BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta Bake - ground beef, smokey bacon, a delicious tangy bbq sauce and pasta all topped with gooey melted cheddar cheese. It doesn't get much better than this.
Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
You thought you loved my one pot cheeseburger pasta, just wait until you try this mouthwatering delicious BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta.
My kids described it as the best pasta dish ever and instantly demanding I make it again.
There are not many people who dislike a cheeseburger, so when you combine it with another family staple PASTA - it's a win win situation.
Simple Homemade BBQ Sauce
Bottled BBQ Barbecue Sauce can pack a lot of calories, and we use quite a bit in this recipe. So I simply make my own, it's so easy to get the yummy smokey flavours of a barbecue sauce with a few store cupboard ingredients.
- Crushed Tomatoes (or you can use passata)
- Soy Sauce (a mix of Dark and regular) - you need the one that's actually labelled "Dark Soy Sauce" or you will not get the deep colour
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Maple Syrup (any barbecue sauce needs that sweetness and I like to stick to natural ingredients)
- Paprika - I use both regular sweet paprika and smoked paprika (the smoked one gives the smokey flavour to the sauce, just watch you don't use hot varieties or they will make this dish spicy).
- Onion and Garlic Powder - may be called granules but either are fine.
- Tomato Paste (Puree)
- and lastly some water.
See how easy that is?
Replacements for Maple Syrup?
Don't have maple syrup on hand? Then you don't need to purchase it specially for this recipe, brown sugar or honey will also work perfectly in the BBQ sauce.
Can I swap the Maple Syrup for Sweetener?
If you really can't face using a few calories on some natural maple syrup or honey etc , then you can try using sweetener instead, but really I just find it doesn't make the same kind of glossy sauce and you often get an overpowering after taste.
Can you omit the Maple Syrup altogether?
Some don't like a sweet taste to savoury food and I totally get that, but Barbecue sauce does generally have that smokey sweet taste to it.
By all means though give it a try without if you really don't want to use it, but for that authentic sweet smokey tanginess it's definitely needed.
Pickles/Gherkins in Cheeseburgers
Pickles or Gherkins are one of those things you either love or hate and are a bit like marmite for some. I personally love them in my burgers. But if you are one of those who hates them, you can definitely leave them out of this recipe.
My youngest is not a fan usually, but she actually didn't even notice them in this recipe. Probably because I diced them small and there were not noticable, I think for some kids it's just any kind of green food they do not like.
Cheddar for Cheeseburgers
You may notice that my cheddar on this BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger is yellow/orange. That's because I live in Canada and most of our cheddar on this side of the atlantic is that colour. It's not the processed cheese slices though.
My favourite cheddar here is Baldersons Canadian Cheddar, it has a nice mature flavour and I get a big block at costco.
If you want that yellow/orange colour and are in the UK, you might want to use a cheese like Red Leicester instead which has a similar colour.
Type of Bacon for BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger
I use smoked back bacon along with the extra lean ground beef (less than 5% fat) for this and trim off all the visible fat which makes it much leaner and less calories than streaky bacon, but still gives that smokey bacon flavour.
However if you want to use streaky bacon there is not reason why you can't you just need to count it accordingly.
Sides for BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
As a side for this pasta bake I went for a simple salad of
- Shredded Crisp Lettuce
- Cherry Tomatoes
and serve with just a simple low calories dressing.
Yes you could be healthy and add some vegetables into the pasta bake, but as this is a BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta, other than the onion, it just didn't feel right to compromise the flavour. A salad as a side instead works perfectly.
But if you want to add some diced vegetables into the pasta dish, who am I to judge.
More Pasta Bake Recipes
Love a delicious pasta bake? Check out some of these other recipes:
- SPINACH PASTA BAKE
- BEST EVER BOLOGNESE PASTA BAKE
- CHICKEN BACON AND TOMATO PASTA BAKE
- MEXICAN PASTA BAKE
- SLOPPY JOE PASTA BAKE
- PASTA CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
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- 4 slices of uncooked smoked back bacon (trimmed of all visible fat), diced small
- 400g (14oz) of extra lean ground beef (mince), uncooked
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 360ml (1.5 cups) of crushed tomatoes (or passata)
- 360ml (1.5 cups) of water
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste (puree) - add two if using passata
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of paprika
- 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika (not hot)
- ½ teaspoon of mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- 2-3 tablespoons of pickles (gherkins), diced
- 240g (8.5oz) of uncooked pasta (I used fusilli)
- 120g (4.3oz) of cheddar, broken into pieces (or you can grate)
- salt and black pepper
- 2 spring onions (green onions), sliced - optional
- Add the bacon to a deep frying pan over a medium high heat and fry until golden and browned. Remove and set aside.
- Add the onion and fry until lightly golden and softened.
- Add in the ground beef and fry until browned. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, soy sauces, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, bacon, pickles and water and bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and bubble gently until the sauce reduces down and thickens (approx 10 minutes).
- In the meantime cook pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water until al dente, drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 200c/180c fan/400f or gas mark 6.
- Once sauce has thickened around the ground beef, taste and season as needed with some salt and black pepper and then stir in the pasta and transfer to an oven proof dish. I cooked the ground beef in the cast iron skillet (which can then easily be transferred straight to the oven).
- Roughly top with the broken up pieces of cheddar and place in the oven until the cheddar is melted and lightly golden (approx 25-30 minutes)
- Scatter with chopped spring onions (green onion) - optional.
- Serve and Enjoy!!
This recipe is Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly
- Slimming World - 1 HEa and 1 Syn per serving
- WW Green Smart Points - 16 per serving
- WW Blue Smart Points - 16 per serving
- WW Purple Smart Points - 16 per serving
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Nutrition InformationServing Size 1 SERVING
Amount Per Serving Calories 575Total Fat 15.6gSaturated Fat 8.3gCholesterol 93mgSodium 917mgCarbohydrates 64.9gFiber 6.6gSugar 13.4gProtein 31.9g