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Mac and Cheeseburger

Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Serves 4 (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

Mac and cheese gets heartier, and possibly even more family-friendly, when you stir ground beef and fire-roasted tomatoes into the cheese sauce. Make sure to drain the tomatoes so the sauce doesn’t get too thin. We call for whole-grain rotini, but any short pasta shape will work here; just do try to go whole-grain for more nutrition. If you don’t have dry mustard (used here for added depth), stir in a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Serve with a side of green beans or broccoli tossed with browned butter, or with a salad the family enjoys (a crunchy romaine Caesar salad would be great).


  • 8 ounces uncooked whole-grain rotini
  • 1/2 pound extra-lean ground sirloin
  • 1/4 cup prechopped yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can unsalted fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 ounces preshredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Nutrition Information

  • calories 408
  • fat 10.9 g
  • satfat 5.7 g
  • monofat 2.5 g
  • polyfat 1.1 g
  • protein 28 g
  • carbohydrate 51 g
  • fiber 7 g
  • cholesterol 53 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 529 mg
  • calcium 284 mg
  • sugars 8 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. Cook pasta according to directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium. Add beef, onion, Worcestershire, and mustard; cook, stirring often, until meat is done, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in tomatoes.

  3. Whisk together milk and flour. Pour mixture into skillet; bring to a boil over high. Add cheeses; stir until cheeses melt. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta and meat mixture. Top with parsley, salt, and pepper.