Earlier this week, on our first chilly fall afternoon of the season, I whipped-up this easy beef and macaroni skillet supper. Not for the first time, I appreciated that this dish is almost magical, with the ability to transport me back to my childhood, and a far simpler time. Back then, we called it goulash (I know, it’s not authentic goulash), or on the days it was served in our school cafeteria, we called it beef-a-roni. I loved this meal as a kid, but now as an adult, I still love this little one-pan recipe - it is so darn simple to prepare, but still just so comforting and delicious. OK, maybe this dish seems a little old-fashioned, but it can’t be beat on a crisp fall day, when you want to get a hot, comforting meal on the table fast.
Let’s talk about dollars here, too - this recipe is not only simple, but totally easy on the wallet, too. Ground beef, noodles, canned tomatoes, a few vegetables and some spices – what could be simpler? When you look at this ingredient list, it may look like a long list, but most of it really is just a bunch of spices and things you probably already have in the pantry. You can serve this easy skillet supper with a salad and some garlic toast, and it will surely please both the kids and the adults in the family.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large, green bell pepper (or other color), diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes (or substitute a 24-ounce jar of spaghetti sauce for the tomatoes and paste)
- 3 ½ cups water
- 3 beef bouillon cubes, or 1 tablespoon beef base
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon celery seed (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion, and peppers, for 5-6 minutes, until they become slightly golden brown around the edges.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high, then crumble the ground beef into the peppers and onions, along with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Use a spatula to break up the meat and as it browns. When it is nearly cooked through, add the mushrooms, garlic, and another pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the meat is no longer pink, and the mushrooms have cooked down a bit. Drain off any grease, if necessary.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and allow it to cook, with the lid off, for 15-20 minutes, or until the macaroni is tender and the liquid is reduced. Stir occasionally to prevent the macaroni from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Before serving, season with salt and pepper to taste. It’s extra-good with a little grated Parmesan cheese, or shredded cheddar!
This recipe was shared at Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage, and Southern Bite Meal Plan Monday. Visit both for more great recipes!