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A square image of homemade hamburger helper in a cast iron skillet.
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4.88 from 190 votes

Homemade Hamburger Helper

One of our go-to dinner recipes when we are in the throes of busy school schedules and extracurricular activities and I haven't planned ahead is this Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet made with browned ground beef, shredded cheddar cheese, and cavatappi or macaroni noodles. It's may not be fancy, but it's always easy, satisfying, and a hit with my family!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 526kcal
Author: Amy Nash

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups hot water (or beef broth or chicken broth)
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 cups dry cavatappi pasta or macaroni noodles
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, then add the ground beef and break it up, cooking and stirring until the meat is no longer pink. Drain any remaining fat in the pan.
  • Sprinkle the cornstarch, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, sugar, and pepper over the browned meat and stir well to evenly distribute the spices. Add the hot water, milk, and pasta, then bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, reduce heat and simmer for 8-11 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
  • Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese over the cooked pasta and stir until melted into the sauce. Remove from the heat, and let stand for a few minutes until the sauce thickens a bit. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, if desired, then serve.

Video

Notes

  • Storage: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat with a splash of milk to loosen the sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • Adding veggies: You might consider adding chopped bell peppers, green beans, or other veggies to make this more of a true one-pot meal.
  • Substitutions: Swap out the cavatappi noodles for shells, macaroni, or any other small pasta you like. You can use ground turkey or ground chicken to lighten up this dish, as well as protein pasta or gluten-free pasta if you are looking to make a healthier version.
Recipe adapted from Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts.

Nutrition

Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 900mg | Potassium: 442mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1052IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 370mg | Iron: 3mg