Hamburger Helper is a one-pan dish the whole family will love! Dinner in under 20-minutes! To make this cheeseburger macaroni simply cook ground beef then add cheeseburger flavored ingredients! Super simple, no sour cream and you’ll want seconds, it’s so good!

cheeseburger homemade hamburger helper made in skillet

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our full disclosure.

One-Pot dinners are a family favorite! What mom doesn’t want dinner on the table in under 20 minutes and it’s not boxed but homemade? Two hands up over here! Try our One-Pot Alfredo recipe or our One-Pot Chili recipe for easy dinner ideas!

Homemade Hamburger Helper (Not Boxed)

The idea of a boxed hamburger helper is to help you out and make serving a meal easier! The seasoning packet is ready for you to use and Betty Crocker claims they’re made with REAL cheese! But did you know you can make hamburger helper totally homemade with simple spices that you have in your cupboard? Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni is nothing but real cheese, ketchup, mustard, and basic spices for the classic cheeseburger flavors we love, not the dried stuff! There is no sour cream, fancy sauces, or extra pots to mess with.


I don’t have elbow macaroni can use different pasta?

Boxed hamburger helper is typically packaged with elbow macaroni and a seasoning packet. If you wish to use a different type of pasta simply keep the cooking time per its package instructions. For example, if egg noodles take 6 minutes to cook then keep the cooking time for 6-8 minutes or until the water mostly evaporates.

Sometimes cooking the pasta uncovered will fasten the water evaporation. If the cooking time of the pasta is lesser than the cooking time required for this recipe try cooking it uncovered for the last couple of minutes since it might retain most of its liquid due to the lesser cooking time.

What is Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper?

Cheeseburger Macaroni is nothing but flavored dried pasta that tastes like a cheeseburger! Typically, a boxed mix of powdered spices and pasta is sold at the grocery stores for quick and easy meals! Making homemade cheeseburger macaroni is as easy as making the boxed stuff!

Can I use Grated Cheese?

I originally have (8 oz) of Velveeta cheese for this recipe. However, 1 cup of grated cheese can be used like cheddar or a Colby blend cheese.

Variations on Hamburger Helper?

Italian: change up the pasta to shells or penne and add Italian Spaghetti sauce and Italian seasonings like basil.

Stroganoff: Add 1/2 cup of sour cream and some Worcestershire sauce.

Bacon Ranch: Cook with bacon and creamy ranch dressing (or use dried ranch dressing mix.)

Vegetarian: Skip the ground beef, grilled chicken, or turkey and add-in veggies to make a leaner dish.  Make hamburger helper healthier by adding whole wheat pasta and veggies like spinach, bell peppers, or Zucchini. Swapping out the meat for a protein like beans can make for taco Hamburger Helper if you add taco seasoning into the mix.

Philly Cheesesteak: Fry up some sliced ground beef and green bell peppers for Philly Cheesesteak inspired hamburger helper.

Slow-Cooker Hamburger Helper:

  1. Brown the ground beef and add to the slow-cooker.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except for the pasta and cheese. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on Hi 3-4 hours adding the pasta and cheese the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Instant Pot Hamburger Helper:

  1. Cook the ground beef on saute mode until browned.
  2. Add in half of the chicken broth to deglaze the pot. Add the remaining ingredients, secure the lid and close the valve then set on manual high pressure for 5 minutes.
  3. Note: if using grated cheese stir in after the high pressure.

How to store Hamburger Helper?

Serve: Homemade Hamburger Helper is best made fresh since condiments like ketchup and mustard are being used.

Store: If you wish to store a dry mix of hamburger spices, you can do so by omitting the prepared mustard for dry mustard and using ketchup when making.

Freeze: You can freeze hamburger helper by cooling the prepared dish completely. Then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

To Re-heat: Thaw before reheating.

Tips for One-Pan Skillet Dinners:

  1. Cook with any pasta! Cooking times will vary per each kind of pasta so simply stick to their package instructions.
  2. Swap out diced tomatoes for part of the liquid for enhanced flavors!
  3. Cook with ground sausage.
  4. Spice it with onion and garlic powder for extra flavor!

More Cheeseburger Recipes:

More One-Pan Dinners:

All you need is one-pan, elbow macaroni, and fresh ground beef along with simple pantry ingredients. Ready to make Hamburger Helper from scratch in one skillet? Here’s how!

How To Make Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe:

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
Hamburger Helper is a one-pan dish the whole family will love! Dinner in under 20-minutes! To make this cheeseburger macaroni simply cook ground beef then add cheeseburger flavored ingredients! Super simple, no sour cream and you'll want seconds, it's so good!


  • 12-inch skillet (with a lid)


Hamburger Helper:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni (uncooked)
  • 8 oz Velveeta cheese (or 1 cup grated cheddar cheese)
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 cup chicken broth


How To Make Homemade Hamburger Helper:

  • browned beef in hamburger helper
    Brown the beef.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes, covered.
  • Stir together and serve.


  • Note: if using grated cheese stir it in after the noodles cooked.
  • Drain: the ground beef if using beef that has a higher fat content like 70/30.
  • Chicken broth: can stir together 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of bullion powder for the chicken broth.

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1servingCalories: 510kcalCarbohydrates: 64gProtein: 26gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 1109mgPotassium: 532mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 298IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 197mgIron: 2mg


New Be featured here!

Hashtag #yesalyonascooking on both Instagram and Pinterest to be seen here!


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Explore Recipes

See What Others Made!
#yesalyonascooking on pinterest or instagram to be featured

As Seen On

  • Mashed
  • Yummly
  • Parade
  • BuzzFeed
Alyona’s Cooking
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x