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Macro Friendly Cheeseburger Pasta Casserole (High Protein)

published: April 25, 2023

updated: October 24, 2023

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If you loved our high-protein Loaded Burger Bowls, then you’re in for a treat. Say hello to our Cheeseburger Pasta Casserole, the ultimate comfort food mashup.

This dish is packed with all the flavors you love – juicy ground beef, gooey melted cheese, and tender pasta noodles.

But what sets this recipe apart from other pasta dishes is the addition of classic burger toppings such as pickles, ketchup, and mustard. Plus, it's incredibly easy to make and perfect for feeding a hungry crowd.

Trust us, one bite of this cheesy, meaty goodness and you won't be disappointed.

Casseroles are the ultimate comfort food. There's something about a warm, cheesy casserole that just hits the spot. But did you know that they can also be incredibly nutritious? By combining different ingredients like lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains, casseroles offer a balanced meal that can pack a powerful nutrient punch. Plus, they're an easy way to get a variety of different foods in one dish.

Whether you're feeding a family or meal prepping for the week, casseroles are a fantastic option to consider.

So next time you're craving something hearty and wholesome, whip up a casserole and reap the benefits of a delicious and nutritious meal.


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3 Reasons Why You Will Love Our Macro Friendly Cheeseburger Pasta Casserole Recipe

cheeseburger pasta casserole final step
  1. Delicious and Flavorful: Cheeseburger pasta casserole combines two all-time favorite comfort foods – cheeseburgers and pasta – into one hearty and satisfying dish. The creamy cheese sauce, savory ground beef, and tender pasta come together to create a delicious and flavorful meal that is sure to please everyone’s taste buds.
  2. Easy to Make: This recipe is easy to make and requires only a few simple ingredients. It can be prepared in advance and baked when ready to serve, making it a perfect choice for busy weeknights or potluck gatherings.
  3. Versatile: This recipe is highly customizable, allowing you to tailor it to your individual tastes and preferences. You can swap out the type of pasta or cheese used, add extra veggies or spices, or even use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef.

Ingredients

  • Pasta: Have fun and choose your favorite pasta variety! I kept it classic and used rotini. 
  • Ground beef: I used 93/7% for a leaner option, but you may also use ground turkey if you’re looking for a lower-fat option. 
  • Onion: We saute the onion and meat together to get the ultimate smashburger flavor! I opted for Vidali sweet onions. 
  • Flavoring the meat: To give that authentic hamburger taste, I used steak seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and tomato paste. This combination of all these really help to elevate this dish!
  • Canned diced tomatoes: In this recipe, you are using the entire can, including liquid!! This helps to add something for your pasta to absorb.  
  • Shredded cheese: I used classic sharp cheddar, but choose your favorite cheese! Pepperjack or Mexican varieties would be just as delicious!
  • Pickles: I love adding diced-up pickles before serving to add another element of flavor. I used a sugar-free variation found at Kroger, but Mt.Olive has one with no added sugar as well. 

Kitchen Tools Required

  • Large pot
  • Large skillet
  • Colander
  • Mixing bowl
  • 9×13 Casserole dish
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cutting board
  • Knife

How to Make Cheeseburger Pasta Casserole

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and spray your baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot, cook your pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the onions over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned. 
  4. Add the tomato pasta, diced tomatoes, dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce to the skillet. Stir until well combined and cook for 5 minutes. 
  5. In a large bowl, add the pasta and ground beef mixture together. Stir until well combined.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a large casserole dish and sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the top.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Top with desired toppings if desired.
portioned out ingredients cheeseburger pasta casserole
cooking the cheeseburger pasta casserole
adding cheese
preparing for oven
close up of cheeseburger pasta casserole

Swaps or Alternatives

Here are some ingredient swaps you can make to modify the cheeseburger pasta casserole recipe to suit your preferences or dietary needs:

  • Ground beef: You can use ground turkey, chicken, or pork instead of beef, or skip the meat altogether and make a vegetarian version with plant-based ground meat.
  • Pasta: You can swap out the type of pasta used, such as using gluten-free pasta, or whole wheat pasta, or even zucchini noodles (zoodles) or spaghetti squash to make a low-carb version.
  • Cheese: You can use different types of cheese, such as cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, or a combination of cheeses, to vary the flavor and texture of the casserole.
  • Toppings: You can add toppings like sliced avocado, diced tomatoes, chopped scallions, or cilantro to add freshness and additional flavor to the dish.

Quick Tip(s)

Are you feeling a little crunched for time but want to enjoy your favorite dish? Well, have no fear! Prepare your casserole a day in advance so you can pop it in the oven when you're ready to eat. Follow the directions as written to prepare the casserole. Store it in the refrigerator overnight to let all the flavors meld together and pop it in the oven when ready to cook! 

FAQ’s

How do I store the casserole?

First things first, make sure you let it cool down to room temperature before putting it in the fridge or freezer. If you put a hot dish straight into the fridge or freezer, it can actually bring the temperature up in there and potentially spoil other foods. Once it's cooled down, transfer the casserole to an airtight container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. You can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to reheat it, pop it in the oven at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes or until it's heated through. And voila, your cheesy, beefy, pasta-y goodness is ready to be enjoyed all over again.

What sides go well with Cheeseburger Pasta Casserole?

While the casserole alone is pretty filling, there are plenty of side options to choose from! If you're looking for something green, a crisp salad with a tangy dressing would be a great choice. For something more starchy, try roasted potatoes or a simple garlic bread. 

What toppings can I put on this casserole?

When it comes to cheeseburger pasta casserole, the possibilities for toppings are endless. You can go classic with diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and pickles to get that classic cheeseburger taste. Or you can kick things up a notch with jalapenos, avocado, and crispy bacon. Feeling adventurous? Try topping your casserole with a fried egg for a breakfast-for-dinner twist. Whatever your preference, don't forget the cheese! Whether it's cheddar, mozzarella, or blue cheese, melted cheese on top of your cheeseburger pasta casserole is always a good idea.

How can I make this recipe gluten-free?

You can still enjoy the comforting flavors of a cheeseburger in a delicious gluten-free pasta casserole. All you need to do is swap out the regular pasta for a gluten-free alternative, like brown rice or quinoa pasta.

Macros & Nutrition Information

Serving Size: ⅕ of casserole

MacrosNutrition
Calories424
Protein37.9g
Carbs38.9g
Fat13.5g

Cheeseburger Pasta Casserole

Jessie Hulsey
Introducing a delicious and comforting twist on two classic favorites – Cheeseburger Pasta Casserole! This recipe combines the savory flavors of a juicy cheeseburger with hearty pasta and gooey melted cheese, all baked to perfection in a casserole dish.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 5
Calories 424 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Pot
  • Colander
  • Mixing bowl
  • 9×13 Casserole dish
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups rotini pasta
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp steak seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat
  • 2 tbsp sugar free bread and butter pickles, diced
  • dijon mustard

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and spray your baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large pot, cook your pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, cook the onions over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned.
  • Add the tomato pasta, diced tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce and dijon mustard to the skillet. Stir until well combined and cook for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, add the pasta and ground beef mixture together. Stir until well combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large casserole dish and sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Top with desired toppings if desired.

Notes

Nutrition and taste may vary depending on brands and ingredients used.

Nutrition

Calories: 424kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 37.9gFat: 13.5g
Keyword high protein, macro friendly
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About the author, Jessie Hulsey

Jessie is a recipe creator and registered dietitian consultant, specializing in weight management, healthy aging, and behavioral nutrition in Atlanta, GA. To lean into her creative side, she loves all aspects of recipe development and food photography. When not working, you can find Jessie at the dog park with her husband and pup, playing in her garden, and scoping out new restaurants!

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