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Close up photo of a wooden spoon scooping hamburger helper out of a skillet.
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5 from 2 votes

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper is a deliciously hearty dish that covers elbow macaroni and ground beef in a flavorful creamy cheesy sauce! Made in a dutch oven for a meal that cooks in only 30 minutes!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 800kcal



  • Add the ground beef, seasoning salt, and pepper to a large dutch oven. Brown the meat over medium heat, try to make sure there are no large clumps of meat. When the meat is fully cooked, drain the excess fat and leave the meat in the dutch oven.
  • Add the broth, cream, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon powder, dijon mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and paprika to the dutch oven and stir together. Bring to a boil.
  • Stir in the macaroni and simmer uncovered until al dente (about 10 minutes). Do not overcook the pasta.
  • Stir in 2 cups of cheese until fully melted.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese and some fresh parsley on top for serving.



  • Storage Instructions:
    • If you have leftovers, allow them to cool to room temperature before storing them in an airtight container. This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
    • It may be reheated in the microwave or on the stove until heated through. If it is not saucy enough, you may add more broth, cream, or milk.
    • If you want to store leftovers longer they should be frozen and will last for up to 3 months.
  • Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef? Yes! Ground turkey works well in this recipe. Another option would be ground sausage.
  • Would other types of pasta work? Yes! Feel free to try rotini, shells, penne, or fusilli, or whole-wheat pasta. Just keep in mind that you may need to adjust the amount of liquid and the cooking time. Just make sure that the pasta is al dente, and add enough liquid so that it is saucy enough for you.
  • I prefer to use fresh onions and garlic - how much and when would I add these? That is a great idea. I was trying to keep this recipe simple so that is why I used onion powder and garlic powder. But of course, the real thing will work well. Dice up one onion and add it to the Dutch oven at the same time as you add the ground beef. Once the meat is cooked, add 4 cloves of garlic and cook for one minute before adding the sauce ingredients.
  • I would like to add vegetables to this dish - what do you recommend? Some to try would be carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms. Just make sure to dice these up and add them with the beef at the beginning so they can fully cook. Or feel free to stir in roasted vegetables like broccoli, or cauliflower at the end of cooking.
  • Can this be made into a vegetarian dish? Yes! Just use vegetable broth instead of beef broth, leave out the beef bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, and ground beef. And load it up with vegetables!


Calories: 800kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 1753mg | Potassium: 716mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1112IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 478mg | Iron: 4mg