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Cheeseburger Macaroni is an easy recipe for Homemade Hamburger Helper made with a pound of ground beef and pasta in a creamy cheese sauce. You only need one skillet and 30 minutes to make this easy dinner recipe!

homemade cheeseburger macaroni hamburger helper on a serving spoon.

Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni Recipe

I grew up on the boxed version of Hamburger Helper, as did everyone I knew. Even though I loved it as a kid, my homemade version is a thousand times better!

This easy homemade hamburger helper recipe is made from scratch using simple ingredients and is still a great way to stretch a pound of hamburger meat on busy weeknights. You only need one pot and 30 minutes to make this easy meal.

The best part is my whole family loves this cheesy mac. It’s a family favorite that even the picky eaters gobble up. Add some frozen peas for a one pot meal or serve veggies or a simple salad on the side.

hamburger meat, elbow pasta, cheese, beef broth, butter, cream, worcestershire sauce and spices.


You can find these ingredients in your grocery store. Full amounts are in the printable recipe card below.

  • Lean ground beef — also called hamburger meat. You can sub ground turkey or ground chicken, although the flavor will be a little different.
  • Beef broth — Look for low sodium beef broth or use homemade if you have it. You can sub water or chicken broth if needed.
  • Worcestershire sauce — adds a little umami flavor.
  • Elbow macaroni — Any small short pasta shapes will work.
  • Heavy cream — heavy whipping cream for the cheesy sauce
  • Shredded cheese — I use sharp cheddar cheese and Colby Jack cheese for flavor and creaminess. You can use mild cheddar or medium cheddar and Monterey Jack if you like.
  • Butter — adds creaminess to the sauce.
  • Seasonings — sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried minced onion flakes and smoked paprika. Paprika adds color and flavor. You can use regular paprika, but try not to skip it. You can sub onion powder if needed.

How to Make Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni Recipe

First, cook the ground meat on medium-high heat in a large skillet until no longer pink. Break the meat up as it cooks. Next, season the meat with the spices.

You can drain the grease before seasoning the meat if you need to.

brown ground beef and spices in skillet.

Add the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Then, stir in the dry macaroni noodles. Make sure the pasta is submerged in the broth.

Cover the skillet with aluminum foil or a lid, and cook until the pasta is al dente. You will want to stir the beef mixture occasionally.

cook pasta in beef broth in skillet.

Stir in the butter and heavy cream. Then, stir in the cheese, 1 cup at a time.

Reduce the heat to medium or medium low, and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is nice and creamy

stir shredded cheddar cheese with hamburger mixture.

Helpful Tips

Grate your own cheese for best results. The pre-shredded cheese usually has coating so it doesn’t stick, which can affect the texture when melted.

If you are used to the boxed stuff, you may need to add a little more salt and pepper to get your desired flavor.

You can add more cheese at the end if you want extra cheesy pasta. If you have an electric pressure cooker, try my Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni. This can also be made in a Dutch oven or large pot.

homemade cheeseburger macaroni in skillet with parsley.

How to Store and Reheat leftovers

Refrigerate leftover cheeseburger mac in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can freeze the beefy mac for up to 3 months. Reheat individual portions in the microwave and larger portions on the stove.

More Easy Ground Beef Recipes

Looking for more one pot meals with ground beef? Try my super popular one pot creamy shells and beef. You may also like one pot spaghetti and meat sauce or my one pot ground beef stroganoff. It’s another Hamburger Helper copycat recipe. Be sure to check out more easy beef recipes your entire family will love!

5 from 1 vote

Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper

By: Dee
Cheeseburger Macaroni is an easy recipe for Homemade Hamburger Helper made with a pound of ground beef and pasta in a creamy cheese sauce. You only need one skillet and 30 minutes to make this easy dinner recipe!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 7


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp dried minced onion flakes
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked
  • 3 tbsps butter
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Colby jack cheese
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  • In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium high heat until no longer pink, breaking up the meat as it cooks
  • Season with minced onion flakes, salt, pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika
  • Add the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce
  • Add the uncooked macaroni, and stir so that it is submerged in the broth
  • Cover, and cook until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally
  • Reduce heat to medium or medium low, and stir in the butter and heavy cream
  • Stir in the cheese, 1 cup at a time until melted
  • Serve immediately


You can drain the grease before adding spices if necessary.
Grate your own cheese for best results.
Make sure to use a large 10 or 12-inch skillet.


Calories: 480kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 623mg, Potassium: 532mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 797IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 261mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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Recipe Rating


  1. Ben says:

    This is the easiest! All in one pot! Made for the family tonight and even the pickiest kid loved it! A new staple in our house!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks, Ben. I’m glad you liked the recipe!