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Classic Stove-top Mac n’ Beef

This is a great dish to make ahead, keeps well in the refrigerator for 3 days. Don’t have any elbow macaroni? Any medium pasta shape will work just as well.

MAKES 4 Servings - PREP TIME 10 min - COOK TIME 50 min - TOTAL TIME 1 hr



  • 1 lb (500 g) Lean Ground Beef

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 green sweet pepper, seeded and finely diced

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced garlic

  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt (approx)

  • 1 tsp (5 mL) EACH dried oregano and basil leaves

  • ½ tsp (2 mL) pepper (approx)

  • Pinch granulated sugar

  • 1 can (398 mL) tomato sauce

  • 1 can (540 mL) diced stewed tomatoes

  • 1 cup (250 mL) water or beef broth

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 cup (250 mL) dry elbow macaroni

  • ¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley (optional)

1. Cook ground beef, onion, green pepper, and garlic over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven, stirring and using the back of a spoon to break up the beef into chunks, for 8 to 10 minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked and vegetables are softened. Drain, if needed.

2. Stir in salt, oregano, basil, pepper, sugar, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, water, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

3. Stir in macaroni; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 20 minutes or until pasta is cooked to al dente.

4. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.


Turn this dish into a goulash, by adding 2 tbsp (30 mL) of paprika with the dried herbs. If you would like a spicy southwest version, just add 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) chili powder with the dried herbs and 1 cup (250 mL) drained corn kernels (thawed frozen or canned) when adding the macaroni.

Looking for a faster cooking option? Cook the pasta separately while you are simmering the sauce! Here’s how: proceed with the recipe but omit the water; after 20 minutes of simmering the sauce, stir in drained cooked pasta, heat through, and serve.

For the original recipe, click here.


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