Cheeseburger Mac-n-Cheese from Leftovers

24 06 2011

Leftovers are great, but they can get boring real fast. After eating leftover Father’s Day pasta salad and burgers for a day or two, it was time to get creative! Enter cheeseburger mac-n-cheese!

Here are two great recipes that will make fulfilling meals, and help use up those leftovers!

Pasta Salad with Garlic Oil, great for cookouts and picnics (thanks to Food Network Magazine):

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook 1/2 pound of pasta of your choice as the label directs. Drain and rinse under cold water then transfer to a large bowl
  • While the pasta is boiling, dice 1 cup of cucumber (seeded) and 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Add veggies to the bowl with 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • While the pasta is cooling, cook 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves and a pinch of red pepper flakes in 1/3 cup olive oil over medium heat – stir for about 3-4 minutes, then let cool and season with salt and pepper
  • Pour garlic oil over pasta and veggies, toss and refrigerate for up to 3 hours
  • My tip: depending how many people you are serving, you may want to double this recipe – especially if you want leftovers

Pasta Salad with Garlic Oil

Now, to use up the leftover pasta salad and burgers from your cookout….

Cheeseburger Mac-n-Cheese (thanks to my Ma for the baked mac-n-cheese which I grew up loving):

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  • Pick out the pasta from the leftovers (you can use the leftover tomatoes and cucumber in a salad for lunch) and add to a baking or casserole dish – getting some of the crumbled feta will be good so don’t be shy to include it (you’re aiming to have enough pasta for 2-4 servings)
  • Cut up leftover burgers and add to the baking dish
  • Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan – remove from heat and blend in 1 tbsp of flour and 1/2 tsp dried mustard
  • Turn heat back on and add 1  & 1/4 cup skim milk, stirring constantly – stir until sauce thickens a little and is smooth
  • Add 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I had leftover cheddar slices for the burgers so I just chopped that up and added it)
  • Stir the sauce with the added cheese until melted, stirring occasionally
  • Combine the sauce with the pasta and burger pieces until well mixed (you should have more sauce than pasta and burger, it will thicken while baking)
  • Dust with paprika and bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes, until bubbly and browned on top
  • Extra tip: I added a few leaves of chopped basil from my garden for a bit of freshness

Left over pasta salad and burgers (before)

Cheeseburger Mac-n-Cheese (after)

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