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Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper. A quick and easy stovetop skillet ground beef dinner ready in 30 minutes.

Homemade Hamburger Helper

A quick ground beef dinner recipe that is ready in 30 minutes. Not only does this Creamy Homemade Copycat Hamburger Helper taste better but it is also healthier than the box stuff. 

We like to keep ingredients we can’t pronounce to a minimum in our house. 

This is the perfect dinner for a busy school night. It is easy and quick to cook. And clean-up is a breeze too. One pot to boil the pasta and one skillet to cook the rest. 

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Ingredients for Homemade Hamburger Helper

  • elbow macaroni
  • olive oil
  • ground beef
  • medium sweet onion
  • garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • all-purpose flour
  • beef stock
  • tomato sauce
  • heavy cream
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • fresh parsley (optional garnish)


  • Ground beef for ground turkey. 
  • Elbow macaroni pasta for different shapes of pasta like shells, rotini, or cavatappi pasta. 
  • Shredded sharp cheddar for medium or extra sharp cheddar
Homemade Hamburger Helper

How to Make Homemade Hamburger Helper

Start a pot of salted water on high heat and allow it to come to a boil. Meanwhile, heat up the oil in your skillet and brown the ground beef. Crumble the beef as it cooks. Once the water comes to a boil add in your pasta. If you have a 1 pound box of pasta use only half the box. Cook per pasta box directions. Drain and set aside. 

Once ground beef has been browned, drain and set aside. Do not return it to the skillet. You will add it back later. 

Add onion to the skillet and cook until it is soft and translucent. Then add in the garlic and Italian seasoning. Give it a good stir. 

Now add in the flour and stir it is equally distributed on the skillet rather than one large lump. You want to flour to brown. 

Once your flour has browned whisk in your beef broth and tomato sauce. Continue to whisk until it is fully mixed together. 

Now whisk in heavy cream. At this point, you can dip a spoon in your sauce to taste test it. If you want a little more cream to add about 2 tablespoons at a time but don’t overdo it. Once the cream is mixed in and you have a flavorful sauce stir in the beef. Next stir in the pasta. Stir until the pasta and beef are coated with the sauce. 

Now comes the cheese! Instead of dumping all the cheese on top of the skillet take a wooden spoon and push portions of the hamburger helper to reveal the bottom of the skillet. Add a handful of cheese on the revealed part of the skillet then cover with hamburger helper. Repeat this until all the cheese is used. Continue to stir until cheese is melted through. This method of pushing and covering helps the cheese melt faster and it is evenly distributed. 

Dinner is now ready to be served. You can garnish with fresh chopped parsley. 

Make it Saucier

Want a more saucy hamburger helper? When it comes a time in the recipe to add the pasta only add half then stir. You can stop there or add a little more pasta until you find the right balance. 

What to Serve with Hamburger Helper

Hamburger Helper is a comfort meal on its own but some vegetables wouldn’t hurt. Here is a list of sides that go great with hamburger helper. 

Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe

Leftover Hamburger Helper

  • Place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. 
  • This recipe can be frozen. I recommend freezing portion sizes. For an easy lunch. 
  • Reheat in the microwave instructions: Place in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high for 1:30 minutes stirring halfway. 

Hamburger Helper Flavors

Get inspired and try something new. Here is a list of all the Hamburger Helper flavors. 

Maybe next time omit the garlic and Italian seasoning and season with a ranch seasoning packet or taco seasoning.  Or just stick with this classic homemade cheeseburger macaroni recipe. 

More Recipes like this one!

Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Creamy Homemade Hamburger Helper with ground beef, pasta, and cheese.


  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned, drain excess fat. Set aside.
  3. Add diced onion to the skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent.
  4. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning.
  5. Whisk in flour until lightly browned. (About 1 minute)
  6. Whisk in beef stock and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 6 minutes.
  7. Stir in pasta, beef, and heavy cream.
  8. Stir in cheese until melted.
  9. Sprinkle the top with chopped parsley.
  10. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 8 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 26.4gSaturated Fat: 13.7gUnsaturated Fat: 4.6gCholesterol: 97.3mgSodium: 660.1mgCarbohydrates: 15.1gFiber: 1.6gSugar: 4.9gProtein: 22.6g

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