I made a really nice lamb casserole yesterday for Sunday dinner. It was flavoursome, and melt-in-the-mouth. Everything a lamb casserole should be. I really was pleased with it. The girls barely looked at it (crying emoji). Henry, bless him, ate three helpings. I wouldn’t say the girls are fussy eaters, they’re really not. But there’s still a lot of stuff they won’t eat. It’s probably made worse by the fact there’s three of them, and they all dislike different things. So whilst one is eating something but not something else, another is eating what the other doesn’t like but not touching what they do like. Are you keeping up with this? No, neither am I. Hence the frustration.

Cheeseburger Pasta Bake - A super simple pasta dish, with the flavours of a burger and covered in gooey cheese. Kids with love this! | thehecticcook.com

Something they all do appear to like though, is pasta. Buckets of the stuff. I buy the 3kg bags from Asda as we get through so much. So I’m always on the look out for different things to do with pasta. I could chuck spaghetti bolognese or my mac’n’cheese at them continually, but I like to try new stuff – and living on the edge. I’ve tried a couple of different recipes for Cheeseburger Pasta, the most recent was one from Slimming Eats. I tweaked it a little bit to suit us (my kids can spot an onion a mile off), and it went down a treat with the kids. Empty bowls all round. Hurrah.

Cheeseburger Pasta Bake - A super simple pasta dish, with the flavours of a burger and covered in gooey cheese. Kids with love this! | thehecticcook.com

This recipe is really easy, so I didn’t photograph the various steps of the process. But the recipe is below. Regards quantities of pasta, I use about 400g to feed 2 adults and 4 children (with large appetites). Gauge however much you’ll need for your family. Give this a go, especially if you have pasta-loving children like me.

Happy cooking!

Cheeseburger Pasta Bake - A super simple pasta dish, with the flavours of a burger and covered in gooey cheese. Kids with love this! | thehecticcook.com

Cheeseburger Pasta Bake

Yield: 4

Cheeseburger Pasta Bake

Ingredients

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp paprika (I use the smoked kind because I like the flavour it adds)
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • salt & pepper (a good shake/grind)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar (or sweetener)
  • 350-400g pasta (any kind)
  • about 100g cheddar (or cheddar/mozzarella mix)

Instructions

  1. Boil up a big pan of salted water, and cook the pasta until done. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the paprika, onion granules, garlic powder, mustard powder, salt and pepper. If you don't have onion granules and garlic powder, you can add a couple of cloves of garlic to the mince once it has browned. But for extra flavour, if you can get both, use them (I've had the same jar of onion granules for quite some time now, and still use it).
  3. Heat a large frying pan and add the mince, breaking it up to brown. I never add oil when I brown mince as I don't think you need to, but if you think your pan will stick, add a tablespoon of oil first.
  4. Once the mince has browned, add the spice mix and stir.
  5. Stir through the tomato puree for a minute, before adding the tinned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and sugar (you could skip the sugar, it depends how sweet the tinned tomatoes are, just taste to test).
  6. Bring to the boil then leave to simmer for about as long as it takes the pasta to cook. You can leave for longer to tenderise the mince a bit more, if you have the time.
  7. Add the drained pasta to the mince sauce, and stir through with about half of the cheese. I use my large shallow casserole pot as I can cook the mince in it, then chuck it under the grill. But if you need to, transfer everything to a large casserole dish.
  8. Top with the remainder of the cheese. I'm never too strict about quantities of cheese, I just tend to chuck on as much as I think looks good.
  9. Pop under a preheated grill and leave until the cheese has melted and started to turn golden brown.
  10. Remove and serve.
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If you like this, why not try my Sausage Pasta Bake, or my Quick & Easy Tuna Pasta Bake?

Sausage Pasta Bake - This super simple and quick pasta dish tastes like it should be full of calories, but it really isn't. Perfect for a midweek dinner. | thehecticcook.com    Quick & Simple Tuna Pasta Bake - A really simple creamy tomato pasta dish that is quick to make and will be loved by the whole family. | thehecticcook.com

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