Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni

Homemade Hamburger Helper: Cheeseburger Macaroni | texanerin.com

Three weeks after the end of the holidays and I’m still burned out on sweets. I’ll get back to baking soon enough, but for now, here’s something cheesy and carby. Probably my favorite combination!

I never had Hamburger Helper growing up. I didn’t even really know what it was until a college roommate introduced me to it. I protested, scoffed at her, told her that there was no way I would like it. But I did. I mean, it tastes so junky. How could I not love something so junky?! It’s awful, I know.

Needless to say, Hamburger Helper doesn’t exist in Germany (although there are tons of prepackaged meals here) but even if it did, I wouldn’t be buying it. This version is so easy and doesn’t contain any of the scary ingredients! I realize it’s not exactly healthy, but at least it’s healthier than the boxed version, right? :)

And it really is creamier than in the picture. It had been sitting at room temperature for a really long time at that point.

All you do is brown the meat, add pasta, milk, and some seasonings. If that’s easy. And you can use whole wheat, gluten-free, or regular pasta. Whatever you want. I’ve used all kinds and they all work just as well.

Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni

Rated 5.0 by 2 readers
Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 4 - 6 servings


  • 1¼ (565 grams) pound ground beef
  • 3 cups (710ml) milk
  • 1¾ cups (4 dl) whole wheat macaroni or pasta of choice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1¾ teaspoons paprika
  • 1¼ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1¼ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cup (141 grams) cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, cook the meat until almost browned. A little pink is okay as it'll be simmering for a while later on.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, except for the cheddar cheese, and stir together. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 - 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. This is using whole wheat pasta. It might take less time if you use the regular stuff. If you find that too much of the liquid has evaporated, add some more milk or water, stir and cover again.
  3. Stir in the cheese until well mixed in. If you like the consistency, serve immediately. If you want it to be a little thicker, wait about 5 minutes.

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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34 comments on “Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni” — Add one!

  • Cari says
    January 27, 2014 @ 4:01 am

    We liked it! Added extra pasta and spices. Was very yummy! Thanks Erin :D

    • Erin replies to Cari
      January 29, 2014 @ 11:44 pm

      Sorry for the slow reply, Cari! I’m happy that you all liked it. :) I bet extra spices was a great change! It’s kind of bland (like Hamburger Helper tends to be) so I’m sure it was an improvement. :) Thanks so much for the feedback!

  • Laura
    October 19, 2013 @ 4:11 am

    I love this recipe, and so does my little boy–he ate four helpings the first night I made it! I was afraid he would pop! It is definitely kid friendly, and so easy–it will be on permanent supper rotation!

    • Erin replies to Laura
      October 19, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that your little boy liked it! And wow, 4 servings? Impressive! I’m thrilled that you all liked it enough to put it on the regular rotation. :) Thanks a ton for the feedback and rating!

  • Heather R
    May 28, 2013 @ 11:15 pm

    I loved Hamburger Helper when I was in my teens and I ate LOTS of it. I hadn’t had it in years and had some less than a year ago and thought it was gross. I thought it tasted sort of chemically. This however is delicious. I even used almond milk because I ran out of cow’s milk. This recipe appeals to me now like Hamburger Helper did all those years ago.

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says
    February 5, 2013 @ 2:46 am

    I haven't had hamburger helper since college. I used to love it though! I so want to make this – I think my guys would love it too!

  • amy @ fearless homemaker says
    January 31, 2013 @ 9:14 pm

    I haven't had hamburger helper in years but I'm tempted to make this now. It looks wonderful!

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist says
    January 29, 2013 @ 4:01 pm

    Erin this looks DIVINE!!!! Comfort food at its finest :)

  • JulieD says
    January 29, 2013 @ 12:23 am

    OMG I need some of this. I love that you said junky! We used to make Hamburger and Tuna helper alllll the time when I was in middle school. Ahh the memories – I would watch Swans Crossing and All My Children with my friend and we'd make this. Funny huh?

    • Cari replies to JulieD
      January 27, 2014 @ 2:23 am

      Swans Crossing! I loved that show. Forgot all about it :)
      Erin- making the Cheeseburger Macaroni right now, I’ll report back how the family liked it. We stopped using Hamburger Helper about one year ago. Everyone loved the box stuff, but we are trying to eat cleaner.

  • kesha says
    January 28, 2013 @ 1:03 am

    I just made this for dinner and our family loved it :)

    Thank you for sharing

    • Erin replies to kesha
      January 29, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

      Yay! I'm happy that they liked it. Thanks for the feedback. :)

  • Carla Walker says
    January 25, 2013 @ 7:43 pm

    I love whole wheat pasta. And I used to love hamburger helper as a kid (bad I know), but I love that this is just as easy! I am craving it now for lunch :D

  • eatgood4life.blogspot.com says
    January 25, 2013 @ 1:29 am

    I have never been attracted to this stuff :-) that comes on a can or container. I have seen the commercials about it before, and never knew what the heck it was because we don't have it in Spain. However, now that you have made this from scratch I could actually give this a go :-)

  • cookies and cups says
    January 23, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

    This looks great! I bet my kiddos would love it!

  • Honey says
    January 23, 2013 @ 5:23 am

    wow… Erin.. grew up eating this stuff.. but now I don't eat beef anymore. What a great version of Hamburger Helper. :)

  • Loretta E. says
    January 23, 2013 @ 4:28 am

    Thanks for bringing me back my college days Erin! I never had this growing up because my mom always did homemade meals (now I know why), but in college I bought it a lot because I was lazy or something…

  • Angela AnotherBitePlease says
    January 23, 2013 @ 3:57 am

    i love these kind of dinner meals for my hubby & kiddos…they always go over so well…meat & pasta how could it not. thanks for the homemade version…i've done away with almost all boxed meals :-)

  • Baking Serendipity says
    January 23, 2013 @ 3:05 am

    My husband ate this all the time as a kid, and is always requesting it, but I hate the thought of all the preservatives in the boxed mix. Adding this to our meal plan next week for sure…thank you!

  • Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking says
    January 22, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

    Yummy! This looks so delicious Erin… just the kind of kiddo-style comfort food I've been craving lately. Thanks for sharing!

  • Flavia Andrews says
    January 22, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

    Hi Erin! Nice to see savory food on your blog. I am sure it's delicious! It looks so yummy! You have given me an idea to complete my week's dinner menu! Hugs!

    • Erin replies to Flavia Andrews
      January 22, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

      Oooh, it's Flavia! Hey. :D I'm happy this post provided you with some menu planning inspiration! And someone likes seeing savory food over here – YAY! Thank you. :)

  • Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction says
    January 22, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    This looks like some wonderful comfort food!

  • Cassie | Bake Your Day says
    January 22, 2013 @ 12:04 am

    I adore this, Erin! I grew up on hamburger helper but never buy it now. I love the idea of a homemade version!

    • Erin replies to Cassie | Bake Your Day
      January 22, 2013 @ 9:57 pm

      Yeah, you can make the homemade version without shame! Not exactly gourmet, but still yummy. :)

  • Jill says
    January 21, 2013 @ 11:27 pm

    I haven't tried a homemade hamburger helper recipe, but I want too! Looks good!

    • Erin replies to Jill
      January 22, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

      I hope you can give it a try! It's just as good as the boxed stuff. :)

  • Shea @ Dixie Chik Cooks says
    January 21, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

    Great looking hamburger helper!! I love the whole wheat pasta in this.

    • Erin replies to Shea @ Dixie Chik Cooks
      January 22, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

      Thanks! You really can't tell the difference between the whole wheat and normal version. It's too cheesy. :D

  • Regina @ SpecialtyCakeCreations says
    January 21, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

    I have never had Hamburger Helper, neither in Germany (haha) or Canada although I've seen it around. However, your pasta looks and sounds delicious.
    I basically grew up on German pre-mixed spaghetti sauce seasoning (Knorr I think is most popular). It has molded my taste buds so much that I have never had any spaghetti sauce since that I liked any better (not even in Italy ;)
    Have you tried it yet? I am curious how 'American taste buds' perceive it :)

    • Erin replies to Regina @ SpecialtyCakeCreations
      January 22, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

      Whaaat?! Pre-mixed spaghetti sauce?! I didn't know that this was a thing. I know about the carbonara ones and they sound okay, but spaghetti sauce?! See. This is me when I first had to try Hamburger Helper. "What?! What?! You want me to eat *that*?!" But really, how does it have texture? It's powder! If I work up the courage to buy it one day, I'll let you know what I think. :)

  • sally @ sallys baking addiction says
    January 21, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

    i have yet to find a hamburger helper copycat recipe that we love, Erin. I use ground turkey when I try to make something similar to this and I was just thinking about making it again this week. I think you read my mind – this version looks and sounds spectacular. Oh and so easy too. I always try to complicate things in the kitchen. Slow down Sally! :)

    • Erin replies to sally @ sallys baking addiction
      January 22, 2013 @ 9:45 pm

      Oh! You know what, I have no idea what's going on in your kitchen other than loads of cookies and muffins. It would be so fun to see a savory Sally week or something! Although I realize people are there for the sweets. Anyway, I'd be interested! And yes, slow down, you! No need to make it fussy. :)


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