Dinner Recipes

Sloppy Joe Mac & Cheese

When your favorite sandwich and your most beloved comfort food get together, it’s time to celebrate. Take a break from your same old rotation of pasta dishes and try this cheesy, meaty, umami-packed recipe instead. While it’s a delicious meal year-round, its warm, gooey goodness is especially welcome on those first chilly nights of fall, giving you all the comfort food feels in one happy place.

This easy-to-make recipe will work well with any pasta shape, but it’s worth seeking out cavatappi. That scroodle shape captures morsels of beef, onions, and cheese in its curls, so you won’t end up with barely sauced noodles and all the best parts swimming in the bottom of your bowl. Similarly, if you have other cheese on hand, go ahead and use it, but you’ll find that the mozzarella, when heated, provides that stringy, melted cheesiness reminiscent of your favorite pizzeria.

Best of all, this dish comes together in just about 30 minutes, using ingredients you probably have on hand, so it’s a go-to on busy weeknights, as well as the perfect choice for more laid-back weekend suppers. Pair it with salad, a baguette, and perhaps a glass of an easy-drinking red, like syrah.

Servings: 4


Kosher salt, to taste

12 oz cavatappi

1 lb ground beef

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

2 Tbsp packed brown sugar

2 cups crushed tomatoes and juices

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp chili powder

¼ cup freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided


  1. Bring an 8-quart stock pot of water to a boil and generously season it with salt.

  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it’s al dente. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef, breaking up the meat with a spoon. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Add the garlic and onions and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.

  5. Stir in the brown sugar, tomatoes, Worcestershire, and chili powder, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

  6. Add the pasta to the skillet and stir to combine.

  7. Add the parsley and half of the mozzarella, quickly tossing together to evenly coat the pasta. Top with the remaining mozzarella and cover with a lid to melt the cheese.

  8. Garnish with additional parsley and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from: delish

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