Sometimes you just want a cheeseburger, but maybe you are gluten free and IF you can find a gluten free bun, it just leaves something to be desired. Maybe you are grain free and don't do a bun at all, but are growing tired of having your burger on a lettuce wrap. Maybe you just want something different.
Say "cheeseburger mac" to almost anyone and the image they get is that of macaroni and cheese with some ground meat thrown in. Probably not even good mac and cheese, but something made with the big salty block of processed cheese food that has become so ubiquitous with comfort food. ICK. I don't want macaroni and cheese with some meat in it (at least not today, that's a different recipe...), but rather a cheeseburger with some macaroni in it. That's what I've done for years and now Ill share it with you. There are multiple ingredient variations to make this recipe work with almost any eating style. Wash it down with a soda flavored kombucha! (my favorite is root beer!)
olive oil for pan
12 oz bean based penne pasta such as Tolerant (could use gluten free pasta or spiralized yellow summer squash cut into macaroni sized pieces)
1 lb grass fed ground beef, ground turkey or veggie crumbles such as Beyond Beef
4 slices nitrate free bacon (optional)
1 onion, sliced
smoked paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, chipotle hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to taste
1 dill pickle, chopped and about 1/4 c of the pickle juice
1/2 c homemade or low carb bbq sauce
6 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, or vegan cheese such as Daiya, shredded
1 Tbsp yellow mustard plus more for serving
1 tomato, diced
Cook pasta in boiling salted water. In skillet with olive oil, cook ground beef, bacon and onions. Add seasonings, pickle juice, bbq sauce, and mustard. When pasta is done, drain and add to skillet, along with 4 oz of the cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Top each serving with pickle, tomato, lettuce and additional mustard. and cheddar.