Homemade One Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni (Stove Top)

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One Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni! So easy and delicious, you'll never buy boxed again!

Ok, if there is one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I could literally eat macaroni and cheese 3 times/day…  7 days a week.  Oh, every single day.. forever.

And..  I LOVE the boxed kind and I love Hamburger Helper.  All the macaroni, homemade, baked, boiled, slow cooked, boxed, frozen.. every single one of them I love.

Well, this is in my top two.  Yes, I just said that!  It’s in my TOP 2 (along with my Ultra Creamy Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese)!!  That means wow, it’s super awesome!  To me, it’s a super close match to the boxed Hamburger Helper but you know each and every ingredient in this recipe!

The best part, it’s 20 minutes start to finish!  

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One Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni! This delicious cheesy dish is just as quick as the boxed kind but tastes so much better!
4.09 from 12 votes
Review Recipe


Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 6
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
You will never buy the boxed kind again after trying this start to finish 20 minute recipe!


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon each garlic powder, sugar and paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese

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  1. In a small bowl combine cornstarch, garlic powder, sugar, pepper and paprika. Set aside.
  2. Brown ground beef & onion in a pan until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  3. Add milk, broth and macaroni to beef. Stir in cornstarch and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 9-12 minutes or until noodles are cooked.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Serve hot.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 424, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Sodium: 405mg, Potassium: 485mg, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 27g, Vitamin A: 435%, Vitamin C: 4.1%, Calcium: 325%, Iron: 2.2%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword cheeseburger macaroni


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. This was easy when you prep all your ingredients ahead of time. I added American cheese (1 1/2 cups) along with the 2 cups of Sharp Cheddar cheese. Plus, because I used 2 lbs of ground beef, I doubled the dry ingredients of spices. It was delicious!

  2. Holly I came across your website recently and have tried several of your delicious recipes. Simple, recipes with whole, healthy ingredients Yum! My family has loved each one and this Cheeseburger macaroni casserole is no exception. Thank you so much for sharing! You are awesome!!

  3. We had this for dinner tonight and quickly decided it will be added to our regular rotation. I made it exactly as written and it was so delicious. My picky kids, ages 3 and 7, ate their entire helping without looking up from their bowls. Yum!

    PS – this is the fourth recipe from Holly I have made, all of which have been delicious. Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words. I a so glad your family liked this recipe! My kids have always loved this one too!

  4. Hey girl!! I’m cooking this tonight for my son and I have chicken stock instead of broth. Should I add a little water to dilute it some?

  5. This is awesome! I had a hankering for some kind of homemade cheeseburger macaroni tonight and didn’t know whether that was a thing. I was going to make it up with a cheese sauce from a roux, but that would have been weird and higher in calories. The way you did it with milk and chicken broth/water is ingenious! And true to the box recipe. Brilliant!

    I love the comments about adding Dijon or broccoli. Both changes sound yummy. I made it as written. It’s perfect for me as written. I can’t respect people that make a recipe and call it bland. If you don’t know how to cook, that’s on you! A recipe is a guide. If you think your finished dish is bland, add more of the spices in the recipe. The fact that no one called out that theirs was runny, their noodles were over/undercooked, or anything else proves that this is a well written recipe. And in fact, I made the spices as indicated in the recipe, and they were perfect. If any of your complainers have ever tried writing a recipe, it is super difficult to do and sometimes requires making the dish multiple times to get everything in the recipe accurate, and Holly, you did an awesome job of both inventing this dish, and correctly documenting the process. I need to dive into my dinner now. Thank you!!!!!

  6. I only had mild cheddar instead of sharp cheddar and I read that some people thought it was bland even WITH the sharp cheddar, so I added some burger seasonings to the raw meat first and it turned out great!
    1 tsp onion salt (because I also didn’t have any fresh onion)
    1/4 tsp paprika
    1/4 tsp garlic salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1 T Worcestershire sauce (or 1 T of soy sauce might also work here)

  7. This was really bland. I added Season All, which helped, but my son took one taste and spit it out. Not good at all. I’m going to try the Velveeta version next time.

  8. Hi!!! Just thought you should know that I enjoyed this recipe. I did follow the direction but, I taste test my food and I thought it needed salt so I added a 1/2 teaspoon to it. I also, added broccoli to it to give it some veggies and color. My son who has Autism actually ate it! Like Holy Tomatoes! To get him to eat anything is a struggle but, he actually liked it. Will use this again and I may try red bell pepper with it instead of broccoli. <3

  9. I’m not finding the measurements for the sugar, peprika, and garlic powder in the recipe. Can you let me know ? 


  10. Unfortunately, I found this bland. I used sharp cheddar and chicken broth. Added extra garlic powder and paprika at the end to try to perk it up and then seasoned salt, but it was just blah. I thought it didn’t look all that appetizing in the pan either. I didn’t sprinkle parsley because of potential child revolt at the discovery of green things. I really wanted an easy hamburger pasta recipe that didn’t have ketchup or tomato sauce but this wasn’t it.

  11. Thank you. I cannot say thanks enough. I have an almost 10mo baby boy (my 3rd and final child some 18 years after the last!) who is now eating dinners with us. I’ve been struggling to find easy and quick meals that are not processed and also not just plain meat and vegetables. My older kids and husband all love hamburger helper but I just can’t cook that stuff  (containing unknown ingredients and sodium galore!) anymore now that the baby is eating with us.  Anyway, I used mini shells for ease of gum mashing for baby and it turned out perfect! Everyone LIVED it. Sorry to rant on and on. I don’t usually leave reviews or comments and just keep to myself but I just HAD to personally thank you.

    1. Thank you for letting me know how much your family enjoyed the Cheeseburger Macaroni Deborah! An easy dish for a busy mom, with hungry kiddos!

  12. I wanted to love this but it was just ok… I’m happy that it was quick and easy and I appreciate that the recipe didn’t have a million ingredients but I’m also a little annoyed that I used expensive organic meat and cheese and the dish isn’t anything special flavor-wise. Maybe I should’ve paid more attention to the reviews stating that. :( I don’t think my toddler will be impressed, either…

    1. This is definitely one of my favorites, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it!! Did you use the seasonings included in the recipe (garlic powder etc)? Was your cheddar a sharp cheese?

      Did you make this with chicken broth or water? The broth adds a lot of great flavor too.

  13. I have pretty much the same recipe. Never have made it but mine never calls for any cheese weird because it is CHEESEBURGER skillet macaroni. Right? Now in the directions it says stir in cream cheese and cheddar cheese until melted and creamy sauce has formed. Not sure how much to use of each?

  14. I made this tonight with Beef Broth and Rice milk. I added mushrooms when cooking the meat and 1/5 packet of beef onion soup mix. Came out kinda like a stroganoff.

  15. Made this tonight and made it pretty much as written! I used ground chicken ( kids do not like ground beef) and noticed people were commenting it needed salt so I added 1/2 tsp seasoning salt. I also used half cheddar cheese , half Valveeta and because I am strange and need veggies in everything I added a whole head of broccoli :) kids asked for thirds! Even my extra picky two year old licked the bowl!!

  16. Don’t have anything to compare it to but It was good. It was not enough to feed 2 adults and 2 teenagers so double it if you have a family of 4 or serve it with a side.

  17. I’ve made this recipe twice in the last week the first time with chicken broth and today with water. Wayyyyy better with chicken broth. Both times it was delicious and the left overs are even better!

  18. Omg, I pinned this recipe a while ago & finally made it tonight – one word, AMAZING!!!!!! So easy & perfect for the fam (just needed a touch of salt at the end). Thank you so much, will be looking for more of your recipes to make in the future :)

    – Heather

    ps – I love wine & cheese too!

  19. Delicious! 12 minutes was too long to cook. All the liquid evaporated, but it was still full of flavor and the cheese melted and blended well! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for the feedback Holly! If could be that your stove was warmer than mine. I’m glad you enjoyed this!

    1. I have only tried it as written so I can’t say for sure. I think it would work but it would definitely change the flavor.

      1. I did it with the flour and 3tbl was perfect! This tasted great. I also added 1 tbl of onion powder and used garlic pepper instead of regular pepper….holy crow. Super good and easy to make! Thanks for the recipe!

  20. Hi Holly,
    I’m sure this recipe is much better than the boxed stuff and I’m going to try it.
    I love that the macaroni cooks right in with the other ingredients for a quick and easy one pot meal. I can see myself making this often :)

  21. I made this tonight, and it turned out great! I grew up eating the box kind, but when I started cooking I became grossed out by processed and fake foods. Until recently, I used the Annie’s box mix because it was free of artificial ingredients, but they stopped making it! I am so happy to have a go to recipe that I can make from scratch!

  22. Just made this – I added extra macaroni because this dish is feeding my family. That made it sticky (yum) and thick. I added a little more warmed milk to help the cheese melt. I used 1 cup Velveeta and 1 cup sharp cheddar. I season my food in layers, onions get s&p, ground beef gets s&p. I agree with another comment about using chili powder instead of paprika. Overall, great, quick meal – it did need some salt. Thank you for this recipe, my family is inhaling it!

    1. What type of cheese did you use? You could maybe use a sharper cheddar or add in another type of cheese, extra onion or garlic powder or other seasonings that you enjoy. If you used low-sodium chicken broth you might like to try regular.

    2. We thought it was a little bland also, so the second time I made it, I added a couple of swirls of mustard and ketchup to the finished dish and I happened to have some crumbled bacon which I added. It turned out really much more flavorful than the first time I made it and we liked it!

  23. I used ground turkey because it’s what I had out at the time. I also used a can of Rotel tomatoes and green chiles. The ground turkey made it bland, unfortunately, but kids and hubby were still greatly enthused by it. When I plan ahead for this recipe next time, I will use ground beef. And extra cheese!

  24. What should the finished consistency be? I made this tonight for dinner and it came out soupy. It still was super yummy and loved by the fam. Just curious how it comes out normally.

    1. Whenever you add cornstarch to a liquid, make sure you bring it to a full boil afterwards. Otherwise, it will not thicken.

  25. Four thumbs up! Two from me and two from hubby! Made this tonight and was so happy at the final result.Very easy to follow directions and well written recipe. Will definitely make this again!

  26. Great recipe. It was Most Viewed on last week’s Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop and will be featured this week! Yipee!
    Pinning it :)

  27. Oooh, I like this! This will save me from having to buy the package in the store. I swear people in my City give you dirty looks for buying boxed foods. Haha.

  28. Love it. I usually make my own cheeseburger Macaroni but I always make a cheese sauce separate and add to mixture once every thing is done. Your way is so much easier I can not wait to try.

      1. All I had was chicken broth and my bf loved it he usually hates ground beef and he went back for seconds :) so beef broth or chicken broth this recipe is bomb