A pasta casserole made with my favorite burger toppings.
I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. I celebrated Christmas in Las Vegas with my family. It may not have been a traditional Christmas but with me coming from Hawaii and them from North Carolina it was a good mid-point and lots of fun.
This casserole was suggested by my husband. Casseroles (or hot dishes) are simple, tasty, and give plenty of leftovers. They can be prepared ahead of time and held in the refrigerator until ready to bake and eat. Casseroles can also be made in large quantities and you can eat them all week or freeze portions for later.
In this casserole I used ground beef and bacon because I always like bacon on my burgers. I also added jalapenos and barbecue sauce because those are my husbands favorite burger toppings. I even added some zucchini for more vegetable nutrition (zucchini is a great vegetable to hide in any dish because it takes on it's surrounding flavors, adds bulk to the dish with out fat and, adds some fiber and other nutrients). Lastly I topped it with cheese for a deliciously satisfying casserole.
Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole
1 pound ground beef
2 strips bacon, cut into small pieces
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic minced
3 tomatoes, diced
2 zucchini, diced
2 jalapenos, diced (with or without seeds depending on how spicy you want it)
2 cups dried pasta
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
Cheese (Colbyjack, Cheddar, or be creative and try blue cheese or fetta--I used colbyjack)
In a large saute pan, brown the beef, over medium heat until thoroughly cooked, pour off grease, and set the ground beef aside in a very large bowl.
In the same pan, fry the bacon pieces, over medium heat, until crispy. Remove the bacon, add to the beef and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium low and cook the onion, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini, and jalapenos stirring occasionally until soft (you can cook them in the bacon grease or replace it with the oil of your choice). Add the cooked vegetables to the meat in the bowl.
Meanwhile cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and add to the bowl. Pour in the barbecue sauce and stir gently to combine.
Spread the mixture into a buttered dish (at least 9x13 inches) and top with your favorite cheese. I used about 2 cups of cheese but you can use as much or as little as you like.
Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F until heated through and cheese is browned. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Makes about 6-8 servings.