This comforting and delicious Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni Recipe is one the entire family will love. Quick and easy to make, this cheeseburger pasta is made entirely in one pot! If you are looking for a quick weeknight dinner that even your pickiest eaters will love, you’ve found it!
You can think of this one pot Cheeseburger Macaroni Recipe as a homemade Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper. It brings all of the delicious flavors of a cheeseburger, to In less than 30 minutes, this cheesy, family-friendly meal can be on your table. It’s perfect for those busy nights when you don’t have much time to pull together dinner.
How To Make Cheeseburger Macaroni?
What Is In Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni?
One of my favorite things about making my own hamburger helper cheeseburger macaroni is how easy it is. The ingredients are simple, and ones that many of us keep on hand.
While I love to use fresh onion and garlic when cooking, for this recipe we are sticking with onion and garlic powder. I want this to be a recipe you can pull together even if you don’t have those fresh items on hand. If you DO have onion and garlic on hand, go ahead and chop those up and add them in with the ground beef.
For the pasta in this recipe, I used small shells. A small size pasta, such as shells or elbow macaroni. Larger pastas can be used, however they may increase cook time.
Ingredients At A Glance (full recipe below):
- Ground Beef
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Salt & Pepper
- Cream Cheese (for creaminess)
- Cornstarch (to help thicken)
- Beef Broth
- Half and Half (Milk Can Be Used)
- Dry Pasta
- Optional – Diced Tomatoes
How Do You Make Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni?
One-pot pasta recipes are my favorites, and this cheeseburger macaroni recipe is no exception!
I have a variety of one pot pasta recipes that I rely on for easy weeknight dinners.
When you only use one pot to make a meal, you have easy clean up, simple cooking, and the pasta really gets a nice infusion of flavor.
Directions At A Glance (full recipe below):
- Brown ground beef, with seasonings, in a large, deep skillet or dutch oven.
- Add cream cheese to beef and mix to combine.
- Beef broth, cornstarch, half and half and pasta are added next.
- Let simmer for approximately 10 minutes, depending on pasta type.
- Top with cheese, serve and enjoy!
For the cook time, it’s varies not only based on the type of pasta, but even the brand. I recommend using the pasta cook time listed on the box as a guideline.
Typically you will need to cook this dish longer than the recommended cook time, due to the smaller amount of liquid.
The best way to tell when this is done, is to simply try a bite!
We prefer our pasta in this dish cooked al dente. Not only do we prefer the texture, but we find the texture reheats better than when pasta is cooked to a softer state.
What Goes With Cheeseburger Macaroni?
If you are wondering what to serve with cheeseburger macaroni as a side dish, a simple salad or vegetable works well. A few side dish ideas that keep it simple:
- Tossed Salad
- Sautéed Green Beans
- Steamer Bag of Microwave Veggies
Can You Freeze Cheeseburger Macaroni?
For this DIY version of Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni, like most one pot pasta recipes, I personally prefer not to freeze them.
You most certainly can freeze it, but I find that pasta casseroles are more suited for freezing, such as lasagna or stuffed shells.
One pot pasta dishes such as this, especially those using smaller noodles, can get a bit mushy when heated from frozen. That’s not to say it won’t taste okay, but the pasta tends to break down.
This is a dish I would recommend you cook fresh when ready to eat.
If you really need a shortcut, you could cook your ground beef ahead of time, which would reduce the total time to make this recipe to around 15-20 minutes.
As with most of my favorite recipes, this recipe is flexible. Here are some changes, swaps and additions you can make to this homemade cheeseburger hamburger helper recipe.
- Tomatoes – You can stir in a cup or so of diced tomatoes after the pasta cooks, prior to adding cheese.
- Tomato Sauce – Some cheeseburger macaroni recipes include tomato sauce. This doesn’t suit our tastes, but if it does yours, then use it! If desired you can reduce the beef broth to two cups total, and add in one 8oz can of tomato sauce when adding in the beef broth.
- Ketchup & Mustard – Can’t have a cheeseburger without the condiments? Stir some in prior to adding your cheese.
- Ground Turkey – Swap ground beef for ground turkey if desired.
- Sour Cream – If you don’t have cream cheese on hand, you can use sour cream in its place.
More Quick Dinner Recipes To Try
- One Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta
- Easy Sausage Pasta
- Ravioli Lasagna
- Homemade Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
- Pizza Casserole
- Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese
Homemade Hamburger Helper
Cheeseburger Macaroni Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp garlic power
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 2 1/2 cups beef broth seperated into 2 cups and 1/2 cup
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 2 cups pasta elbow macaroni or small shells
- 1 cup shredded cheese cheddar, monterey, colby jack work well
- In a large deep skillet or dutch oven, brown ground beef over medium heat. If desired or needed, drain off fat. Sprinkle in spices, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add in cream cheese and as it melts, stir to combine.
- Once beef has been browned pour in two cups of beef broth. Add cornstarch to the remaining beef broth until well combined, with no clumps remaining. Pour into beef and broth mixture in pan, and stir to combine.
- Add in half and half and dried pasta. Bring to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for approximately 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.*
- Add in cheese, and either stir to combine, or allow to melt on top by removing pan from burner and letting sit covered for 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Amazing! Exactly what I was looking for, and so easy too! I did add a couple tablespoons of ketchup and yellow mustard after it was prepared, and garnished with dried dill. When I make next time, I will do as someone else suggested and add a few dashes of Worcesershire sauce for increased flavor profile.
OMG! This was so easy and fast for our busy nights! WAY BETTER than box hamburger helper! We went exactly by the recipe but I did add some Rotel! Thanks
This was a huge hit with my youth group! Made enough to feed 6 kids and two adults. I ended up adding two cans of beef broth as the 2 1/2 cups wasn’t quite enough liquid for the pasta. This was low calorie too! Win win 🥇
Payton Perez says
This recipe was great! I already had all of the ingredients. Just don’t be a dummy like me and pay attention to the pasta measurement. A full box is 16oz, double the recipe. So once I dumped it in and realized something was wrong, I ended up having to double the wet ingredients, too. Oh well, more leftovers! I also added a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce for some umami (because I’m fancy, and also because I would drink it if it were socially acceptable.). Kudos!
Benni Radic says
This recipe is a winner in our house. Followed the recipe as is was written. Quick and Easy. Will definitely make this again.
Julie Moon says
This stuff is awesome! I have Celiac disease so I used gluten free noodles and it tastes like an even yummier version of hamburger helper! I haven’t had that in years and now I can make it homemade!!!! Yippeeeee!
Christi Johnstone says
So glad you enjoyed it!
One pot throw back meal hamburger helper style! Quick and tasty. Easy last minute recipe to make. You probably have all the ingredients in your fridge and pantry with no planning! Will definitely do this again.
This is a great, quick and easy meal to make after working all day. I followed the recipe as written. My only complaint is that 1 1/2 tsp of salt is way too much! I will be reducing it by half that next time. I will also add more cheese. Kids like it a bit cheesier.
Yum!! I went on a limb and made this I was hesitant because a lack of reviews. Im glad I did because its really good. I followed the recipe almost exactly but I added fire roasted tomatoes. 5 stars!