Making Mac and Cheese Meatloaf Casserole

Mac and Cheese Meatloaf Casserole

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There’s something special about recipes that bring together comfort food classics in one dish. Today, I’m thrilled to share a recipe that does just that: Mac and Cheese Meatloaf Casserole. This recipe is a family favorite in my household, combining the savory goodness of meatloaf with the creamy delight of mac and cheese.

A few years ago, I visited a dear friend in the South who introduced me to this hearty casserole. It was during a potluck, and the moment I took a bite, I was transported back to my childhood, remembering Sunday dinners with family. I couldn’t help but ask for the recipe, and since then, it has become a staple in my own kitchen.

One thing I love about this dish is its versatility. You can tweak the ingredients to suit your taste. For instance, if you prefer a smokier flavor, try adding a bit of smoked paprika to the meatloaf mix. Or, if you want to sneak in some veggies for the kids, finely diced bell peppers or spinach can be easily incorporated into the macaroni mixture. The combination of Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar barbecue sauce and ketchup gives the meatloaf a sweet and tangy glaze that’s simply irresistible.

This recipe is perfect for those days when you want to indulge in some comfort food without spending hours in the kitchen. It’s straightforward, yet the end result is a delicious and filling meal that will have everyone coming back for seconds. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or hosting friends, this Mac and Cheese Meatloaf Casserole is sure to be a hit. Enjoy!

Making Mac and Cheese Meatloaf Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 10.5 ounces condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 30 Ritz Crackers
  • 1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar barbecue sauce
  • 3 cups macaroni noodles
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese blend
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 ounces Lipton onion soup mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

Directions

  1. Set your oven to preheat at 350°F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the barbecue sauce with the ketchup and set it aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, blend the ground beef, crushed Ritz crackers, and onion soup mix together.
  4. Incorporate the eggs and 1/2 cup of the barbecue-ketchup blend into the meat mixture. Mix thoroughly using your hands until well combined.
  5. Press the meat mixture evenly into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  6. Spread the remaining barbecue-ketchup blend over the top of the meatloaf.
  7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  9. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and condensed cheddar cheese soup until smooth.
  10. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, then mix well.
  11. Combine the cooked macaroni noodles with the cheese sauce until well coated.
  12. Mix in 2 cups of the shredded cheese into the macaroni mixture.
  13. Once the meatloaf has baked for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven.
  14. Evenly spread the macaroni mixture over the meatloaf.
  15. Sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese on top.
  16. Return the dish to the oven and bake for another 17-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  17. Take the casserole out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Mac and Cheese Meatloaf Casserole

FAQs:

Can I use a different type of barbecue sauce?

Yes, you can use any barbecue sauce you prefer. However, keep in mind that using a different type might alter the flavor profile of the dish slightly.

What can I use instead of Ritz Crackers?

If you don’t have Ritz Crackers, you can substitute with any type of buttery cracker, bread crumbs, or even crushed cornflakes for a similar texture.

How do I know when the meatloaf is fully cooked?

The meatloaf should be fully cooked when its internal temperature reaches 160°F. You can use a meat thermometer to check this. Additionally, the top should be nicely browned.

Can I prepare this casserole ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can prepare the meatloaf and macaroni separately, then assemble and bake the casserole when you’re ready. This makes it a great option for meal prepping.

What type of cheese works best for this recipe?

A blend of mozzarella and cheddar cheese works well, but you can experiment with other cheeses like Colby Jack, Gouda, or even a spicy pepper Jack for a different flavor.

Is it possible to add vegetables to this casserole?

Yes, you can add vegetables like bell peppers, onions, or spinach to the macaroni mixture for added nutrition and flavor. Just be sure to cook or sauté them before mixing them in.

Making Mac and Cheese Meatloaf Casserole

Mac and Cheese Meatloaf Casserole

Combine two comfort food classics with this easy Mac and Cheese Meatloaf Casserole recipe. Perfect for family dinners and potlucks.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 48 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory & Brown Sugar barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 30 Ritz Crackers
  • 2 oz Lipton onion soup mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups macaroni noodles
  • 2 cups milk
  • 10.5 oz condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese blend

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the barbecue sauce and ketchup. Set this mixture aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, crushed Ritz crackers, and onion soup mix.
  • Add in the eggs and 1/2 cup of the barbecue-ketchup mixture to the ground beef. Mix everything thoroughly with your hands until well combined.
  • Press the meat mixture into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  • Spread the remaining barbecue-ketchup mixture over the top of the meatloaf.
  • Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • While the meatloaf is baking, cook the macaroni noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and condensed cheddar cheese soup until smooth.
  • Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix well.
  • Stir in the cooked macaroni noodles until they are well coated with the sauce.
  • Add 2 cups of the shredded cheese to the macaroni mixture and stir to combine.
  • After the meatloaf has baked for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven.
  • Spread the macaroni mixture evenly over the meatloaf.
  • Top with the remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese.
  • Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 17-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and begins to brown.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Keyword Casserole, Mac and Cheese

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