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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion flakes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 tablespoon 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
- 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
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
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