Quick & Easy Cheeseburger Pasta Bake

Is your idea of a speedy “running-out-the-door-with-15-minutes-to-make-soccer-20-mins-to-dance-30-mins-to-night-class-everybody-eat-because-NCIS-is-coming-on” weeknight dinner is making sure you have one (or 10) boxes of that “Hamburger Let Me Help You Into the Grave” stuff on hand? It’s ok, that was me once upon a time too. Sure it’s cheap but do we really want to mess with our health and sacrifice taste for a pound of ground chuck, a cup of milk and a $3.50 box of chemical soup? Well gee, put it that way and it makes no sense.

With my insane work schedule these days, not only am I turning grey faster than the wheels in Nascar, but I’ve been making a lot of quick dinners; which means anything with pasta. Chicken is pretty quick and Mexican too, when I remember to pick up tortillas (which I don’t, thank you very much).

This one was a breeze and ironically was served as a Sunday lunch. Yep, Sunday; that’s my rest day. I just had other things planned and to be honest, I spent a good deal of the day reading through and researching my family history. I’m a descendent of a true Colorado Settler, did I ever tell you that? It’s fascinating history too, involving rich silver mines, mistaken identities & tragic endings. In a way I guess I’m a genuine Pioneer Woman. (yikes, does Ree Drummond have that trademarked? Can you trademark someones heritage?). I’ll write all about it someday. I’m thinking of maybe a book or something.

Anyway I digress. I promise you if you need something fast, something delicious AND something good for you too, this will do the trick anytime. You can even shorten the time by skipping the baking part all together if you like. Puts this baby on the table in 20 minutes flat! – keep cooked pasta on hand and cut that 20 in half. Seriously!



Quick & Easy Cheeseburger Pasta Bake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Never buy box stuff again with this quick, easy versatile meal. 30 minutes from start to finish; 20 minutes if you don’t bake; 10 minutes if pasta cooked in advance.
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Pasta
Serves: 25
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 8 ounces pasta (penne, rotini, falafel, etc)
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated or chunk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon real mayonnaise
  • Salt & pepper (thyme optional)
  1. Cook pasta to package directions
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  3. In a large over proof pan or Dutch oven, brown ground chuck until cooked; season with salt, pepper and other spices you like, to taste.
  4. Add onion and cook one minute.
  5. Add tomatoes, mustard, mayo and stir. Season to taste.
  6. Cook 3-5 minutes then stir in cheese. Mix until melted.
  7. Top with fresh grated cheese and bake 10 minutes.
  8. Serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4-6


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  • Heather

    That looks very delicious, easy to make, and doesn’t take much time to cook. Looks a zillion times better and fresher than Hamburger Helper. HH is loaded with sodium, ingredients that sound like a science experiment, and is just not natural at all. Quality ingredients will always ensure a better dish than the “conveniently boxed” alternative! Thanks for posting this recipe :-).

  • http://twitter.com/cwconfections Carla’s Confections

    You know, when you sit down to think about it, there arent a lot of dishes out there that DO take a long time. Most dishes are super easy and fast to make. We just get so lazy and we dont want to even put out that minimal effort (I am very guilty too) But when it comes to this dish vs the store bought stuff, there is no contest! This looks amazing :D I love the dijon addition!!

  • becca.looney

    Oh pasta. Pasta is good, especially when covered with cheese :) Lately I’ve been having dinner so late because of school. School sucks in that kind of way, it really does. Then because it’s so late I basically toast up some bread, put deli turkey between the slices and call it dinner, haha.

    And learning about family heritage is actually pretty cool. I did a study for it about 2-3 years ago and I could trace my dad’s dad’s side of the family up until the 1500s. My greatx10^358209589 grandparents had the same last name…. whoopsies, haha. And on my mom’s side I’m related to someone who helped settle Australia. :)

    • http://www.thebutterdish.net Tara

      I actually thought of you when I wrote this post Bec. I know how hard you’ve been working at school. :)
      Hopefully this is something you can make big batches of (play around w/ it – you can do all kinds of things). Then just heat some up.

      I love history; especially when it’s my own. That’s amazing you can go all the way back to the Renaissance! I would love to hear it.