This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy.

Make your own Homemade Hamburger Helper at home in just one pot! Ground beef and macaroni simmer in a richly seasoned beef broth, and it’s finished off with cream and cheese. This is so much better than the boxed stuff.

Recipe for homemade hamburger helper that is shown inside a skillet pan.

HOMEMADE HAMBURGER HELPER RECIPE

Did you know that you can make homemade hamburger helper?! I know the store-bought boxed hamburger helper is so convenient and trust me, I totally get that some nights that is as good as it will get, and I have nothing against store-bought convenient meals. 

But you can make hamburger helper at home in just one pot! Yes even the macaroni noodles cook in the same pot. This is a richly seasoned ground beef base and elbow noodles that cook in beef broth. Add in some cheese, cream, and sour cream at the end and you have delicious homemade hamburger helper. 

Hamburger helper made at home in just one pot.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE HOMEMADE HAMBURGER HELPER IN ONE POT

Ground Beef – I use lean ground beef that is 93/7. But you will drain the excess grease so you can use anything you like or whatever you have.

Onion – I use a yellow onion but you could also use a white onion or a sweet Vidalia onion as well. 

Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Pepper

Tomato Paste 

Worcestershire Sauce – Trust me on this one! I know some think this is too strong in recipes, but it’s only 1 teaspoon and it makes such a difference and gives such a rich and deep flavor. 

Beef Broth – The recipe has been tested with full salt beef broth (not the 50% reduced sodium). If you are more sensitive to salt or you want to control the salt amount then go ahead and use the 50% reduced sodium beef broth. 

Elbow Pasta – I know I will get the question of “can I use another pasta” and the answer is that it is best to stick with what the recipe calls for. You can always experiment with other similar sized pasta but for best results use the elbows. 

Sour Cream – Light sour cream is just fine.

Heavy Cream

Shredded Cheddar Cheese – Shred this yourself from a block of cheddar cheese. The packaged pre-shredded cheese has a powder coating on it to prevent it from clumping in the bag, which also means it does not melt as smoothly as the cheese that you shred yourself. 

How to make a recipe for homemade hamburger helper with easy to follow pictures with step by step instructions.

MY TIPS & HELPFUL HINTS

  • Can I make this spicy?

    • The recipe as written is not spicy at all. It’s very flavorful but not spicy. If you want it spicier then try adding some cayenne red pepper in with the seasonings. You could also add some hot sauce in with the beef broth and pasta. 
  • Can I use a different pasta?

    • It’s best to always follow the recipe and use the pasta that the recipe has been tested with. 
    • You could alway try using a similar sized pasta as the elbows if you want to. 
  • Use shredded cheese that you grate yourself

    • I know buying the pack of shredded cheese is so much easier but grate your own for best results. 
    • The packaged cheese comes with a powder coating on it to prevent it from clumping up in the bag. But it also prevents it from melting smoothly and nicely into whatever you put it in. Grated cheese from a block will always taste better than the pre-shredded cheese in the bags. 

A picture with a close up picture of homemade hamburger helper

A dinner recipe for ground beef hamburger helper made at home in just one pot.

TRY THESE OTHER ONE POT DINNER RECIPES

One Pot Taco Pasta – Easy one pot dinner recipe with taco seasoned ground beef, pasta, and salsa.  

Chicken Burrito Skillet – Chicken burritos made in one skillet pan but without the tortillas. Chicken, beans, tomatoes, simmer in a seasoned chicken broth base. We love this topped with all our favorite taco toppings like lettuce, avocado, and sour cream. 

Tomato Hamburger Vegetable Soup – A delicious hamburger soup made in one pot on the stove top.

BBQ Beef Pasta Skillet – BBQ seasoned ground beef with pasta and corn. This has such a unique flavor to it and it smells amazing while cooking. 

One Pot Turkey Chili Mac and Cheese – Ground turkey chili cooks with pasta in the same pan for an easy, 30 minute dinner that combines the two best comfort foods – Mac and cheese and chili!

One Pot Chicken Mushroom Orzo – Amazingly creamy orzo with juicy chicken, mushrooms and baby spinach. 

Recipe for homemade hamburger helper that is shown inside a skillet pan.
Together As Family Logo

One Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper


Author Jessica - Together as Family
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people (1 cup each)
Make your own homemade hamburger helper at home in just one pot! Ground beef and macaroni simmer in a richly seasoned beef broth, and it's finished off with cream and cheese. This is o much better than the boxed stuff.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • cups beef broth
  • 2 cups elbow noodles uncooked
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Instructions

  • In a skillet pan, with a lid, cook the ground beef, onion, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper over medium-high heat. Cook and crumble the ground beef until it's no longer pink. Drain.
  • Add the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce into the ground beef and stir until it's combined well.
  • Add the beef broth and uncooked elbow pasta. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, cover the pan with the lid, and reduce heat to medium-low.
    Let it cook for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is cooked to your preference.
  • Add the shredded cheese, cream, and sour cream. Stir until combined.
  • Serve immediately.
    Leftovers keep well, in a Tupperware type container, for several days. Reheat in the microwave.

Notes

Onion : Use whichever onion you prefer. I use a yellow onion but you could also use a white onion or a sweet Vidalia onion in this recipe. 
Beef Broth : I use full salt beef broth in this recipe. If you are more sensitive to salt, or you want to be able to control the salt amount, then you will want to use the 50% reduced sodium beef broth. 
Salt : I use kosher salt in this recipe. If you are using table salt then you may want to only use about 3/4 teaspoon salt with the ground beef. Table salt is finer which means more of it can fit inside the measuring spoon.
Cheese : I highly recommend that you shred the cheddar cheese from a block. The bagged shredded cheese has a powder coating on it to prevent it from clumping in the bag, but it also means it does not melt as smoothly as the cheese you shred yourself from a block. 
Make it spicy? Add some hot sauce in with the beef broth and pasta. You could use some cayenne red pepper with the other seasonings. 

Nutrition

Calories: 510kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 1037mg | Potassium: 530mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 714IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 322mg | Iron: 3mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

I'd love to see it! You can share it with me on @togetherasfamilyblog and follow on Pinterest @together-as-family-blog-recipes or Facebook @togetherasfamilyblog for more!

Did you love this recipe?

Make sure to comment below so we can chat about it! Or follow on your favorite social network for even more family recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. Thank you this recipe is awesome!! I made this tonight for my 4 year old and I but I’m gluten and dairy free and it turned out amazing!! I also made it in the instant pot so I added a bit more liquid and pressure cooked it before adding the cheese, sour cream and cream!

  2. 5 stars
    The instructions are missing a step in regards to the heavy cream. When is this added?

    1. Lucy Pulsipher says:

      You add the heavy cream at step 5 when you add the shredded cheese and sour cream. Let me know how it turns out!

  3. 5 stars
    Super simple and crazy delicious. So easy to make. Def. in the rotation.

    1. Together as Family says:

      So glad to hear that Greg! Thank you for your comment!

    1. Together as Family says:

      It could, however, I’m not a huge fan of freezing cooked noddles (besides lasagna) because once they’re thawed I feel like they break down. I would suggest freezing the meat mixture prior to adding the noodles. And then when you want to eat the dish add cooked noodles to the thawed meat mix. Let me know how it turns out!

  4. Tracey L. says:

    Doing this tonight! Sounds easy and I have all ingredients and reading everyone’s comments, I feel confident it will be tasty! Thanks!

    1. Together as Family says:

      Yay! I love it when I have all the ingredients for a recipe I want to try! Let me know how you like it.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and OH MY GOD, it is the definition of comfort food 😋 I added in some Velveeta and it brought to next level creamy cheesy goodness! thanks for sharing this!! 😊

    1. Together as Family says:

      I’m glad you liked it! Love the idea of adding a little Velveeta.

  6. 5 stars
    my kids love this and I feel better knowing exactly what’s in it. really is just as easy as making hamburger helper. my daughter doesn’t tolerate a lot of dairy so I leave the sour cream out. she does fine with cheese. … that’s what makes it nice ….you can customize it to your families diet restrictions and needs.

    1. Together as Family says:

      You took the words out of my mouth! I love a recipe substitute for a packaged meal so I can determine what gets put in the food. So glad it worked for you daughter and her needs.

  7. 4 stars
    Made this tonight. It was very good. I can not pin point what was missing for me. More seasonings? I’m not complaining. It was extremely fast and easy and was good. Just 4 stars good though.

    1. Together as Family says:

      Glad you liked it! This dish is nice because it can be adapted in different ways depending on what seasonings or even what veggies you throw in there.