Cheesy Homemade Hamburger Helper

Cheesy Homemade Hamburger Helper

Simple pantry ingredients, one pot and only 30 minutes to make this cozy cheesy homemade hamburger helper from scratch. This big-batch weeknight pasta is enough to feed a small army, and leftovers are perfect for tomorrow’s lunch!


  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons brown gravy mix (I use McCormick brown gravy mix)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1lb macaroni
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 4oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese


  1. Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat
  2. Add ground beef, seasoning and salt. Cook the beef until mostly brown, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Drain excess fat, if needed.
  3. Stir in macaroni, broth and water. Cover.
  4. Simmer over medium low heat until macaroni is soft, 8-10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, and add the cheeses. Cover and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Stir well and serve.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8-10 servings, Serving Size: 1.5 cups

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 490 Calories
  • Total Fat: 18g
  • Cholesterol: 80.6mg
  • Sodium: 1325.3mg
  • Carbohydrates: 47.6g
  • Protein: 33.1g
Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimate only. Read full disclosure here.
All images and text © for Busy Cooks
Scroll down to read more tips and story behind the recipe

My husband loves hamburger helper. What’s not to love about it, right? Cheesy, satisfying comfort food that takes minutes to make. Well, good news!

No more boxed hamburger helper, because it’s just as easy but soooo much tastier to make it from scratch! 

This cheesy homemade hamburger helper recipe calls for simple pantry ingredients and requires the same easy cooking method as the boxed stuff. Dinner in 30 minutes tops!!!

How to make homemade hamburger helper? 

Brown ground beef, add macaroni, seasonings, liquid and simmer until pasta is done. Stir in cheeses and serve! That simple!

Here’re step by step photos to walk you through the entire process.

Brown the ground beef and drain it, if needed.

Add the liquid and macaroni. Simmer until pasta is cooked through.

This is how it looks when you put everything in the pot.

And this is how it looks after pasta is cooked. Most of the liquid is absorbed in pasta.

Add the cheeses, cover and let them melt. Then stir and serve!

Can you freeze homemade hamburger helper?

As mentioned earlier, this recipe makes a huge batch of hamburger pasta. The leftovers are great the next day, but I don’t recommend freezing it. And here is why? To properly reheat frozen pasta, you need to add enough liquid and heat it thoroughly. In that process, pasta gets too mushy. What is the solution? If you plan on freezing hamburger helper, cook the pasta al dante, take the portion out before adding cheese and freeze that. And proceed with remaining batch.

This hamburger helper recipe is also very forgiving. Use the recipe as a guideline and adjust it to your taste.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Swap out the seasoning with what you have and like.
  • Use whole wheat pasta instead of white one.
  • Substitute ground turkey or chicken for ground beef.
  • Play around with different cheeses.
  • Replace water with milk. 

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