This homemade hamburger helper recipe is an easy meal ready in under 30 minutes!

Cheeseburger macaroni is a one pot meal with ground beef and elbow macaroni in an easy cheesy sauce!

This hearty dish is filled with tasty pantry staples! No complicated ingredients.

homemade one pot cheeseburger macaroni in a bowl

Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni

This is an easy copycat of Hamburger Helper cheeseburger macaroni, perfect for busy weeknights!

  • This homemade casserole is a one-pot wonder. The whole dish is made in one skillet for less mess and less cleanup.
  • This copycat hamburger helper recipe is made from scratch with just a few simple ingredients.
  • Budget-friendly, add extra pasta and sauce to stretch it even further.
  • This dinner is just as quick as the boxed version and it’s on the table in less than 30 minutes.
ingredients assembled to make homemade one pot cheeseburger macaroni, including ground beef, cheddar cheese, heavy cream, chicken broth, onion, macaroni, garlic powder, cornstarch, and sugar

Ingredients for Cheeseburger Macaroni

Ground Beef – Choose lean ground beef and drain off any fat after cooking. Substitute with ground turkey or ground chicken.

Sauce – The pasta is simmered with seasonings in chicken broth and milk until tender. Beef broth can be substituted, but we find chicken broth to give the best flavor.

Cheese – Once the pasta is tender, stir in the cheese. A bold cheese like sharp cheddar cheese adds the most flavor. Try any kind of cheese, but be sure at least one has a sharp, bold flavor.

Seasonings – Salt, paprika, and pepper are the seasonings of choice for this stove-top casserole. For extra flavor add some hamburger helper to the dish or a package of instant soup.


  • Swap the milk for light cream for extra creaminess or stir in a little sour cream or Greek yogurt before serving for a little tang.
  • Change up the seasonings with a tablespoon of tomato paste or 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard.
  • Add fresh vegetables like onion, celery, or tomatoes.

How to Make Cheeseburger Macaroni

There are a variety of flavors of Hamburger Helper; this version is a copycat cheeseburger macaroni recipe.

  1. Brown the beef and onion in a large skillet (as per the recipe below).
  2. Add the uncooked elbow macaroni with the remaining sauce ingredients.
  3. Bring to a simmer until the macaroni is tender, and stir in cheese.

Serve with a simple and colorful side dish to complement the cheesy, meaty richness. Try steamed brussels sprouts, baked butternut squash, or homemade cornbread.

one pot hamburger macaroni in a cast iron pan

Storing Leftovers

  • This macaroni dish will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and for 1 month in the freezer.
  • Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave or place in a 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes until heated through.

Easy One Pot Ground Beef Dinners

homemade one pot cheeseburger macaroni in a bowl
4.86 from 141 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni

This cheeseburger macaroni recipe is an easy from scratch stovetop casserole made with cheese, macaroni, and ground beef.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings


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  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • cup diced yellow onion about 1 medium
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ¾ cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded


  • In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, garlic powder, sugar, salt, paprika, and pepper. Set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the ground beef and onion, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no pink remains. Drain any excess fat.
  • Add milk, broth, and elbow macaroni to the beef. Stir the cornstarch and spice mixture. Bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat, and let simmer, covered, for 9-12 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through. Stir the mixture occasionally and, if needed, add more broth or water.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Serve hot.


  • Substitute the onion with 1 teaspoon onion powder if desired.
  • Depending on the brand of pasta and the size of the pan, you may need a little bit more or less liquid. Add extra broth or water as needed.
  • Add any kind of cheese but ensure you use bold cheese, it’s needed for flavor.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat before adding the cheese.
  • For a little extra kick, add a dash of hot sauce, or some red pepper flakes.
4.86 from 141 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 636 | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 1304mg | Potassium: 821mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 976IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 533mg | Iron: 4mg

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

Course Beef, Casserole, Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine American
A bowl of homemade cheeseburger macaroni with salt and pepper shakers
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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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4.86 from 141 votes (98 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. This recipe is amazing, so quick and easy and the taste is awesome. I needed a quick meal to prepare for my husband to take to work and this worked wonderful, Thank you so much for this recipe definitely going in the recipe binder.5 stars

  2. Absolutely delicious! I love all your recipes as does my family! Will definitely be making this again!5 stars