This Homemade Hamburger Helper is a take on your favorite Cheeseburger Macaroni and classic American Goulash. A quick and easy, one-pot dinner with lots of flavor and cheesy goodness the entire family will ask for again and again!
Looking for some dinner inspiration? I’ve got you. This Homemade Hamburger Helper recipe is a weeknight lifesaver – quick, easy, all made in one pot, and DELISH.
Quick and Easy Dinner Winner
- Easy to make: it’s as simple as making macaroni and cheese.
- Quick: on the table in 25 minutes.
- Clean up is a breeze: this dish only requires some measuring cups, a bowl, whisk, and one pot, so clean up is easy!
- Pantry items: I bet you already have most (if not all!) of the ingredients on hand.
- Budget friendly: you’re looking at around $15 to make this and it feeds 6.
- Picky eater approved: Even the pickiest of eaters love this dish!
Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Ground beef: We use lean 80/20. You can also use ground turkey instead.
- Onion: For great flavor.
- Olive oil: To sauté the onions.
- Elbow macaroni: Or substitute in a different small pasta.
- Cheddar cheese: Freshly grated is best, but pre-packaged will do if you’re in a pinch.
- Broth: Either beef or chicken broth can be used. We opt for low-sodium.
- Sauce: Tomato paste, ketchup, and mustard are mixed with the broth to create a sweet and tangy sauce for the pasta and beef to simmer in.
- Seasonings: garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes, and kosher salt.
- Garnish: Chopped fresh parsley for flavor and a pop of color.
How to make Homemade Hamburger Helper
This dish comes together in less than 30 minutes in one pot and only a few steps. It’s so easy! Here’s a summary.
*Scroll below for the complete printable recipe card.
- Brown the beef: sauté the beef and onions in the olive oil until the meat is cooked through. Drain off the grease.
- Pour in the sauce: mix together the broth, sauce ingredients, and seasonings. Pour it over the cooked beef.
- Add the pasta: Once the liquid is boiling, add in the pasta.
- Simmer: Reduce the heat to medium and cover. Cook for about 10-12 minutes until pasta is tender, stirring a couple times to prevent sticking.
- Stir in cheese: Stir in the cheese until melted.
- Enjoy! Divide into bowls and sprinkle with a little parsley, if desired.
What to Serve with Homemade Hamburger Helper
Homemade Hamburger Helper
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or beef broth)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium sweet onion , diced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cups uncooked macaroni
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- chopped parsley , for garnish, optional
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the broth, mustard, ketchup, tomato paste, garlic powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Brown the beef and onions, breaking apart the meat, until the onions are soft and the meat is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and combine. Drain off grease and return pan to heat.
- Give your broth mixture a quick stir and pour it into the meat. Bring to a boil and add the macaroni.
- Reduce the heat to medium, and cover. Continue cooking for 10-12 minutes, until the pasta is tender, stirring a few times to make sure the pasta isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- When the macaroni is done, sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Stir until melted, about 1 minute, and serve immediately.