Best Ever Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese has all the flavors of beefy sloppy joe wrapped in comforting cheesy pasta. It’s two classics in one super easy skillet recipe!
Why limit yourself to sloppy joe on a bun when you can spoon it right to your mouth wrapped in tasty pasta? That was out thought when we decided to create this easy recipe.
We took our basic slow cooker sloppy joe recipe (which makes LOTS of sloppy joe with enough left over to freeze), added pasta and adapted it to make a fast skillet dinner oozing with melting cheese. It’s like a sloppy joe casserole, but in a skillet. Not too bad for a delicious afternoon’s work!
How To Make Skillet Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese
If you’ve been looking for a family friendly dinner that you can have on the table in about 30 minutes, this fantastic and fast recipe totally fits the bill. It’s simple to make in just a few easy steps.
- Start by filling a large pot with water. Add a tablespoon of table salt to the water and bring it to a boil. Cook the macaroni to the al dente stage according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up any large chunks with a spoon as it cooks. Season with salt and pepper. (It should be large enough to hold the sauce and cooked pasta.) Drain off any excess fat, then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Stir in the tomatoes, minced onion, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, chili powder and 1/2 of the parsley. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer for 10 – 12 minutes to let the flavors blend.
- Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. Add 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and toss in the hot pasta to melt.
- Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and parsley. Cover the skillet to allow the cheese to melt. Serve immediately while the cheese is soft and gooey!
🧀 Tip – for crisp and bubbling cheese, place your oven-proof skillet under a hot broiler for a minute or two. Watch carefully that the cheese doesn’t burn.
- Macaroni Pasta – we used large macaroni elbows to make this recipe, but regular size macaroni pasta is just fine too!
- Ground Beef – using lean ground beef avoids the mess of draining the fat off. 93% lean is our first choice when including browned ground beef in a sauce.
- Garlic – recently we switched from using pre-minced garlic from a jar to buying peeled garlic cloves instead. In our opinion, it tastes better and saves the step of having to peel off the skin.
- Crushed Tomatoes – adds lots of texture and flavor. We prefer crushed tomatoes over tomato sauce or paste.
- Worcestershire Sauce – adds just the right amount of savory to the sloppy joe mixture!
- Spices – dried minced onions, chili powder, salt and pepper
Storing Leftover Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese
If you have leftovers (it’s a rare occasion when we have any) store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing because the cooked pasta tends to get mushy when thawing and re-heating.
More Easy Skillet Pasta Recipes For You:
- Fast and Easy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- Mushroom Farfalle with Garlic Herbs
- Sun Dried Tomato Puttanesca
- One Pan Chicken Pepperoni Pizza Pasta
- Chicken Broccoli Pasta Alfredo
Best Ever Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese
- 16 ounces macaroni noodles
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp dried minced onions
- 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
- 30 ounces crushed tomatoes 2 (15-ounce) cans
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley divided
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- Bring a large pot of water, with 1 TBSP salt added, to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef. Brown the beef while breaking it up into small chunks as it cooks. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then drain off excess fat as needed. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more until garlic is fragrant.
- Stir in minced onion, brown sugar, tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, chili powder and one half of the parsley.Reduce heat and simmer for 10 – 12 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
- Drain cooked pasta and add to the skillet, stirring to coat the pasta with the sauce. Add half the mozzarella cheese and toss to coat the noodles and melt the cheese.
- Top with the remaining mozzarella and parsley. Cover the skillet to melt the cheese. Serve immediately.
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