You may not have known that you needed Grown-Up Spaghettios in your life until now, but allow me to confidently assure you, you do.
Let me get one thing out of the way up front, I did not like SpaghettiOs as a kid. Not at all. This distaste can be attributed to one major and all-encompassing childhood issue of mine: I was the pickiest eater ever. Seriously, it was the worst. We’re not talking the average, Suzy wrinkles her nose at Brussels Sprouts kind of picky, we’re dealing with Sarah sends back a grilled cheese sandwich because it was a little too brown kind of picky. (That actually happened, as my Dad often [and rightfully] reminds me.)
If God has a sense of humor, or punishes adults for their rotten behavior through their even worse children, then I am so so screwed someday.
The repertoire of food that I would eat as kid basically consisted of: mac & cheese, hot dogs, grilled cheese, peanut butter & jelly, plain noodles, and fruit. Meat? I was highly skeptical of any beef or protein other than processed ham products. Veggies? Yeah, not my jam. Awful, right? My poor parents. Even worse news? My little sister wasn’t much better. Please pray for the taste buds of future generations, I fear the worst, Lord give us strength…
(Also, just to clarify: No future generations are currently on the way.)
Do you see now why I have a vested interest in crafting so much kid-friendly, real ingredient, sneaky homemade comfort food? I have to start arming myself with a stockpile of quality recipes now, my future sanity depends upon it!
All joking aside, being a picky eater limited me so much as kid, and that’s a legacy that I don’t want to pass down. Once I started trying new food as a teenager a whole new world of nutrition and flavors opened up to me, eating became more fun, so much so that cooking became the huge interest it is for me now.
I want my kids to actually enjoy exploring food someday, instead of wasting years pouting over slightly dark brown grilled cheese.
Rest easy parents of picky eaters, I sympathize with your plight and I’ve got your back!
Serve your most stubborn, driving you crazy, won’t-eat-anything, food refusing offenders this recipe, I think they’re going to gobble up these hearty Grown-Up Spaghettios. I suspect that the only difference your picky kiddos will notice when you serve this meal is your lack of exasperation paired with the abnormally large smile gracing your face.
The fact that their beloved Spaghettios came from a different can? That secret will remain safely between you and me.
- 1 Pound ground beef
- 1 Can tomato puree (28oz)
- 1 Can low sodium beef broth (14.5oz)
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 Teaspoon onion powder
- 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ Teaspoon salt & pepper to taste
- 1½ Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Cup heavy cream (or whatever milk you prefer)
- 1 Cup water (or more to adjust thickness)
- Box of ring pasta (7oz)
- 1 Cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
- Begin by browning the beef. Set the cooked beef aside to drain on a paper towel and add to the soup later.
- Warm a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat and combine the tomato paste, beef broth, and all seasonings. Once those ingredients have combined, add the tomato puree to the mixture and bring the soup to a boil.
- Next add the beef, water, heavy cream (or milk), and ring noodles to the soup. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook the soup until it is thick and the noodles are tender. Stir the mixture often to avoid the noodles sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- To finish, stir the cup of shredded cheese into the soup. (Feel free to add more cheese to your taste - the recipe is written to just get a hint of cheese flavor.) Adjust the thickness of the soup to your preference by adding ¼ cup of water at a time.
- Serve warm with bread of your choice!