4.60 from 77 reviews

Hamburger Macaroni

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macaroni noodles in a large pot with ground beef

This made-from-scratch hamburger macaroni is better than the hamburger helper from the box and seriously easy to make!

It reminds us of childhood but with a homemade touch.

This hamburger macaroni is:

  • Made is one pot
  • A family loved meal
  • Kid-friendly and great for picky eaters
  • Perfect when you’re craving straight up comfort food
  • Ridiculously easy
  • Great to have for leftovers
  • Cheesy and so much better than the boxed version!
macaroni in a white bowl with ground beef and cheese

I’m all about a good one pot meal. I mean what’s not to love?! They are typically budget friendly meals and use lots of pantry staples and make cleaning up after dinner a breeze.

If you’re a fan of one pot meals too you’ll be sure to enjoy my One Pot Creamy Chicken Marsala Pasta and this One Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole too.

Ingredients needed

(For the full recipe, scroll down to the recipe card below)

ingredients needed to make cheeseburger macaroni
  • Ground Beef: You could also use ground turkey or ground pork.
  • Macaroni Noodles: I used macaroni noodles but you could also use spiral rotini noodles, penne, shells or another short tubed pasta you have in the pantry.
    • Best part? The uncooked/dry pasta gets added right into the recipe and cooks in the broth so you don’t have to boil them before!
  • Beef Broth: Can sub for chicken broth too.
  • Cheddar cheese: I recommend using a good quality cheddar cheese and grating it yourself instead of buying pre shredded cheese. Freshly shredded cheese melts a lot better, in my opinion!
macaroni in a large blue pot with ground beef and cheese

How to make Hamburger Macaroni

(For the full recipe, scroll down to the recipe card below)

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add beef and break up with a wooden spoon so it begins to cook.
  2. Add in the onions, salt, pepper, cornstarch and paprika. Stir and cook until beef is no longer pink.
  3. Add in garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Add in ketchup and Worcestershire. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour in dry macaroni and beef broth. Bring to a boil. Then, turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Lastly add in the milk and cheese. Stir to combine and serve warm!
step by step photos of making hamburger mac and cheese

You’re basically making ground beef mixed with pasta and cheese…comfort food at best!

Tips:

  • Add in extra veggies: Feel free to add in sliced mushrooms or diced red peppers when you add in the onions. It’s a great way to sneak in more veggies!
  • Sour cream: I’ve also added in sour cream when stirring in the cheese at the end for an even creamier meal. Add in 1/2 cup to make it more decadent!
  • Spice it up: feel free to add in other seasonings like red pepper flakes, onion powder, chili powder and garlic powder.
ground beef and macaroni in a white bowl

FAQs

How do I reheat leftovers?

When reheating leftovers I find it best to do so on the stove and add in a little milk to make it creamy again.

How long does hamburger macaroni last?

This meal can keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or you can freeze for up to 3 months.

What veggie might you add to this pasta?

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macaroni noodles in a large pot with ground beef
4.60 from 77 reviews

Hamburger Macaroni

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Hamburger Macaroni made in one pot, perfect for busy weeknights and is way better than the box version!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced (2 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 16 oz. macaroni noodles, dry (uncooked)
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

Instructions 

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add beef and break up with a wooden spoon so it begins to cook.
    1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 lb. ground beef
  • Add in the onions, cornstarch, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir and cook until beef is no longer pink.
    1/2 white onion, diced, 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. paprika, salt and pepper to taste
  • Add in garlic. Stir and cook for 1 more minute.
    2 tsp. garlic, minced (2 cloves)
  • Add in the ketchup and Worcestershire. Stir to combine.
    1/4 cup ketchup, 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Pour in the dry macaroni and beef broth. Bring to a boil.
    16 oz. macaroni noodles, dry (uncooked), 4 cups beef broth
  • Then, turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until noodles are done.
  • Lastly add in the milk and cheese. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper as needed and serve warm!
    1/4 cup whole milk, 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Video

Notes

I recommend using freshly grated cheddar cheese, not the pre-shredded kind.
Be sure to add in the pasta dry. No need to cook it before! (yay!)
When reheating leftovers I find it best to do so on the stove and add in a little milk to make it creamy again.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 561kcal (28%), Carbohydrates: 48g (16%), Protein: 30g (60%), Fat: 27g (42%), Saturated Fat: 14g (88%), Cholesterol: 86mg (29%), Sodium: 855mg (37%), Potassium: 435mg (12%), Fiber: 2g (8%), Sugar: 4g (4%), Vitamin A: 492IU (10%), Vitamin C: 2mg (2%), Calcium: 347mg (35%), Iron: 2mg (11%)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

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31 Comments
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Kathleen

Thank you! My entire family loved this! My picky 7 year old also loved it!! 😊 Going on my regular rotation! I used shells because that’s what I had on hand, but I’m sure it taste the same.

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Madison

Easy to make and turned out tummy

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Cris

The recipe is simple.

Good strategy (corn starch) to not drain meat.

Ketchup gave it flavor like combining mac/chz with sloppy joe.

Dont even think ketchup was necessary.

May modify in smaller batch. Taco seasoning maybe?

Thanks for the idea. At least we aren’t hungry for the moment

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Laurence

Very good! I added a small can of diced tomatoes and it turned out perfect.

Can

Though this is far better then boxed hamburger helper it feels like it’s missing something. We couldn’t pinpoint it but it’s like the recipe isn’t complete yet. We’re gonna pay around with it, add some peas and maybe tomato paste instead of ketchup? Unsure. But thank you for baseline recipe!

Liz

I made this by the recipe except I added a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin. It tasted great. Easy and quick meal.

Beth

This was a great, easy, COMFORT FOOD meal that is very forgiving. I had no Worcestshire or ketchup. NO PROBLEM, it was delicious anyway. Making it again tonight (about 2 weeks after the first time). Looking forward to adding some sour cream and maybe a little green pepper??

Li

Great recipe. Simple and delicious. Reminds me of what mom would make for dinner. Thank you

Cronenberg

16 ounces of pasta is way too much.. Start with 8 ounces, add more as desired.

Kris

I modified this just a little bit by adding a tbs of yellow mustard and 1/4 cup of dill pickle brine. It really upped the cheeseburger taste. I love these kinds of one pot pasta, especially since I can’t buy hamburger helper here in England, like I could in America.