One Pot Beefaroni features hearty ground beef and macaroni noodles all married up with a cheesy tomato sauce! It’s a savory, filling, stick to your ribs entree that will bring back memories of the classic!

homemade beefaroni in a pot

Homemade Beefaroni

One of my favorite things to do is take childhood favorites like Hamburger Helper and Ramen Noodles and transform them! Beefaroni is a childhood right of passage. There’s something so nostalgic about cracking open a can of Chef Boyardee for dinner! However, this homemade beefaroni recipe is so much better than the OG. Tender macaroni noodles and hearty ground beef come together in a cheesy tomato sauce to create the very best bite that you just can’t get from a can. Plus, when you make it yourself, you can really control everything that goes into it to best fit the needs of your family. Speaking of family, if they’re anything like mine, they’ll be begging for this beefaroni dinner on a weekly basis! 

What’s the difference between beefaroni and goulash?

Typically, American goulash (which greatly differs from classic Hungarian goulash) features diced tomatoes and a much thinner sauce than beefaroni. Beefaroni has a thicker sauce with no diced tomatoes, peppers or other veggies – it’s just beef, noodles and sauce. 

How to Make Homemade Beefaroni

  • Cook the beef. Cook the ground beef in a skillet (or pot). Break it up as you go until it’s fully browned. If necessary, drain the grease before moving forward. 
  • Make it flavorful. Stir in the ketchup and all seasonings. 
  • Cook the macaroni. Add the macaroni, beef broth, and tomato sauce. Give it a good stir. Cover with a lid and lower the heat to medium-low. Let everything simmer for about 12-15 minutes or until the macaroni is cooked and tender. 
  • Make it cheesy. This is the fun part! Stir in all of the cheddar cheese until it’s melted and well incorporated into the sauce. 
three panel collage image showing different steps of preparing one pot beefaroni

Storing Homemade Beefaroni

Let the beefaroni fully cool to room temperature prior to storing in an airtight container in the fridge. Properly stored, it’ll stay fresh for about 3-4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time it stops, until warmed all the way through. 

Serving Suggestions 

With an entree this hearty, I like to lighten up my plate a little with veggie side dishes like Parmesan Ranch Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Carrots, Roasted Cauliflower or Bacon Green Beans

Ingredient Notes for Homemade Beefaroni

  • Ground Beef – I like to use lean ground beef, that way I don’t have to drain a lot of excess grease from the pan. You can also swap the beef with something like ground turkey or chicken if preferred. 
  • Elbow Macaroni – This is the pasta to use in order to be the closest copycat to Chef Boyardee. However, you could always use shells or another short pasta if that’s what you already have on hand.
  • Brown Sugar – You can add more or less of this to control the sweetness in the dish. The whole reason it’s in the dish at all is to help cut through the acidic tomatoes. You can omit it entirely if you want. 
  • Beef Broth – Low-sodium beef broth is the way to go! That way, you can add more salt if needed and better control the amount of sodium in the dish. 
  • Tomato Sauce – This is what gives the sauce the thick consistency and robust flavor. Don’t swap it with any other tomato ingredient. 
  • Cheddar Cheese – If possible, try to shred your cheddar cheese fresh off the block for the very best flavor and consistency. 
one pot beefaroni in a skillet



4.67 from 3 votes


One Pot Beefaroni features hearty ground beef and macaroni noodles all married up with a cheesy tomato sauce! It’s a savory, filling, stick to your ribs entree that will bring back memories of the classic!
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 30 minutes



  • Cook the ground beef in a large skillet or pot (one that has a lid) breaking up as you go untl no longer pink. Drain the grease if necessary and return the meat to the pan and the pan to the heat.
  • Add in the ketchup, chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder along with salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
  • Add the macaroni, beef broth, and tomato sauce and stir. Cover and reduce the heat to low-medium low and simmer for 12-15 minutes until macaroni is cooked through.
  • Once the macaroni is cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.



Serving: 1.5Cups, Calories: 338kcal

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

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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  1. 5 stars
    My wife and I loved this. Its very easy to make. Double the recipe for a large family. The only thing I would do different is add raw onion. For a twist, we had garlic bread. Would recommend.