Indulge in the richness, creaminess, and pure comfort of this One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta. A gourmet twist on homemade Hamburger Helper, it features gooey cheese and lean beef. It’s a delectable dinner that’ll have you eagerly anticipating every bite all day long!

plated hamburger helper pasta on two plates garnished with Italian parsley.

Why We Love This Cheeseburger Pasta

Nostalgia alert! We’ve got a soft spot in our hearts for Hamburger Helper. A taste of childhood, it still holds a special place in our culinary memories. 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!


Better-For-You Homemade Hamburger Helper Ingredients

We’re all about keeping it simple with real food ingredients. They unlock a burst of flavors you’ll absolutely adore. Here’s the rundown of what you’ll need:

  • Lean Ground Beef – We prefer to use 90% or leaner beef for a slightly healthier cheeseburger pasta. However, 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 – Paprika, chili powder, dried oregano, onion powder, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper add tons of flavor.
  • Cheese – We love sharp cheddar cheese for a classic taste, but any version you prefer is great. 
  • Broth – Use beef, chicken, or vegetable broth to create an extra rich flavor and thin out the cheese sauce for a creamy texture. 
  • Tomato Sauce – This 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. It makes it oh-so-creamy and even more decadent!

How to Make Easy One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta

The beauty of this dish? It’s a breeze to whip up. Just follow the instructions below, and voila! Dinner will grace your table in less than 20 minutes.

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

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Recipe Variations

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, why not spice things up with some add-ins? To ignite your inspiration, here are a few of our favorite options:

  • Use different noodles. Switch up the size and shape of your pasta. This creates a slightly different taste and texture, and feel free you use gluten-free noodles if you need them! 
  • Add in veggies. Try mixing in steamed broccoli or cauliflower. Or, you can even add 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. 
  • Swap the beef. For a slightly lighter option, replace the ground beef with ground turkey or chicken.
  • Spice it up. Use spicy pepper jack cheese, hot sauce, or even a few jalapeños for a little extra heat. If you just want a little extra depth, try adding a dash of Worcestershire sauce instead.
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, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four 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, stir it, and check the consistency. If it is still a little dry, add a splash of extra liquid. Then, heat it again until warmed through.  

Stovetop Option: Add your cheeseburger pasta to a large pot over medium heat. Slowly pour in the liquid, and stir it. Let the pasta warm for one to two minutes. Then, continue to add liquid until you reach your desired consistency.

cooked one pot hamburger pasta on two plates with a fork.

More One Pot Pasta Meals You’ll Love

When it comes to effortless meals, one-pot recipes are the real MVPs. If you’re hungry for more options, don’t miss out on the recipes listed 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 will transport your tastebuds straight to an Island in Greece. 
  • Two comfort foods in one simple dish, recipes 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 ready.

two plates of one pot cheeseburger pasta with a bowl of shredded cheese to the side

One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta (Homemade Hamburger Helper)

4.78 from 9 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
This One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta is a better-for-you Hamburger Helper the whole family will love!


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


  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Brown the ground beef. Add onion powder, paprika, chili powder, mustard powder, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
    1 pound lean ground beef, 1 teaspoon paprika, 2 teaspoons chilli powder, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
  • 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.
    16 ounces uncooked Campanelle pasta, 4 cups broth, 8 ounces can tomato sauce
  • Once pasta is cooked stir in the cheddar cheese, and heavy cream.
    1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup heavy cream




Serving: 1serving | 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

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!


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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

4.78 from 9 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. your recipe does not call for chopped onion but the video shows adding it to the beef and then saute. please clarify

    1. We updated the recipe and removed the onion. 😊 Apologies for any confusion! We hope you enjoy!

      Alia & Radwa

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely amazing! Made this exactly as written and it couldn’t have been any simpler for a quick and tasty weeknight meal. My family devoured it! Definitely brought me back to my childhood, eating the boxed meals my mom would make but SO much better and healthier. Love everything I’ve ever made from you gals. Keep it up! Cheers!

    1. It’s truly wonderful to hear this, and we are grateful for your kind and considerate words! xo, Alia & Radwa

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.