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!
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
- 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!
- Brown the beef.
- Add the seasonings.
- Stir in the broth, pasta, and tomato sauce, and bring them to a boil.
- Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 12-14 minutes.
- Mix in the cheese and cream.
- Serve, and enjoy!
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.
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!
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
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
Spaghettiand 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)
- 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
- 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.
Love you girls and watch all the time.
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?
Good catch, yes, you should be able to freeze the leftovers! xo, Alia & Radwa
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.
Yay! That’s amazing! Always a win when kids ask for seconds! xo, Alia & Radwa
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!
This is absolutely delicious!! I followed the recipe next time I think I will add more broth and tomato sauce. Definitely a keeper!!
Sooo good & soo easy!
Will gluten free pasta work?
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.
Can we use water instead of broth?
Yes, water works too!
Is it supposed to be raw pasta that’s stirred in with the broth or should it be cooked first?
Yes, the pasta is uncooked!
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!
Yay!! That makes us so happy! So glad you liked it!
What kind of broth should be used?
We used beef broth but you can use any broth!
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.
We love hearing this! So glad you liked it!