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Cheeseburger Casserole

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Kid-friendly and delicious! If you’re a cheeseburger lover, and the thought of ground beef, tomatoes, pickles and cheese tickles your fancy, then this truly American, comforting Cheeseburger Casserole is for you!

Kid-friendly and delicious! If you're a cheeseburger lover, and the thought of ground beef, tomatoes, pickles and cheese tickles your fancy, then this truly American, comforting Cheeseburger Casserole is for you!

Kid-friendly and delicious! If you're a cheeseburger lover, and the thought of ground beef, tomatoes, pickles and cheese tickles your fancy, then this truly American, comforting Cheeseburger Casserole is for you!

I was recently given the Bobby Deen: From Mama’s Table to Mine cookbook as a gift. Bobby, in case you’re not familiar is Paula Deen’s son, who makes his Mama’s Southern dishes a bit healthier and on the lighter side.

Whenever I get a cookbook, I usually attempt a dish that’s out of my norm. A cheeseburger casserole… now that’s not a dish I grew up eating!

What the heck is a cheeseburger casserole? Think cheeseburger essential ingredients such as lean ground hamburger meat sauteed with diced tomatoes, onions, a touch of mustard, and some not-so common burger ingredients such as pasta, all topped with melted cheddar and finished off with diced pickles.

My toddler gobbled this up, and I thought it was pretty darn good – and I would certainly make this again. I’m sure you can have fun with this and add your favorite cheeseburger toppings. I’m thinking sauteed mushrooms would be really good here too and maybe a few bacon crumbles for a bacon cheeseburger casserole (why not!)

How To Make Cheeseburger Casserole

Kid-friendly and delicious! If you're a cheeseburger lover, and the thought of ground beef, tomatoes, pickles and cheese tickles your fancy, then this truly American, comforting Cheeseburger Casserole is for you!

Cheeseburger Casserole

4.73 from 70 votes
Kid-friendly and delicious! If you're a cheeseburger lover, and the thought of ground beef, tomatoes, pickles and cheese tickles your fancy, then this truly American, comforting Cheeseburger Casserole is for you!
Cuisine: American
Kid-friendly and delicious! If you're a cheeseburger lover, and the thought of ground beef, tomatoes, pickles and cheese tickles your fancy, then this truly American, comforting Cheeseburger Casserole is for you!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Yield: 9 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup


  • 2 cups 6 oz uncooked rotini pasta (use brown rice pasta for GF)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 lb lean ground beef, 95% lean
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 cups reduced-fat grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill pickles


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente and drain well.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the beef and cook until browned; season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, then add the tomatoes and mustard. Let the mixture bubble gently until it is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Toss the meat mixture with the pasta and spread it into the prepared dish.
  • Top with the cheddar and bake until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the chopped pickles over the top and serve.

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Serving: 1 cup, Calories: 260 kcal, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Protein: 21.5 g, Fat: 9.5 g, Saturated Fat: 4 g, Cholesterol: 49 mg, Sodium: 630 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3.5 g


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445 comments on “Cheeseburger Casserole”

  1. This is delicious! My husband loves when I make it. I use ground turkey instead of beef and add a little Worcestershire.

  2. Delicious! Easy to make with a fresh light taste-have made this several times-leftovers are great for lunch!

  3. I’ve been making this for years and it slaps. I’ve added mushrooms and have even made it with impossible burger since I’m now vegetarian. It turns out delicious!!

  4. Overall great recipe! I made this for a meal prep. I used egg noddles because it’s what I had at home and I like that they make recipes feel a little lighter. The measurement for the pasta on the recipe is weird because pasta is usually by weight and not cups. I did add Worcestershire, beef bouillon and a splash of pickle juice for the tang. I also added some cheddar cheese to the mix. I will definitely make this again.

  5. Very good, but I did make some modifications as suggested in some of the comments. I omitted the tomato paste and used ketchup instead. I didn’t have Dijon mustard on hand so I used yellow. I used 4 cloves of garlic and one medium yellow onion. I also added a splash of Worcestershire sauce. After simmering down I adjusted the seasoning as needed then baked as directed. It was an absolute hit and the chopped pickles on top are EVERYTHING!

  6. Absolutely delicious! I don’t eat ground beef so I subbed ground turkey and added a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce. So so good!

  7. Avatar photo
    Janna Van Slett

    I found this recipe bland which really disappointed me with all the 5 star reviews. It’s perfect for young kids that can’t handle spice or a lot of seasoning though. It wasn’t bad, just too bland for me to want to make it again.

  8. Reviews were mixed on this dish. I loved it. Initially, I was worried that the lack of seasoning in the tomato sauce would make it bland, and I was leery of including Dijon mustard. I ended up enjoying the mix of flavors. My husband, on the other hand, felt that the tomato flavor was too strong. My 7 year old said, “It’s not your best recipe, mom, but it’s not your worst.” It looks like I’ll be the only one eating the leftovers-which is fine – because I really like it.

  9. Has anyone tried replacing the pasta with zucchini? Was it successful? Also thinking about leaving out the pasta and topping it with tater tots for an occasional treat. Both of those being said, we LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe as is. Tastes so good, is filling and comforting, and freezes well. I just always put far more pickles on it because we love them. Thanks, Gina!

  10.  Are this tonight and it tasted very canned tomato-y. I’m hoping it will be better after it sits and the flavors combine. Maybe I needed to add more spices. 

  11. Of all the skinny taste recipes I make, I think this is my husband’s favorite! I love it as well. The combination of flavors is perfect. Very easy to prepare as well. 

  12. I’ve made this so many times over the last few years. It’s one of our absolute favorites – kids LOVE it and so does my husband. I always throw in more noodles than the recipe calls for. Otherwise, it’s a bit too meaty. A great, quick weeknight meal!

  13. I love this. I could make this every night and never get sick of it. I used ketchup instead of tomato paste. And onion powder instead of chopped onions. Literally so good one of the best things I have ever made so simple and comforting. 

  14. Gina, if I make this ahead of time and refrigerate it, how long should I bake it for?  15 minutes doesn’t seem long enough if it’s chilled. Thanks. 

  15. This is one of my all-time favorites! Will you include a link for the new personal points? Thank you! 

  16. Honestly, I found this rather bland. It needed extra flavour. A dash of smoked paprika? Worcestershire? I would cut the pasta down to 1 1/2 cups and add many more veggies.

  17. My husband LOVES this. I think because he’s such a big fan of a McDouble, and it tastes just like one. It’s a bit too overpowered with the ketchup/mustard taste for my palate, I prefer cheeseburgers with the cold crunch of fresh lettuce and tomato. I might try shredding some and topping it next time, to see if then I like it as much as husband. 🙂

  18. I make this ALL the time day of,  but finally tried it from frozen!
    I made the pasta and meat mixture and combined, then  froze it in a throw away pan. From freezer,  I put it in the oven on 400 covered for about a half hour.  Time may vary so check it!  Took it out, uncovered and lowered heat back to 350. Topped with cheese and put it in for 15 min. Top with pickles and it’s ready to serve! It tasted jsut as good as when made fresh 🙂

  19. The sauce was really good. Even if you didn’t want that added burger taste with the mustard added, the meat sauce base is a nice basic starting point for variations or even just for spaghetti. I chose to follow the recipe almost exactly except I used 3 c pasta instead of 2c. I got the meat sauce going first because I was doing other things. So I could see there was plenty of sauce to use 3 c instead of just 2. I’m glad I did because 3 c. turned out perfect and the casserole was more than enough for our family of 6. I used 4% beef, 4 cloves are garlic because we always like more, 1 whole yellow onion, for the pasta I used Trader Joe’s GF brown rice & quinoa rotini since 3 of us can’t have gluten, and for the cheese I used TJ lite 3 cheese blend. Tasted great- thanks!

  20. Made this vegetarian with meatless crumbles and reduced fat even more with fat free cheese and lentil rotini. Only 3 blue points a serving. So good. Kids and dad approved. 

    1. I use Barilla gluten free pasta. I had the same experience with Ancient Harvest. I like Jovial spaghetti and noodles though their rotini takes a long time to cook, not as tender.

  21. this is great with venison too 🙂 the mustard helps any lingering gamey taste. a little extra onion and garlic on the front end helps too!

  22. I just made this with beyond meat and it was sooo good! Def tastes like a McDonald’s cheeseburger and my skeptical hubs had seconds 🙂

  23. I’ve been making this for a few years.. love it! Has anyone ever tried to freeze it? Also.. I’ve subbed cauliflower rice for the pasta and it’s just as good! Thought I’d share for ppl trying to shave off ww pointsz

  24. Oh my gosh…I don’t even like cheeseburgers, and I LOVED this casserole! The dill pickles did it for me… I’ve shared the recipe already & will make it again for sure!!!

  25. Definitely a kid approved recipe.  It’s cheesy and there is no significant or pronounced flavor profile.  I used Ancient Harvest pasta.  I don’t recommend using this brand for a caserole as it became too soft and took away from the flavor of the dish with it’s grain-like flavor.  

    Does anyone recommend a pasta substitute ?

  26. Believe the hype. This casserole is amazing, my husband and I both loved it.

    Followed recipe except used regular penne pasta, and used half tomato sauce and half diced tomatoes.

    So yum!

  27. We LOVE this. I’d like to replace about half the pasta with zucchini noodles, but I’m concerned about the zoodles getting mushy. Has anyone done this yet? Tips to share? Thanks!

  28. Great recipe! Everyone in my family love it and I have some very picky eaters. One addition, I cooked four pieces of bacon and diced it up and sprinkled it on top. Amazing!

  29. Avatar photo
    Katie Webster

    I loved this recipe and plan on cooking it frequently…Added a little diced raw red onion to the pickle as the topping…So delicious!!!

      1. I measured 6 ounces dry pasta. If you don’t have a food scale, it was likely 2 cups dry.  

  30. How would purple plan be 6 points when it’s the only plan that doesn’t count the pasta? This doesn’t make sense to me. Shouldn’t purple be the least? 

    1. Avatar photo
      Sara Lyn Kropinak

      Make it with whole wheat pasta and it decreases the purple points. Her recipe is calculated for regular rotini

  31. I’m confused about the pasta measurement.

    The recipe says “2 cups 6 oz uncooked rotini pasta”

    Does that mean 2 cups of pasta? Or 6 ounces of pasta? Or 2 cups of 6 ounces of pasta making 12 ounces

  32. I made this with soy meat. It was extremely delicious. Cant wait to have it again tonight. will be making this again in the future. Love it!!

  33. Love this! Want to make for a dairy free friend. Has anyone tried it with dairy free cheese? Still yummy?

  34. I’ve been making this since it was posted. It’s a favorite in our house! The only thing we added was french fried onions on top of the cheese.

  35. This is absolutely delicious! I used gluten free pasta made from quinoa. My husband loved it too. He said he couldn’t even tell I’d used gluten free pasta. The recipe is so easy too! I love it!

  36. This was fabulous! Our toddler loved it and I did too!! The only thing i changed is indeed double the pickles, and a bit of mayo. Yum!!! This will be a regular in our household.

  37. I intended to do this dish as a make ahead. Cooked the meat mixture and the pasta but did not add the pasta. Just put both containers in the fridge. The power was out when I got home from work so improvised to finish it on the stove top in a large deep skillet. Mixed pasta and meat mixture together and heated on low for about 25 minutes, with lid. Stirring occasionally. When piping hot, added shredded cheese to top and covered for another 10 minutes. Was very good! 

  38. I made this for my family. Everyone loved it. Definitely making it again!!! Thank you for your recipes!!!

  39. Wow … this was a hit! Followed the recipe except for doubling everything. I tasted it before going to the table and was amazed how much it tasted like McDonald’s cheeseburger.
    Every one at the table loved it but no one came up with McDonald’s cheeseburger taste. When I told them, everyone went … yeah … exactly like a cheeseburger.

    5 stars …. will make often

  40. Could you sub tomato sauce for the diced tomatoes? I have some eaters that don’t like chunky tomatoes.

  41. Avatar photo
    Karen H Chapman

    I’ve been making casseroles on Sundays lately to give us something to eat through the week. We are also watching our diets and BOY does this dish come through! The portion is plentiful and I feel like I’m cheating with the real deal. THANK YOU to whomever dreamed up this winner.

  42. Avatar photo
    Heather Diduch

    Success! I swapped the noodles for steamed cauliflower for a low carb version and added Worcestershire and paprika to the beef mixture. The hubby & I gobbled it up. Thank you! 

  43. Quick, easy and everyone in the family loves it.  Tastes even better as leftovers. I prefer to add diced pickles over each individual serving.

  44. Avatar photo
    Sabrina M Layton

    This turned out great! I had some peppers I needed to use up, so I added those at the same time I put the garlic in. it was just some leftover yellow and green bell peppers. It was soooo good. And the peppers were still slightly crunchy – it just went so well with it!

    I also added “burger seasoning” to the ground beef.

    This stuff was so good.

  45. I was definitely unsure about how this would turn out but it was AMAZING! It smelled and tasted so good. The reviews that say it tastes like a Big Mac aren’t lying! It was a little runnier than I would’ve liked so next time I may try draining the tomatoes. So good though, and so comforting.

  46. If i make this ahead of time and put it in the oven out of the fridge, should i alter the cooking time?

  47. I’m prepping meals that can be frozen and reheated at a later date. Has anyone tried that with this recipe?

    I could also use some advice as to how to bake it when we’re ready to eat it. Thaw first? Cover and bake like you would a frozen casserole from the grocery store? Time and temperature?


  48. I really enjoyed this one and so did my less picky eater kid.  My more picky eater didn’t love it but tolerated when bribed with dessert.  It was easy to make and I followed the recipe exactly except I used 93% lean beef and drained it (I can never find 95% lean at my grocery store).  I would make it again.  The only adjustment I would make is maybe buy petite diced tomatoes instead of regular next time, as I thought the chunks of tomato were a little big. 

  49. This is absolutely delicious! I didn’t have tomato paste, and also wanted a little kick, so I used a couple of spoonfuls of Trade Joe’s Sriracha barbecue sauce in place of the tomato paste. Zesty!

  50. Really Good! I never leave reviews but felt like I just had to, a solid dinner that the whole family enjoyed! I added a green pepper, red pepper flakes and some cream cheese I had on hand and it worked perfectly! Thanks!

  51. If I made this there’s no way I could stop at one cup! hahahahahaha I’d eat the whole tray myself

  52. I’m making this for a 2ns time and in efforts to cut carbs, I’m going to spiralize some zucchini to replace the pasta. Plan to salt it to pull out the water so it can keep for a couple days. We’ll see what happens! 🙂

    I have made this in the past, as is, for a lunch at work and it was a hit with everyone.

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  54. THANK you for your WW recipes. Everything I have made from your site is always delicious. Thank you!!!!

  55. Avatar photo
    Susan Gizinski

    First of all, thanks for all of your yummy recipes. You are my go to site for WW friendly meals. I usually rinse my ground beef after cooking to remove more fat. Would that change the points at all. I read somewhere that 3 oz of 80% ground beef rinsed was about 50 calories less than beef that is not rinsed. 

  56. Made it last night with ground turkey . Was so good and was pleasantly surprised with how good the pickles were on it. 
    I wonder  how many points it would be with ground turkey?
    Love and appreciate your recipes! Thank you

  57. Avatar photo
    Gabrielle Tynes-Labonte

    Has anyone made this with ground turkey? What would the calorie count be with that substitute?

  58. This recipe was just OK. With all of the ingredients, I thought it would have more flavor. I used GF rotini, cooked firm – al dente, but it fell apart after baking, so the texture of the final product was kind of mushy.

  59. Made this for my suppers this week, absolutely delicious. Added extra veggies, ie: mushrooms and celery. I loved it, when I do it for my husband though will switch the Dijon mustard for regular mustard so that he can’t detect it as he is a mustard hater! All in all, a dish I will definitely be making again!!!!!!

  60. Made this tonight for the first time and LOVED it! Definitely a go to recipe when I’m craving pasta.

  61. I made this tonight with some reservstion. It was surprisingly delicious and the pickles topped it  off. This is a keeper. I cant wait for leftovers tomorrow. 

  62. Gina! This is on rotation here, kid and adult approved!
    I make it with 93% lean turkey, though… do you happen to know the freestyle point value after a swap like this?

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  64. I was really surprised by the great flavor of this casserole. I initially thought too many onions, not enough pasta, probably going to have little flavor, kind of runny, but I was really surprised at how good it was. Just the right amount of pasta, onions were not overpowering, wasn’t running after cooking, and great taste. My elderly mother ate it without any fussing at all, which is really saying something! I will definitely make this again.

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  66. Avatar photo
    Machelle Wagner

     I thought way too much tomatoes – overpowered the flavor. Husband said it was good but did not taste like a cheese burger. 

  67. Avatar photo
    Ashley Peters

    Hi was wondering if I could make this in an 8×8 pan instead? Serving 3 people only don’t want leftovers for days, thanks!

  68. I made this and loved it, as I do every recipe I make from here!
    My confusion is in the points. I get a total of 56 for the whole recipe.

    Note: I got 16 points for the pasta, 3 for olive oil, 16 for the beef, 1 for the tomato paste and with a low fat cheese, 20 points for that. 

    Where am I going wrong? It may only be a one point difference per serving which would still be totally worth it because it is so good. 

  69. My family and I love your recipes, Gina! How can I find the saturated fat content for each recipe? I see total fat listed under the nutrition information, but there isn’t a value for saturated fat. Thanks so much!

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  71. Hi, I’ve only recently discovered your blog – it’s great! Especially as I’m also new to WeightWatchers and the Smart Points system is still a bit mystifying, so having them calculated for the recipes is a godsend.

    Just one request though. We Europeans are not used to measuring in cups; we have no idea how loosely or tightly to pack foodstuffs and so end up with wide variations in quantities, which can be disastrous for the points and calorie counts! Would it be possible to give weights for *everything* you measure in cups, please? Ounces will do – we can easily convert to grammes 🙂

    Thank you! And thanks again for this fantastic resource.

    1. Hi Elyss! -Unfortunately I am unable to go back and change all the existing recipes at this time. There are numerous sites out there that have already dotn the conversion for you. Sorry! 🙁

  72. I don’t see the cholesterol mg? It’s important to me as my family is trying to lower their cholesterol. Does anyone have any idea?

    1. The myth that dietary cholesterol raises blood cholesterol has long been debunked. If you Google “does eating cholesterol raise cholesterol” you’ll find a lot of information about it.

  73. Just curious about the amount of pasta as I thought 2 cups was 16 ounces not 6.  Can you confirm the amount of uncooked pasta you use?  Thanks!  Beth

    1. That’s the problem with using volumes instead of weights! 2 cups of WATER weighs 16 oz. Pasta would weigh a lot less – 6oz is correct.

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  78. Such an easy quick meal! I followed almost exact. I ran out of pickles so I used jalapeños in vinegar on top- I like a kick and that satiated my spicy cravings. Also, I only had a cup of cheddar cheese versus 2, it worked! Thanks from me and my super-picky, health-conscious husband. 

    1. I LOVE this idea! My boyfriend doesn’t like pickles but loves pickled jalapenos (makes no sense to me haha) so I might try this.

  79. This was great! I made it with ground turkey and used half the tomatoes and vegetable broth to lighten up the sauce due to my husbands sensitive stomach but was still great. I also used multi grain pasta. We loved it with the pickles. My daughter loved it too.
    I love all your recipes and have fun trying new ones each week. Thanks so much!

  80. Delicious! Another post wasn’t kidding when they said it tasted like a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. Pickles are 100% necessary. I ended up mixing the cheese into everything before putting it in the oven, but other than that I followed the recipe exactly. Thank you for such wonderful healthy dinners for my family!

  81. This looks good and I would love to try it tonight. However, I only have the Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies? yay or nay? might make it a bit more southwestern, but as it supposed to be a nasty stormy day, I really don’t have to stop for just a can of tomatoes 🙂

    I really need to start making your recipies; as i’m trying to get back on WW, doing it on my own. You have the best, easiest recipies, and I have yet to be disappointed by any of them!

  82. I made this tonight to have for work lunches. I didn’t have a dinner planned so I tried a helping. It is SO good and so satisfying with the pasta and cheese! I made it exactly as-us, except I made it vegetarian by using 16 oz of frozen veggie crumbles. I adjusted the Smart Points accordingly and it shaves off one point per serving making it an even better work lunch option! I will definitely make it again. Thanks!

  83. If I prep this the night before and cook it from the fridge how long do you think it would take to cook?
    Trying to prep for and lunch with the in-laws. 

  84. Try it with Lentil pasta (Tolerant is a great brand) instead of wheat pasta for an even healthier (and very tasty) version.

  85. Made this tonight and it was amazing. I was able to use up some burger patties I had in my freezer. I didn’t have rotini pasta but substituted egg noodles in place instead and it turned out great! My picky husband had two servings. Another amazing recipe Gina. 

  86. Has anyone tried this with veggie pasta?
    I made this before. Was gonna allure it with veggie pasta and add lettuce on top..

  87. This dish is wonderful. Do NOT skip on the pickles. I at first thought thats weird but tried it with them. They are my favourite part. I haven’t found a recipe on this site I don’t like. Thanks so much for making dinner yummy and easy.

  88. Avatar photo
    Tiffany in Tampa

    This was a HUGE hit with my family last night! Only changes I made was a little extra mustard and 1 tbls of W sauce. Next time I will use petite diced tomatoes just to cut down the chunk of them. my teenager thought the whole concept sounded ‘weird’ but she loved it. My 19 month old had seconds (I think it was the pickle pieces that sold him lol) and my husband had a giant bowl which he said was very filling and the 1c serving size along with a side salad was perfectly filling for me. Another great recipe going in the rotation! Thanks!

  89. Avatar photo
    Rachel Bjornsson

    This is my favorite casserole of all time! It more than satisfy’s my cheeseburger craving! I add a teaspoon of Epicure smoky bacon topper to turn it into a bacon cheeseburger for no extra points!

  90. In case others accidentally look only at the pasta ounces, I think it is supposed to read 16 oz not 6. I just cooked 6 oz of pasta and realized it isn’t enough after the fact. ????

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  92. Made this for my boyfriend and me this evening. He loved it so much he he considered a second helping. I basically followed the recipe here, but added more extra garlic, some Worcestershire sauce, Montreal steak seasoning, and a bit of chili powder. I liked that I was able to taste both the mustard and the tomato “ketchup” part of the dish…it really was just like a hamburger without the bun, especially with my mom’s homemade bread and butter pickles. Would definitely make this again!

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  94. I made this pretty much as written.  Only I used a little bit of shredded pepper jack cheese stirred in to the noodle mixture and topped it off with the remaining reduced fat shredded cheddar for a total of two cups.. I used brown rice noodles only because my daughter bought some and she has since moved out, so I thought I’d use them… Couldn’t tell the difference.  Served on a bed of shredded lettuce and topped with a few crispy jalapeño salad toppers.  I think using some Worcestershire sauce is a great idea.  It’s a keeper!

  95. Made this last night for my 12 yr old son and it was a hit! He said I could add it to the regular menu,

  96. Love this! Next time I’m going to reduce the pasta and increase the meat, layer in some cheese into the mixture and add Worcestershire sauce similar to what others have done. Thanks!

  97. Made this again, but altered it slightly to fit what I had on hand.  These alterations turned out making this dish a HUGE hit.  They liked it when I made it the first time, but didn’t LOVE it.  Changes:  I used crushed Cento tomatoes vs diced and 2% American cheese on top.  I find that reduced fat shredded cheddar melts oddly and tends to be drier, while the American cheese was very creamy.  Swapping crushed tomatoes for the diced led to a thicker sauce and no complaining about “chunks.”  Very, very good recipe for our family!

  98. Although my family and I thought nowhere near tastes like cheeseburger more like American goulash this was pretty good.

  99. I have made this before and love it!! So I decided to make it for a friend who is having surgery. Do you think it would be ok to freeze it and take it to her the next day? If so, what temp and time would you recommend for cooking? Thank you!!

  100. I haven’t even fully put the dish together yet. My 8 YO tasted the meat mixture and says “that’s a redo!!” (What we call new dishes that we will make again!). This is a keeper!! Thank you!  Also love the weekly meal plans. Takes the hardest part of dinner, what are we going to make?, out of the equation. 

  101. This recipe was super delicious! My husband and I LOVED it! I was skeptical about the pickles at first, but they added a nice bite!

  102. I’m planning on making this tonight but have a few questions. I don’t have tomato paste, but have tomato sauce. Can I exchange that for the 2 Tbsp of paste?
    Also, I only have Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies… think that would work?

    I’ve seen a few people have mentioned they added worcestershire sauce. I’m wondering how much.


      1. Avatar photo
        Anjel Chapman

        I have made this before. I. A. It remember. Do you drain the tomatoes??

      2. I didn’t have tomato paste either so I substituted ketchup. It came out great. I will try paste next time though.

  103. I followed several suggestions posted and this came out really great. 
    I used whole wheat pasta. 
    I used a food processor to really grind up onions and tomatoes. 
    I used yellow mustard. 
    I used Lea and perrins. 
    Pickles and especially bacon added tons of flavor. 
    We put ketchup and mustard in the table for the kids to dress up as burgers more.  
    All these additions made all the difference. We all loved it young and old alike. A winner for sure. 

    1. rats! I wish I had read your suggestions ahead of time. I had no dijion so I ended up making it from scratch. tx for all the suggestions.

  104. I thought this was going to be a bit weird.. because of the pickles, my boyfriend was a bit hesitant as well, but I’ve been using your website for a month to meal plan every Sunday. It was an AWESOME pasta dish, super light and tasty! I love this blog! Thank you 🙂

  105. I made this for dinner last night and my whole family thought it tasted like a McDonald’s cheeseburger- in a good way! 🙂
    Gina- thanks for your hard work and the recipes you share with us. You have helped me be more successful in losing weight on Weight Watchers this time than I’ve been in the past!

  106. Had ground beef in the refrigerator that  I needed to use and stumbled on this recipe after searching the site. It turned out great! I added mushrooms and a dash of worcestershire sauce as some of the comments suggested and skipped the pickles. I also used a 1 1/2 cups of regular cheddar cheese since that’s what I had on hand. Used recipe builder on WW with my substitutions and came out to 7 points. Thanks for another great recipe, Gina! 

  107. I just made this again after not making it for awhile. My 18 month old gobbled it up and my husband said its one of his favorite meals

  108. Has anyone tried this with spaghetti squash??? Thinking about it instead of pasta, just in case I want a lower carb meal.

  109. Am I correct in thinking this would be 3 cups of cooked pasta since 2 oz. of uncooked is 1 cup cooked?

    I always make this 2 days after pasta night here so I pre-cook enough for this as well. 🙂

  110. This looks awesome!  My son is a picky eater, could I substitute the diced tomatoes for tomato sauce?  If so, what size can?  Can’t wait to make it!

  111. Pingback: How to Effectively Clean Out The Pantry - Jessica Lynn Writes

  112. Love, love, love this recipe. However, it is definitely not 5 smart points. I added up the ingredients in the weight watchers recipe builder and it was 5 smart points BEFORE adding the 2 cups of cheese. With the 2 cups (8 oz) of light cheddar, it comes out to 7 smart points (which is still pretty good considering 1/9th is a pretty generous piece). This is definitely one of our favorites.

  113. The pickles are the key!!! Also, I didn't have diced tomatoes, so I used Rotel and it was wonderful!

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    Mom from Michigan

    Made this last night, it was amazing. Added a can of mushrooms and left out the pickles since I'm not a fan of them. Will definitely be making this again. Love all you recipes!

  115. My boyfriend and I made this and loved it! Added broccoli and yellow peppers. I'm not a big meat eater, and this was not too overwhelming–super yummy!

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    Jennifer Soapes

    I'm following your meal plan (I'm a week behind), which is fantastic! You have no idea how awesome it was to just print off the grocery list without even having to really look at anything because I know it all tastes good. Do you think that this recipe is something that you can prepare ahead of time then freeze before baking it? I have such a hectic schedule, and I'm big on easy meal time if at all possible.

  117. I am calculating this based on the nutrition provided and it's coming out to 6 smart points. Is something different than what's posted?

  118. Snow day and all I have in pantry is the Italian seasoned diced tomatoes. Do you think these will be ok? If not, I have crushed tomatoes or stewed tomatoes… What is the best plan?

  119. I thought this was delicious – definitely tasted like a burger in pasta form.

    However when I put in the nutrition information into the calculator it said it's actually 8 Smart Points. A little disappointed.

  120. I don't know how you broke the code for food crack, Gina, but the Weight Watchers division of the DEA should be knocking on your door soon. My family couldn't stop eating this. Seriously, my husband had to hide it from me! And if the super yummy goodness wasn't enough, I was able to clean up the kitchen while the pan was in the oven. And it has cheese!!! Will this be a repeat? Heck yeah! P.S. We feel this way about your Buffalo chicken crack, too.

  121. Would it affect the flavor if I omit the mustard? My daughter has an allergy to mustard. If so, any suggestions for a substitute?

    1. I made it as written and thought it tasted like a cheeseburger. Since your daughter doesn't eat mustard, I think it would have the same flavor she's used to when eating a cheeseburger.

  122. I made this tonight for me and my husband. DELICIOUS! We are using smart points and the recipe builder says 6 points per serving (still not bad…but not 5). Gina – how did you calculate?

  123. I was wondering if I could make this without tomatoes? Can you suggest a substitute? I'm hearing good reviews, but can't have tomatoes. Thanks!

  124. When I put the ingredients in the WW Recipe Builder its coming up as 7 SP. How are you coming up with the 5 SP? I really want you to be right. lol

  125. If I used my new Crock Pot casserole 9 x 13 crock I wouldn't need to cook the pasta ahead of time, would I? I could just throw it all together and set it on low all day, right?

  126. Can I double check is that 2 Tablespoons of mustard? Seems alot ( I like mustard but just wanted to double check. Thanks!

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      Suzannah Stulberg

      Did you end up figuring this out? I am having this tonight and I'm not sure what to track it as.

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    Dianne Manns

    Hi !!!! I'm making this tomorrow night. I've rejoined WW again after being away for a few years. There's a new point system that calculates points based off sat fat as well. I noticed your recipes don't liste the saturated fat…

  128. I Used ground turkey and spaghetti squash and it came out awesome, I would absolutely make this again

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