Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: Ro*Tel tomatoes can be found in most supermarkets in the tomato section, or ordered online from Amazon. If you can't find them, substitute 1 (14-ounce) can of diced tomatoes and 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can of diced chilies.

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About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese

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About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:30 minutes
This recipe appears in: Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced, whites and greens reserved separately
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Ro*Tel tomatoes (see note above)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Half pound dry elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces grated American cheese
  • 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese

Procedures

  1. 1

    Combine cornstarch, evaporated milk, and eggs in a small bowl and whisk until homogenous. Set aside.

  2. 2

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add beef and cook, breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add scallion whites and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add Ro*Tel tomaotes, stir to combine, season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.

  3. 3

    Cook pasta in a large stock pot in salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water. Return to stock pot and add cooking water, butter, evaporated milk mixture, and both cheeses. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and pasta is creamy and smooth. Stir in beef mixture. Transfer to a serving bowl, top with scallion greens, and serve immediately.

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