Hamburger Macaroni and Four Cheeses contains elbow macaroni, ground hamburger (or use ground turkey) and four different types of cheese. A “surprise” ingredient makes it creamy, cheesy and delicious.
Packaged shredded and grated cheeses have a special coating to prevent caking. Although I love grating blocks of cheese (no special coating), I used shredded packaged cheese in this recipe.
This savory and hearty main dish is tasty variation of my popular recipe for Homemade Macaroni and Three Cheeses.
Pairs well with green beans and a variety of salads. Easy to make with simple ingredients.
I did not use an egg (optional ingredient). The cheese sauce thickens when an egg is added. Most mac and cheese recipes do not require an egg. Some do. It’s really a matter of personal preference. Hamburger Macaroni and Four Cheeses is amazing without the extra thickness (my opinion).
The “surprise” ingredient that makes this main dish creamy and cheesy is buttermilk. Ooooh la la, how good it is!
Stir seasonings into the buttermilk. Pour over elbow macaroni, hamburger and three cheeses before baking. Doing it this way will evenly distribute seasonings.
The Buttermilk Story
Several years ago (2006 or 2007), I had a pleasant conversation with a church member while we were in our separate cars parked in the parking lot. We were waiting for traffic to subside after a powerful service.
Our windows were rolled down while we talked to each other. It was during the summer and the weather was pleasant (not too hot).
At the time, our mega church had over 18,000 members. I had never met this sister who provided a delicious nugget of info that forever changed how I make macaroni and cheese.
We talked about Sunday dinner. She asked if I ever used buttermilk to make macaroni and cheese. I said no.
The friendly sister was right when she told me that after I try buttermilk, I’ll never use whole milk again.
I’ve never seen her before or after that day. An angel? I like to think so!
After she told me to try buttermilk, suddenly the traffic lightened up. We said our goodbyes before driving away.
Macaroni Hamburger and Three Cheeses
- 1 pound ground beef or ground chuck ground chuck or ground turkey
- 1 box (8 ounces) elbow macroni
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted not margarine
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded 1 8-ounce package, shredded, mild or medium
- 2 cups low-moisture mozzarella/provolone cheese, shredded 1 16-ounce package has 4 cups
- 2 cups buttermilk use whole or fat free
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon garic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika use regular or smoked
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated or shredded
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Prepare elbow macaroni according to instructions on package. Cook only until al dente (firm). Drain. Set aside.
- While elbow macaroni is boiling, prepare ground beef (ground chuck or ground turkey). In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook meat until all of it is brown. Thoroughly drain on paper towels. Set aside.
- Evenly coat a 9 x 9 deep baking dish baking dish with 2 tablespoons of melted butter (will use remaining 2 tablespoons later).
- Pour in drained elbow macaroni. Top with 1/2 of cooked meat and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella/provolone cheese.
- Top with remaining cooked meat and remaining 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup of shredded low-moisture mozzarella/provolone cheese. Set aside.
- Pour buttermilk into a medium-sized bowl. Add salt and black pepper (to taste), garlic powder, onion powder, paprika (smoked or regular), 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Stir until well combined.
- Pour mixture in center of baking dish. It will spread out evenly as you pour. Cover with foil.
- Reduce oven to 375. Bake 12-15 minutes OR until cheese is bubbly. Remove foil. Place under broiler until cheese is lightly browned (optional).
- Lightly sprinkle each hot serving with grated or shredded Parmesan cheese.