This Healthy Cheeseburger Bake is sure to become a fast family favorite. It is hearty, easy to make, and tastes like the real thing! Serve it with a big salad, and it is sure to be your favorite healthy take on the classic cheeseburger dinner!
What is a healthy cheeseburger bake?
This Healthy Cheeseburger Bake is all the basics of a classic cheeseburger but using brown rice pasta as the vessel instead of a classic bun. All the ingredients are combined into a casserole dish and baked to perfection.
Bake vs casserole
Why do I call it a “bake” instead of “casserole”? Funny story. When I first met my husband he told me he didn’t like casseroles and not to make them. I know what you’re thinking, I thought the same thing. I played along for a while, but then I had one kid starting highschool a newborn, and little did I know at the time, I would have another newborn coming 20 months later.
So I did what any sane mother would do while trying to get supper on the table in the least amount of time……started making casseroles. But I didn’t call them casseroles I called them “bakes.” Did it work? Well, I’m not 100% sure if it’s because my husband doesn’t care anymore, or knows better than to tell me he doesn’t like casseroles. But I don’t hear a peep about it. In fact, he had two HUGE plates of this cheeseburger bake and said it was one of his favourite meals. So there you have it.
What makes a classic cheeseburger great is the personalized toppings (totally optional) that take this dish to the next level. Diced pickles and my healthier big mac sauce really make this taste like our favorite burger! You can add hot peppers, special mustard sauce, basically anything you want (keeping in mind healthy options) that add lots of healthy flavors.
Healthy cheeseburger bake recipe
Some days I just want to make a one-pan dish that is hearty, delicious and makes a bunch of leftovers. This recipe makes a big portion and is perfect for feeding a large family or for leftovers during the week.
The ingredients are also interchangeable and flexible as well. Try turkey instead of ground beef or your favorite vegetarian substitute. Do you like bacon cheeseburgers? Try adding some bacon or turkey bacon to the bake as well. The best part is this cheeseburger bake is flexible for picky eaters or dietary preferences.
What ingredients do I need?
The ingredients are simple and likely items you already have in your house. It is basically the ingredients you would need for a regular cheeseburger plus a few more.
Ingredients in Healthy Cheeseburger Bake:
- Ground Beef (or protein of choice)
- Onion (skip if you prefer but helps with flavor)
- Brown Rice Macaroni Noodles (Gluten-Free
- Broth (I use beef)
- Cheese (dairy-free, regular, or flavored)
- Ketchup (I use this sugar-free ketchup option)
- Mustard (try flavored mustard like this one)
- Worcestershire sauce (adds SO much flavor)
- Salt and Pepper
Healthy Cheeseburger Bake
- 4 cups brown rice pasta (I used macaroni)
- 1 lb organic lean ground beef
- 1/2 onion, chopped (or more to taste)
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 cup broth
- 1 cup cheddar cheese (or vegan cheese)
- 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese (or vegan cheese)
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 dill pickles chopped
Healthier Big Mac Sauce
- 1/2 cup primal kitchen mayo
- 2 tbsp dill pickle relish
- 2 tbsp sugar free ketchup (I like Good Food for Good)
- 2 tsp mustard
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp organic cane sugar
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray cassorole dish (9×13) with extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil and set aside.
- Heat a large cast iron pan or skillet on medium heat. Add ground beef, onion, garlic and cookstirring frequently.
- Fill a large pot with water and add 1 tsp salt. When water is boiling, add pasta and cook pasta for 6 minutes (you want it to be 2/3 cooked).
- Combine the meat mixture, noodles and remaining ingredients (only half of cheese) in casserole dish and stir to combine. Top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Healthier Big Mac Sauce
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir. Is also delicious with homemade fries!
- Top with chopped dill pickles and healthier big mac sauce! Or add more of your favourite toppings such as: diced tomatoes, jalapeños, fresh onion