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One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta (Homemade Hamburger Helper)

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Rich, creamy, and comforting, this One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta is an incredible version of  homemade Hamburger Helper. Made with gooey cheese and lean beef, it’s a delicious dinner you’ll look forward to eating all day! 

plated hamburger helper on two plates garnished with parsley

Why We Love This Cheeseburger Pasta

We grew up eating Hamburger Helper, and it still has a soft spot in our hearts. There’s just something so irresistible about the combination of creamy cheese, hearty noodles, and beef! However, now that we’re older, we don’t love the long list of unknown ingredients that come from dinners in a box. So, we decided to make our own homemade Hamburger Helper! It has all the flavor we love and none of the mystery ingredients we don’t. Plus, it’s: 

  • SO easy to make. 
  • Loaded with protein. 
  • Perfect for meal prep
  • And easily customizable to fit all your needs!

 

Beter-For-You Homemade Hamburger Helper Ingredients

Simple, real food ingredients are used to achieve tons and tons of flavor you’ll love. Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Beef – We prefer to use 90% or leaner beef for a slightly healthier cheeseburger pasta, but whatever you like best is perfectly fine! 
  • Noodles – Any small shape pasta noodles work well for this dish. Traditional Hamburger Helper uses elbow pasta, but we found that we like Campanelle pasta best. 
  • Seasonings – For extra depth and a bit of a quick we used a variety of spices including paprika, chili powder, dried oregano, onion powder, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. 
  • Cheese – We love sharp cheddar cheese for a classic taste, but any version you prefer is great. 
  • Broth – Beef, chicken, or vegetable broth is used to create an extra rich flavor and thin out the cheese sauce for an extra creamy texture. 
  • Tomato Sauce – Often overlooked, tomato sauce is key to making your dish taste as if it simmered for hours instead of minutes! 
  • Heavy Cream – Our secret ingredient, heavy creamy takes this cheeseburger pasta to the next level, making it oh so creamy and even more decadent. 

How to Make One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta

One of our favorite things about this dish is how easy it is to make. Just follow the instructions below, and you’ll have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes! 

  1. Brown the beef. 
  2. Add the seasonings
  3. Stir in the broth, pasta, and tomato sauce, and bring them to a boil
  4. Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 12-14 minutes
  5. Mix in the cheese and cream. 
  6. Serve, and enjoy! 

Recipe Variations

If you’re looking for something a little different, try experimenting with add-ins! To get you started, take a look at a few of our favorite options. 

Use Different Noodles. Switch up the size and shape of your pasta for a slightly different taste and texture, and feel free you use gluten-free noodles if you need them! 

Add In Veggies. Try incorporating steamed broccoli or cauliflower or even a handful of spinach for a veggie-loaded meal you can feel good about serving. 

Make It Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta. Sprinkle in cooked, crumbled bacon for a savory dinner that tastes like your favorite cheeseburger. 

Spice It Up. Use spicy pepper jack cheese, hot sauce, or even a few jalapeños for a little extra heat. 

 

close up of one pot cheeseburger pasta

How to Store

We love to make a big batch to reheat throughout the week! It is important to note that this recipe won’t freeze well. However, leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks

Reheating Options 

Leftover pasta is so easy to reheat. Just make sure you have a little extra water or broth to loosen the noodles and refresh the cheese. 

Microwave Option: Stir in the liquid, and microwave on high for 1 ½ minutes. Then, give it a stir, and check the consistency. If it is still a little dry, add another splash of liquid, and pop it back in the oven for 1-2 minutes or until the desired temperature has been reached. 

Stovetop Option: Add your cheeseburger pasta to a large pot over medium heat. Slowly pour in the liquid, and give it a stir. Let the pasta warm for 1-2 minutes. Then, continue to add liquid until the desired consistency has been reached 

cooked one pot hamburger pasta on two plates with a fork

More One Pot Pasta Dishes You’ll Love

One Pot recipes are lifesavers when it comes to easy meals! For more options, take a look at a few more recipes below: 

  • Simple, tasty, and quick, One Pot Parmesan Pasta is the perfect dinner for any night of the week! 
  • One bite of this One Pot Greek Spaghetti and your tastebuds will be transported straight to an Island in Greece. 
  • Two comfort foods in one simple dish, recipes really don’t get better than this One Pot Pizza Pasta!
  • One Pot “Fried” Rice is a healthier version of everyone’s favorite takeout. Just add your favorite protein, and dinner is served.  

One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta (Homemade Hamburger Helper)

Food Dolls
This One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta is a better-for-you Hamburger Helper the whole family will love!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course dinner, lunch, Recipes, Snacks
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6
Calories 552 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% or leaner)
  • 16 ounces uncooked Campanelle pasta (or similar shape)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 cups broth
  • 8 ounces can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Brown the ground beef. Add onion powder, paprika, chilli powder, mustard powder, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the broth, pasta, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 12-14 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Once pasta is cooked stir in the cheddar cheese, and heavy cream.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 552kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 1000mg | Potassium: 605mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1207IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 184mg | Iron: 3mg
Keyword cheeseburger, copy cat hamburger helper, easy pasta recipe, hamburger helper recipe, homemade hamburger helper, one pot dinner, one pot meal, one pot pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

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Recipe Rating




21 Comments

  1. I’m planning on making this tonight. I always freeze our leftovers when I make other versions of this meal. I noticed you stated it doesn’t freeze well. Is it because of the cream?

  2. 5 stars
    Loved this. I doubled the cheese and cream. I even handed some Colby Jack cheese. My picky kids had 2 helps each. Definitely will make again.

  3. 5 stars
    This was delish! Super quick and easy to make. It was a hit at our home and we will be making it again. Thank you!

  4. 4 stars
    This is absolutely delicious!! I followed the recipe next time I think I will add more broth and tomato sauce. Definitely a keeper!!

    1. Yes, it will! Just check how long the cook time is on the pasta. Some require less time, if so, you may have to reduce the broth.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this almost exactly as described – I added a tad more cheese and of the extra sharp variety – I have to tell you this was absolutely amazing! My whole house was skeptical but in love after the first bite. This is not like nasty hh! I’m just in love with this!

  6. 5 stars
    I don’t get much time to cook, due to my busy schedule and working almost all days of the week. But this easy and quick recipe is amazing! Easier than I thought it would be and it tastes so good. 100% recommend.