Macaroni and cheese loaded with browned ground beef and melted cheese. Served in a white Japanese ceramic bowl on a paper placemat.

Beefy Macaroni and Cheese

Beef, Pasta and Cheese combine to make this savory family favorite.  The ingredients can be found anywhere, even in Japan, and it can be prepared in under 30 minutes.  This is a no frills recipe that comes out delicious every time.

Beefy Macaroni and Cheese is one of those comfort dishes that proves that a meal does not have to be sophisticated to be delicious.  Macaroni and Cheese is an American staple dish, but it’s simplicity and appeal make it loved all over the world.  Although not as fancy as other pasta dishes, this one is a real crowd pleaser!

When we moved from the US to Japan, my daughter really missed the boxed macaroni and cheese mix we used to buy in the US.  And recently, macaroni and cheese can be found in upscale restaurants, baked in a casserole dish with mouthwatering ingredients such as seafood or truffles.    Fortunately, macaroni and cheese is a dish that you can make at home and it doesn’t need to come out of a box.

Beefy macaroni and cheese is one of those dishes that kids love, but adults love it as well.  It’s an easy dish to make, it’s filling, it’s tasty, and sometimes you just crave it.

“Mac and Cheese” is the first dish my daughter learned to cook.  She used to cook “Kraft Macaroni and Cheese” from the box and serve it to the rest of the family.  When she got old enough, I told her to throw out the boxed mix and we would make it from scratch.

In Japan, you can also get macaroni and cheese although it’s a baked dish called “gratin” which is prepared in an oven. Although it’s quite good, it’s not the same as American Mac and Cheese.

Beefy Macaroni and Cheese

Beefy Macaroni and Cheese is prepared on a stovetop and is both easy to make and very delicious.  Unlike Japanese Gratin it is not baked and does not require an oven.  As with any other pasta dish, the best tasting dishes come from the past itself, so be sure to get a good quality macaroni and do not overcook it.  Prepare the macaroni so it is al dente because the other ingredients will continue to soften the macaroni and the liquid integrates in.

5 minutes 15 minutes Serves 6
PREP 5 minutes
COOKING 15 minutes
YIELD Serves 6
Macaroni and cheese loaded with browned ground beef and melted cheese. Served in a white Japanese ceramic bowl on a paper placemat.


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 2 cups finely shredded cheese (Cheddar, Gouda, American, etc)
  • 1/2 cup milk (100ml)
  • 1 TBSP lightly salted butter
  • 1/2 lb ground beef (225g)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup beef consommé (50ml)


  • Sauté the ground beef and spices in a non-stick pan over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes until browned.

  • Drain out any grease.  Add the consommé and stir into the meat over medium heat until completely absorbed.  Set aside.

  • Cook the elbow macaroni to al dente per the directions.  Drain but do not rinse or allow time to cool.
  • Melt the butter over medium heat in the pot you boiled the pasta in.  Stir the pasta back in, then stir in the cheese and the milk.  Stir gently until the cheese is melted.

  • Stir in the meat mixture.

  • Remove from heat and serve.  Use hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste.


Try these variations to jazz up your dinner :

  • Spice it up: add 1 tsp of cayenne pepper along with the other spices when browning the meat.
  • Sweeten in up: Stir 1/2 cup of tomato catsup into the meat mixture after browning.
  • Green it up: Dice up 1 green pepper and add it to the meat before browning.  Top the finished dish with an sprig of Cilantro and/or Italian Parsley before serving.


Related Recipes

Leave a Reply