This ain’t your mama’s cheeseburger bake. But it sort of is my mama’s.
Pickles on pasta WHAAAAAT?! That’s right my friends, this mac-and-cheese is on steroids. And dill. It’s everything you want in a pasta plus everything you want in a good burger.
Here’s what you’ll need:
For the add-ons:
1# ground beef
1 large can (28-oz) petite diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1/2-1 c. pickles
2 T. butter
1/4 c. bread crumbs
For the mac and cheese:
2 c. macaroni
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 c. milk
1/2# (or 1 1/4-1 1/2 c.) cubed American cheese, or something equally meltable
A lot of mathy-type thought went into making this recipe. By mathy, I mean I made a Venn Diagram of everything that went on a burger, everything that can go into pasta, and what would overlap. Lettuce was clearly on the only burger side, but mustard was a little more of a gray area. That’s basically how pickles made the cut and about as mathy as I get.
First, dice up the onion and throw it in a skillet with the burger, brown it up, and set it aside. Meanwhile, cook your noodles until they are al dente. While all that’s going on, dice up your pickles and put those in a casserole dish along with the meat, tomatoes, and noodles.
Then make your mac-and-cheese roux. It’s easy!
Melt the butter (only the amount for the mac-and-cheese). Add flour. Whisk vigorously.
It will be all thick and kind of gross looking, but then stir the milk in very slowly–start with a tablespoon at a time–and keep whisking until the roux is incorporated into the milk. Simmer over low heat until it begins to boil and then add the cheese.
Pour the sauce over everything in the casserole dish and mix well. In a bowl, melt the remaining 2 T. butter in the microwave. Stir in the breadcrumbs and then pour on top. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Garnish with more pickles (MOAR PICKLES) and drizzle with yellow mustard if you so choose. Enjoy!