I love recipes that are cooked in one pan. Not only are they usually easy, clean up is minimal. A lot of recipes claim they're one pan meals, but that's not always the case. Sometimes there's an ingredient that needs to be cooked separately. The recipe I'm sharing today -- Hamburger Macaroni Casserole -- is cooked from start to finish in one pan. The only thing you need other than the ingredients is a large pan that has a lid; I use a 12-inch skillet.
Brown the ground beef in the pan and remove it to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Normally, I drain the drippings when I cook ground beef. However, two to three tablespoons of drippings need to stay in the pan. If you have more drippings than that, discard the excess.
The reason this recipe is a one pan meal is the macaroni isn't cooked separately. The uncooked macaroni goes into the drippings with the onion and green pepper and is cooked until the onion is soft.
The meat and remaining ingredients -- diced tomatoes, catsup, water, salt and pepper -- are added to the pan. If you want a spicier casserole, substitute a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies for the diced tomatoes. This is too spicy for me so I give the dish a little kick with a dash of cayenne pepper instead.
Put the lid on the pan and simmer for 25 minutes or until the macaroni is cooked as desired. Stir the dish every 7 to 8 minutes to make sure the macaroni isn't sticking. If the macaroni sticks, turn the heat down.
I like the casserole plain, but you can add cheese. The cheese makes a pretty topping plus adds some flavor. When the casserole's done, remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle shredded Cheddar or Mozzarella over the top and put the lid on the pan until the cheese melts.
If you want to make this a one dish meal, serve the casserole from the pan. Add a salad and some garlic bread and you've got a meal that's not only a skillet sensation, but a taste sensation as well.