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Mac and Cheese Meatloaf Casserole

Mac and Cheese Meatloaf Casserole – A Comfort Food Masterpiece!”

Prepare to embark on a culinary adventure with our Mac and Cheese Meatloaf Casserole recipe – the epitome of comfort food perfection. This hearty dish marries the timeless appeal of macaroni and cheese with the savory goodness of meatloaf, creating a casserole that’s as satisfying to make as it is to devour. Perfect for family dinners or gatherings with friends, this casserole promises a symphony of flavors that will warm your heart and leave your taste buds singing. Join us in crafting this comforting masterpiece that brings together the best of both worlds!

Ingredients:

For the Meatloaf:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Mac and Cheese:

  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Meatloaf:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a large bowl, combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, eggs, chopped onion, celery, carrot, minced garlic, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper.
  • Mix until well combined, being careful not to overmix. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place it in a greased baking dish.

2. Bake the Meatloaf:

  • Bake the meatloaf in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C).

3. Cook the Macaroni:

  • While the meatloaf is baking, cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

4. Prepare the Cheese Sauce:

  • In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to create a roux.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk, ensuring no lumps form.
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.
  • Add shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, stirring until melted and smooth.
  • Season with salt, black pepper, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper if using.

5. Assemble the Casserole:

  • Once the meatloaf is done, drain any excess grease.
  • Spread the cooked macaroni evenly over the meatloaf.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni, ensuring it covers the entire casserole.

6. Bake to Perfection:

  • Return the casserole to the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

7. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes before slicing. Serve warm and savor the comforting symphony of macaroni and cheese combined with savory meatloaf.

Cook Notes:

  • Personalize the meatloaf by incorporating your favorite herbs or spices.
  • Adjust the level of spiciness by varying the amount of cayenne pepper in the cheese sauce.

Variations:

  1. Bacon Bliss:
    • Elevate the dish by adding crispy bacon bits to the mac and cheese layer for an extra smoky kick.
  2. Vegetarian Twist:
    • Opt for a plant-based ground meat or your preferred meat substitute to create a vegetarian-friendly version.

Keto Version:

Ingredients:

  • Substitute breadcrumbs with almond flour or crushed pork rinds in the meatloaf.
  • Replace elbow macaroni with cauliflower florets or zucchini noodles.
  • Use a low-carb thickener like xanthan gum in the cheese sauce.

Instructions:

  1. Follow the same steps for preparing the meatloaf and assembling the casserole, using keto-friendly substitutes.

Low-Carb Version:

Ingredients:

  • Replace breadcrumbs with almond flour or crushed pork rinds in the meatloaf.
  • Substitute elbow macaroni with cauliflower florets or zucchini noodles.

Instructions:

  1. Follow the same steps for preparing the meatloaf and assembling the casserole, using low-carb substitutes.

Mac and Cheese Meatloaf Casserole is a celebration of culinary creativity, uniting two beloved comfort foods into one delectable masterpiece. The marriage of hearty meatloaf and creamy mac and cheese results in a dish that’s both comforting and indulgent. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or explore

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