.
Step 11: Enjoy!
I love this version because I personally do not like to mix all my ingredients up together like most crockpot pasta recipes do. To see the layers of pasta, cheese, beef and more cheese looks great! But if you wish to mix it all up together you are welcome to do so too :)
Tip: So if you have any leftovers or the pasta has been sitting for a bit and starting to dry out, you can add a splash of milk and more sprinkling of cheese. Stir it in gently before reheating. This will add in some moisture from any liquids that has evaporated or adsorb into the meat.
Runner Up in the
Slow Cooker Challenge
dug1000 made it!