Thursday, July 28, 2011

Feed A Crowd For Under $5

This recipe is always worth repeating.  Good old fashioned soul food and perfect for fall weather.  I am joining Decor To Adore for her Fall Food Party

Hope you enjoy.

This has been my go to casserole for years and I thought everyone in the world made a version of it.  However when I took it to a Church Potluck recently, there were several young ladies that asked me for the recipe.  Since we are all trying to stretch our budget and still have something nourishing to feed our families, I thought I would post the recipe here just in case it's not already one of your staple recipes.
All kids and big kids alike usually like macaroni and cheese, and this is so similar, except it has meat in it.

1 lb. ground chuck crumbled and browned.
1 med. onion diced and cooked with the meat the last few minutes to infuse the flavor and soften the onion.
Sprinkle both generously with garlic salt while cooking.
1 pkg. elbow macaroni cooked and drained
2 sm. cans tomato sauce
1/2 can water
3/4 pkg shredded cheese.  I always use the 3 cheese variety.

Cook the macaroni in boiling water while you brown the meat and onion in a skillet.  Drain the macaroni well, then add the meat mixture.  Stir in the tomato sauce and water.  Mix it all together well.  Place into large casserole dish and cover with the cheese.  Cover with foil (be sure to spray your foil with Pam or some kind of non stick spray so it won't stick to the cheese when baking.)

Place in a 350 oven and bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes.  When you can see the bottom all bubbly and you are sure it has been heated all the way through and the cheese is melted and all gooy, then you are done.  Makes 8 generous servings.  I usually fix some garlic bread and a tossed salad to go with it.

 All ready to add a little salad and some garlic bread and a super dinner.

Cost breakdown
1 lb. ground chuck $1.87 on sale this week
2 cans tomato sauce .20 c each on sale = .40c
1 pkg. macaroni shells $1 on sale
3/4 pkg shredded cheese $1.50 for the whole package on sale=$1.10

That's a total of $4.37
Add the salad and garlic bread and you still have a meal for under $10 for 8.

Mexican Variation - just add a small can of chopped green chilis and 1/2 pkg. of taco seasoning.

Great comfort food and a crowd pleaser every time you serve it.


  1. I love this. I do something simular with hot dogs. I am gona try this one next time. Richard at My Old Historic House

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  3. I grew up eating this. My mama's version included canned tomatoes, and she called it Hungarian Goulash. Thanks for sharing the recipe and for the memories. Cherry Kay

  4. Sounds great Marty! And bubbly cheese is always a good thing:@)

  5. This looks so yummy, real comfort food. I will try this recipe. Visiting from BNOTP. xo,

  6. Thanks for sharing - looks good. I use to make something similar with canned chili and mac. - made a lot and was thrifty. I always liked one dish meals, add salad and a nice bread - Dinner time. :-D

  7. This looks so yummy. I make a similar version but I'm going to try this! Now pass me a plate, please! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  8. Marty, I have made this before, too. Love it.

  9. Yum! Think I might have to make that for dinner tomorrow night!!

  10. wish I had a plate of it right now..
    easy recipe to follow to. thanks , Marty.

  11. yummmm sounds good, I will try it! BUT when it is cooler and I can turn the oven on! Looks like you and I both had cooking on our minds tonight!

  12. Marty I make this all the time!

  13. In my recipe file! Thanks because I take quite a few dishes to people at church....

    Betty @ Country Charm

  14. Marty,
    Oh, how wonderful of you to share this with those younger ladies in your Church! I grew up eating this as Hungarian Goulash and fed it to my family ( a generation later) as Chili Mac. I added just a teaspoon of chili powder to the original recipe. Thank you for reminding us to eat healthy and to save a "little dough" in the process!!!

  15. My family calls this baked spaghetti. When my kids were home it was on the menu almost every week. Great left overs too...yours looks really yummy and gooey!

  16. I think we all have some version of this, although yours is prettier than mine. I used to make it when the kids were home and I made it in a skillet, stirred in the pasta and topped with cheese. I called it "slop"! Not a very pretty name for company:)

  17. Well, that looks good... I will try it for the next Church potluck.. & I am one of the few who have never made this...
    Thanks for sharing... I will pin this one... : )

  18. Marty this IS always a crowd pleaser, and you are right it is easy to do variations of it and still keep the cost down.


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  19. Yummy that looks so good. I haven't made any thing like this in so long. Trying to eat less carbs stinks LOL.

  20. Mmmm! I like the look of this :o)

  21. Marty, that looks delicious. I can see why it's your go to casserole.

  22. I have a similar macaroni and cheese that I make and I was able to adapt it for my gluten free diet. Mine has no meat, but is more sharp shredded cheddar cheese, my own tomato sauce and whichever gluten free pasta I'm in the mood for. I love cheese so I've got lots of cheese like yours. It is a comfort meal for me and I just love it. It is a variation of the macaroni and cheese my Dad made for us growing up.

  23. This looks so yummy. My children love mac and Cheese, and this would actually add more protein. Thanks for the recipe.

    Jocelyn @

  24. MMM, this is making me hungry!!! Thanks for the recipe! XO, Pinky

  25. Yummy!!! I'm always looking for good casseroles to take to work for our luncheons!!

  26. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It looks so good. Kathi

  27. This is a great recipe. I tried a variation years ago but had forgotten about this. Thanks for the reminder. Oh, and for the tip on spraying the foil! So simple yet hadn't thought to do that! Thanks!

  28. One of my favorite meals!! My mom called it Hungarian Goulash, then she switched out the macaroni for cooked rice, added chopped green peppers and called it Spanish Rice!!! We always used homemade sauce and it is still my kids fav!!! I sometimes add red kidney beans to it....will make this when its cool enough to have the oven on!!! hugs....cleo

  29. Yummy! I love casseroles, have not tried this one but will follow your recipe. Cannot wait to try it.

  30. Love this. I use a little different that I use a can of Rotel tomatoes to give it a little kick! Thanks for sharing.

  31. Recently, my Mom told me about a similiar recipe she used to make for my Dad when they first married. It had pork chops instead of hamburger meat and also had tomatoes. She made it again this week after many years of not having it, and Dad still liked it.

    Yours looks very tasty in the picture! Thanks for sharing your version with us.

  32. I grew up with the tomato "Hungarian Goulash" version as well! You can also use corn and tomatoes to the taco seasoning variety, skip the macaroni, and then put a cornmeal top on it and you've got a very easy tamali pie! I think we might have to have your version for dinner Friday night though because it looks too delicious!

  33. I have a similar recipe and my grandsons love it! Yours looks so yummy.

    Have a wonderful weekend,

  34. Yummy Marty...Looks delish and sounds easy to make. Will have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Hugs and Kisses,

  35. Now that's what I call economizing! I'll give it a try.

    Susan and Bentley

  36. Marty,

    Ummm Ummm so yummy! Making this tonight with "ChApple" Cobbler. Another one casserole pan dessert.
    Makes for one easy yummy dinner and a happy well fed family : )
    Thanks for sharing!

  37. Marty,
    I recently made something similar for the family of our friend that passed away.

    It was a hit with the family.The young (45ish) adults asked for the recipe.

    My recipe is called
    skillet goulash.

    I made it up(in my electric skillet) and put it in a crock pot so it would stay warm till they were ready to eat.
    The recipe I use is one I got when I was in high school home economics.1960's
    The only recipe I remember.
    The difference is I use tomato soup instead of sauce.

  38. What a fabulous recipe that I had forgotten all about ... thanks so much for sharing ... I'm jotting it down, now! xo

  39. Lookin' good! My Mom made something similar, without the cheese topping, and LOADED with veggies, and called it Hunter's Stew. Because it had macaroni, we all ate it ... and I fed it to my own kids. A great way to load in the veggies.

    I am surprised by this recipe being called "hungarian goulash" by some posters ... seems other Moms slipped stuff past their kids, too!

    It's a good and very useful recipe! I love the addition of the cheese topping .. right up my alley!

  40. It is so funny that I see you posted this. I was just telling my husband today that my mother and sister would make a casserole just like this, except they used creme of mushroom instead of tomato sauce. I have always wanted to try it because it seems so easy and tastes so so good! Thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to giving this a try tomorrow night!

  41. This looks delish, I've never had this either! Wish I'd known about it when my kiddos were young! yum.

  42. Bom dia ! Obrigada pela sua receita com certeza esse prato deve ter ficado delicioso, eu vou tentar fazer aqui em casa para minha família. Abraço

  43. Marty.... Just for fun...thought I would tell you... I pinned this/your recipe last summer & probably daily, I get an e-mail from Pinterest, telling me someone has re-pinned this....
    Thanks for sharing it with the world... I am making it tomorrow night for a family gathering... : )

  44. This is a good meal to take to a potluck. Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing. I'm visiting from Laura's (Decor to Adore) linky party.

  45. I cannot wait to try this recipe! It looks so good that I pinned it.Thank you so very much for linking up.

    I hope you enjoy a truly lovely fall season.

  46. When I was a single mother a long time ago, my son loved every version of this casserole that I could come up with. You can make it taste Mexican by adding chili powder and Rotel, or Italian by adding Italian Seasoning or sauce from a jar. He liked that one best because he said "It tastes like pizza." Now that I am getting ready to have a knee replacement, I have been trying to get a few things in the freezer. I think I am going to do this sometime this week and freeze most of it. (My husband can't cook)
    Thanks for the reminder!

  47. My adult children would love this at family gatherings!

  48. Oh I'm so glad you sent us here for this yummy, easy and inexpensive recipe dear Marty! Thanks for sharing it too.

    Marty, I'd love to ask you for a favor, only if you want to and can, of course! Now that we went for vacation around all the coastal región of Ecuador, I bought 8 'hand woven-straw shawl, place mats for my 3 year bloggy giveaway. I'd love it if you can advertise it in Inspire Me Tuesday, or when you wish to do it. All they have to do is follow my blog, NO FB or Twitter. You can answer me via E-mail. I will send you the pic of them by E-mail, where you can answer me there as well. Thank you so much for reading this Marty.
    Have a great week ahead.

  49. I make a dish something like this. You just can't beat it. Looks so good!

  50. Hi Marty, looks so delicious my mom made something similar, except she added canned tomatoes with the juice and cut up chedder cheese onions and chopped green peppers plus seasonings and baked it covered, with foil and baked it in the oven then last 10 min. she removed the foil to help it get crispey on top,and called it, American chop Suey! Yummy one of my favorite dishes growing up. Best regards, Cindy