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!
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)
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.
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.
Elevate the dish by adding crispy bacon bits to the mac and cheese layer for an extra smoky kick.
Opt for a plant-based ground meat or your preferred meat substitute to create a vegetarian-friendly version.
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.
Follow the same steps for preparing the meatloaf and assembling the casserole, using keto-friendly substitutes.
Replace breadcrumbs with almond flour or crushed pork rinds in the meatloaf.
Substitute elbow macaroni with cauliflower florets or zucchini noodles.
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