Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hamburger Macaroni: loaded with veggies

One of our favorite comfort foods is Hamburger Macaroni.  It was one of my favorite meals when I was growing up.  Mom made it pretty often.  I always thought she made it because we all loved it so much.  Now, I suspect it was because it could be a cheap and filling meal if there was a sale on ground beef. 

When I made Hamburger Macaroni a couple of months ago, I decided to load it with veggies.  Not only did it ensure that we ate our vegetables, it also really helped in stretching this recipe.  Joe and I ate it for 2 dinners and I served it to my three nieces for lunch when they came for a visit.  My picky niece (hates vegetables) ate 3 servings and was trying to scrape the serving bowl clean!  Do you think that she liked it?  Maybe just a little! 

I haven't made it since then, but now that I am typing this, I am thinking about adding it to next week's menu plan!  I hope someone is having a sale on ground beef since we don't have any left in the freezer. 

Now, I used McCormick's Brown Gravy Mix. for the gravy in this recipe.  Mom always used powder gravy for this recipe and that's how we like it!  But if powder gravy isn't for you, then just switch it for your favorite homemade beef/brown gravy.

Hamburger Macaroni ~ loaded with veggies

  • 16 oz. box elbow macaroni
  • small amount vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1/2 c. zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 c. onions, diced
  • 1/2 c. carrots, diced
  • 1/2 c. red bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4 c. celery, diced
  • 1 c. frozen corn
  • 1 c. frozen peas
  • 1 3/4 c. diced tomatoes
  • 3 Tbs. Lea & Perrins Thick Classic Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3/4 c. McCormick Brown Gravy Mix combined with 1 qt. water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • Cook macaroni as directed on the package.
  • In a large frying pan, saute the zucchini, onions, carrots, bell pepper and celery in a very small amount of oil.  (just enough oil to keep them from sticking to the pan)
  • Add ground beef when the veggies are just starting to become tender. 
  • Brown the meat, drain.
  • Add the gravy and allow to cook for a minute or two.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, frozen peas and corn, along with the worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and any other seasonings you may like. 
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat.
  • Allow to simmer for a bit, to allow all the flavors to blend together. 
  • Add cooked and drained macaroni and mix well. 
  • Like I mentioned above, you could easily substitute your favorite homemade gravy for the powdered mix. 
  • I usually add crushed red pepper flakes to my Hamburger Macaroni to add a little bit of a kick, but since Grace has started eating table food, I've had to cut back on the "heat" that I add to our recipes.  Instead, I keep the crushed red pepper flakes on the table with the salt and pepper and add to my own individual serving. 
  • I'm sure that this would be great with great made with ground turkey or chicken to make it a bit healthier.  Although, for this recipe we do prefer the beef. 
I'll be linking this recipe to the following blog carnivals: 


April@The 21st Century Housewife said...

My Mom always used to use McCormick's Brown Gravy, and I have been known to smuggle a package or two back in my luggage when I go back to visit Canada :) Your recipe sounds great, and so much better and more nutritious than 'hamburger helper' which always tasted lovely but was SO bad for you! Thanks for sharing such a delicious-sounding recipe.

Miz Helen said...

We just love a good hamburger and veggie combination. Your recipe looks great and I will give it a try.
Thank you for sharing your recipe.

a moderate life said...

Hi Alison! Thanks so much for sharing one of your childhood comfort foods with us on the hearth and soul hop this week. I know there was many a meal my mum made that was nourishing, quick and economical that I would pay top dollar for now to eat! I love how you jazzed it up a bit with the veggies, but didn't change the thing that makes it uniquely comfort food to you, which was the gravy mix. With all the love you put into it, a little gravy mix isn't anything to worry about. My mother was a bistow woman or we got marmite in flour! UGH! lol but we loved it! Thanks again for linking up this week and all the best to you! Alex@amoderatelife

Unknown said...

this is my husband's favorite meal...and i am a bad wife because i hardly ever make it. thanks for the reminder to make it soon. thank you for linking it up to tuesday night supper club

Christy said...

I think this dish sounds so yummy - I love hamburger and noodles, something about the combo makes me happy and then when you add veggies I am sit back and grin stupidly happy! Thanks for sharing this with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

Ann Kroeker said...

I remember how impressed I was with my husband back when we were just dating and he put together something like this. I couldn't cook at all, but he could make Kraft macaroni-and-cheese AND brown some ground beef to stir in! :)

Yours adds much more nutrition--love this comfort food idea. Thanks for linking to Food on Fridays!

Julie @ Get Healthy Cheap said...

This recipe looks healthy, comforting and easy enough for my husband to make on his cooking nights too! I can't wait to give it a try. Thanks for linking up at Family Food Fridays! :)

Lisa said...

I like to load things up with vegetables too. My mom also used to make hamburger macaroni. This recipe brings back some wonderful dinner memories.

Broadway1b said...

This dish is quite similar to the hamburger, macaroni, and tomato juice (goulash) I have made for years. It sounds just as delicious, and like a great new way to stretch our budget. I plan to try your version of gravy goulash this week!

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