Perfect for cozy Fall evenings or gatherings with loved ones. Discover the mouthwatering flavors of a classic cheeseburger in a hearty casserole form. Packed with cheesy goodness, this casserole satisfies!
1 lb. dried elbow macaroni
1 lb. lean ground beef (90/10)
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3 c. whole milk
1 tbsp. mustard (Dijon or yellow)
2 tbsp. grilling seasoning
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for pasta water
12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated and divided (about 3 cups)
Nonstick cooking spray
8 slices American cheese
- For the casserole: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt. Cook the macaroni until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven, cook the ground beef over medium heat, stirring occasionally to break into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
- Add the butter to the Dutch oven with the beef drippings and melt over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Reduce to low heat. Whisk in the mustard, grilling seasoning, Worcestershire, salt, and 2 cups of cheddar cheese, until melted and combined. Stir in the beef and macaroni. Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese, then lay the American cheese slices over top to fully cover the casserole. (Tear the pieces as needed.)
- For the topping. In a small bowl, stir together the panko, butter, sesame seeds, and salt. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the pasta. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Tip: Drizzle with ketchup and serve with pickles for the full cheeseburger experience!
- Spread the casserole evenly on trays lined with silicone mats. Or use a spoon to make dollops. Make note of the weight of the trays with food.
- Process according to freeze-dryer instructions.
- When finished freeze-drying, note the weight of the trays. The difference in weight of the trays before and after freeze-drying is the recommended amount of water needed to reconstitute the dish.
Add recommended amount of hot water to casserole. Stir and let sit a few minutes until the potatoes are fully reconstituted. More, or less, than the recommended amount of water can be added to get the desired consistency.