A one-pot meal – cheesy macaroni noodles with lean ground beef and plenty of BBQ sauce. A simple, budget-friendly dinner your family will love and is ready in under thirty minutes!
One-pot meals are easy and quick, PLUS only one dish to clean!
So what are in for with this meal? A whole ton of cheesy, and sweet BBQ flavor. And this post? Lots of step-by-step picture action/substitution ideas to make sure this meal is as easy for you as it was for me to make. This is such a great and easy summer dinner to make. When it’s warm outside and the weather is great, I am always excited to have a quick dinner ready so I can be outside as much as possible.
Starting with ground beef. I used extra lean, you could also try ground turkey. Cook that up on a skillet with some onions, garlic, and red pepper. I pretty much throw peppers in everything, but it’s completely optional for this dish. Or you could think of another veggie you would want mixed in. <–I try to sneak some veggies into just about everything.
Once the ground beef is cooked through, drain any fat and then return the pot to the stove. Add in two packages of Mac and Cheese, one cheese packet, three cups water, and 1/2 cup BBQ sauce.
The cheese packet addition is totally optional too. So let’s talk about the cheese factor you might want… You could omit both cheese packets and just put in extra shredded cheese at the end (some is coming), you could put in just one cheese packet (what I did) and throw away or save the other one, OR you could put in both cheese packets and adjust the cheese at the end to desired taste. All up to you!
Give everything a really good stir and then put it on medium-high heat until the mixture starts to boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to a few notches above low and cover the pot with a lid. Set the timer for ten minutes and either make a side dish for dinner or just relax. Nothing to do at that point. (Told you – easy street with this one).
After ten minutes, stir the ingredients really well and then cover again for another 3-6 minutes or until the noodles are tender and mostly all of the liquid has drained out. There may be a tiny bit of liquid left, which is fine because it gets absorbed as you mix in the last ingredients.
Which would be: some more BBQ sauce, up to 1/2 cup or to your taste preference. And lots of shredded cheddar cheese.
Add in some salt and pepper, a few green onions if desired, and serve immediately. Be prepared to have no leftovers left…
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup red bell pepper chopped
- 1 scant cup BBQ sauce separated
- 2 packages (7.5 ounces each) Macaroni and Cheese dinners
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Optional: a few green onions, salt and pepper
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef at medium heat with the finely chopped onion, garlic, and chopped red pepper until completely cooked through.
Drain any grease and return to the stove.
Add in 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, 2 packages Macaroni and Cheese dinners, 1 cheese packet*, and 3 cups water.
Stir everything together really well. Turn the heat to medium-high.
As soon as the mixture boils, reduce the heat to a few notches above low heat and cover with a lid.
Let simmer for 10 minutes and then stir everything really well. Let simmer again for 3-6 minutes or until the noodles are tender and most of the water has drained out.
Remove the lid and stir in another scant 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (about 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons or to desired taste preference).
Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted.
If desired, garnish with some green onions.
You could omit both cheese packets and just put in extra shredded cheese at the end, you could put in just one cheese packet (what recipe calls for) and throw away or save the other one, OR you could put in both cheese packets and adjust the cheese at the end to desired taste
Here are some more one-pot meals: