One Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper is just like the classic favorite Cheeseburger Macaroni that we all know and love! This homemade version is made in one pot, rich and cheesy and tastes so much better than the boxed version!
Even as an adult I get cravings for those childhood favorites like hamburger helper. My favorite hamburger helper growing up was cheeseburger macaroni. It's such a classic flavor combination! Now that I'm grown up I may have the craving, but, the boxed version just doesn't suit my taste anymore.
I love a good one pot recipe too. One pot meals like my Homemade Hamburger Helper and this One Pot Creamy Parmesan Chicken and Rice are just as easy to make (if not easier) than any boxed meal. They are super budget friendly and made with ingredients we usually have in our pantry. Plus, they have a really great flavor without packaged powdered products so we know what we are getting!
How to Make Homemade Hamburger Helper:
To make this cheeseburger macaroni hamburger helper there is no reason to dirty more than one dish! Start with a large skillet and brown your ground beef until it's no longer pink. Then, drain ALL of the grease from the skillet. I also like to wipe my skillet out with a paper towel for this recipe, although that is completely optional.
Next, you will turn your stove heat down to low and stir all of your seasonings into your meat. This recipe has been tested and tried many times and the seasoning combo provides just the right amount of flavor without the dish being too salty. Don't worry about the hot sauce, it doesn't make the dish spicy, it just adds a nice kick of flavor!
The next step is to add your macaroni and beef broth. I recommend using low-sodium broth if possible. You can also use chicken broth, vegetable broth, or simply water for this recipe if necessary.
Give everything a really good stir to make sure the ketchup, mustard, and seasonings are all well mixed in. Use the back of your wooden spoon if you need to make sure the macaroni is submerged under the broth.
Then, you will simply cover your dish with a tight-fitting lid and let it simmer for 12-15 minutes until your macaroni is soft. I recommend lifting the lid and stirring once or twice during the process.
You will notice that there is absolutely no milk in this recipe. During recipe testing, I found the flavor much better leaving the milk out. The addition of sour cream at the end gives a great creaminess and zing of flavor!
Once your macaroni is completely cooked you will remove your pan from the heat. Then, stir in the sour cream until it is well incorporated. Then, you can place your pan back on the warm burner and add in the shredded cheese mixing until well combined.
I recommend using freshly shredded cheddar right off the block if possible. It melts so much better than the bagged pre-shredded stuff!
One Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper
- 1 Pound Ground Beef
- 1 Tablespoon Ketchup
- 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Teaspoon Hot Sauce Optional
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Seasoned Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Pepper
- 1 ½ Cups Macaroni
- 3 ½ Cups Broth or Water
- ½ Cup Sour Cream
- 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat until no longer pink. Drain grease and return meat to the pan.
- Reduce heat to low and add the ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, seasonings, macaroni and broth to the pan and stir well to combine.
- Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes until macaroni is cooked through.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in the sour cream.
- Return the pan to the warm burner and stir in the shredded cheese until well combined.
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Love this recipe every time I make it!
Jayden Jerkic says
A little runny, would definitely only do 2 1/2 cups of broth instead of 3 1/2, overall pretty tasty, first time I’ve made this dish, also my first time trying hamburger helper. I also accidentally added too much salt
Delicious recipe. Thank you for posting, Nichole.
It seems like so far there is too much broth ? Anyone else have this experience ?
Barbara Coleman says
You can thicken it with corn starch. I like it sauce but not runny. Or cook it down for longer before noodles so they don’t get mushy.
Delicious! Requested by the kids on many occasions. Quick and easy weeknight dinner.
I was leary of this because I hate HH, but my husband loves it. This was delicious. I followed the recipe as written.
Liz Brandt says
My husband and kids loved it
I have made this recipe so many times in the last two years it's not even funny. I almost always have all the ingredients on hand and my two kids will always eat it. It's just as easy as making them chicken nuggets or box Mac & cheese but I feel much better about giving them something homemade! I Always use whole wheat pasta and normally have greek yogurt in the fridge instead of sour cream. Thank you so much for this delicious toddler and mom approved meal!
Made with ground turkey and replaced sour cream with nonfat greek yogurt. Staple in our house
Simple and tasty! Toddler approved (did not add hot sauce)
Carrie-Anne DeCaprio says
It has become a staple in our house
So good, and quick too! Will make again. Didn’t have sour cream but it turned out great without it. Wayyyyy better than the boxed stuff!
This is a really good recipe I've made many times the flavor is spot on and way better than the box stuff I wouldn't change anything about it. That said it is easy to substitute some of the ingredients if you don't happen to have the right ones. Instead of sour cream I've used cream cheese and a different time I used heavy cream and still turned out really good. But I recommend the first time you make it follow the recipe exactly because it is delicious!
I love this recipe but since it makes so much, I am wondering if anyone has frozen it. If so, is it good reheated after being frozen?
I don't think it would freeze well but if you look at the recipe above you can change the servings this recipe halves very easily. I do 2 servings and for two hungry people there won't even be any leftovers.
I substituted medium egg noodles for this. Also used home made bone broth. Left out the dairy.
Delish, will make again
Beth in Oklahoma says
Love this recipe, so easy to adapt it to what you currently have on hand. I added peas, as well. Thanks!
Lisa M. says
I looked at several homemade Hamburger Helper recipes and this one was by far the best and easiest one I found. It was a stressful evening the night I made this. Nothing was going right but this recipe saved the day. It was super easy to throw together and practically cooked itself! I will for sure make this again.
I have made this numerous times and love it! It’s just me so I have it for a few nights, always looking forward to having it again. I’ve even wished I had more after eating a week straight, that’s how tasty this dish is. My adult children still make the boxed hamburger helper and I know they wouldn’t be disappointed with this dish.
Vickie R. says
Made this tonight--1-2-23.
Used 3 of my Member's Mark Ground Angus Beef Patties that were frozen (they are 1/3 lb. each).
Didn't have Dijon mustard, so used regular
Didn't use hot sauce
Used water vs broth, but seasoned the water with 3 tsp chicken bouillon and 2 tsp better than bouillon vegetable base.
Used a Mexican style mixed cheese instead of straight cheddar.
It was so scrumptious! Thanks for the recipe; will print and use again.
Lisa Hodges says
Very tasty recipe, I substituted shredded turkey for the hamburger . I also added pinch of cayenne instead of hot sauce and half cup Greek yoghurt. Great way to use up turkey leftovers. I would make this again maybe use tomato paste for a more robust tomato base for the sauce.