At the end of a busy week, it is so great to come together with a great meal. And Friday Night Cheeseburger Mac isn’t just a great meal — it’s the perfect meal for bringing everyone together! Savory ground beef mingles with tender elbow macaroni in a rich, seasoned tomato sauce that tastes like your favorite childhood memories of home cooking. Blended together with sharp cheddar and cream cheese, Friday Night Cheeseburger Mac is a fork-full of comfort food that always makes the end of a week a whole lot brighter. Thank goodness for Cooking Professionally!


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
crushed red pepper flakes, optional, to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
5 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth
10 ounces elbow macaroni
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems, chopped, plus more, optional, to taste, for garnish


Step 1 – In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil.

Step 2 – Add the onion to the heated vegetable oil and cook, while stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6-7 minutes.

Step 3 – Add the garlic to the onion mixture and cook, while stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 4 – Add the chili powder, the paprika, the red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper to the onion mixture and stir to combine.

Step 5 – Add the ground beef to the onion mixture and cook, while crumbling the meat, until the beef is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.

Step 6 – Add the tomato paste and the Dijon mustard to the ground beef mixture and stir until combined.

Step 7 – Add the chicken stock and the remaining salt to the ground beef mixture and stir to combine.

Step 8 – Bring the ground beef mixture to a boil and allow it to boil until the flavors meld together, about 6-7 minutes.

Step 9 – Add the elbow macaroni to the ground beef mixture and cook, while stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the pasta is al dente, about 9-11 minutes.

Step 10 – Transfer the pasta mixture from the stovetop to a wire rack.

Step 11 – Add the cheddar cheese and the cream cheese and stir to combine.

Step 12 – Add 1 cup of the parsley to the pasta mixture and fold to combine.

Step 13 – Serve garnished with the extra parsley.