Homemade cheeseburger macaroni is a great way to avoid the store and boxed stuff. With real cheese, seasonings, ground beef, and noodles you can create a tasty dish in under 30 minutes.
Mac and cheese with ground beef
I have never been a real huge fan of boxed hamburger helpers. Well, I loved the sweet and sour chicken one, and there’s like one or two beef ones that are okay when I’m in a pinch but I hardly ever have any in the house.
My husband often complains because it’s a favorite of his. I just can’t get past the high sodium and the fact that the boxes cost so much and make so little food for us. Making it homemade solves all of those problems.
What’s even better is that the homemade version makes a ton and in about the same amount of time as the boxed version would have. In under 30 minutes I can have a pot full of food and feel good knowing exactly what’s in it.
Ingredients for homemade cheeseburger mac
- Ground Beef
- Cherry Tomates
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Cayenne Pepper
- Elbow Noodles
- Cheddar Cheese
- Cream Cheese
What you’ll need to make this recipe
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Tips for making hamburger mac and cheese
When you’re making this recipe, there’s a point where it looks ruined because the milk curdles. I just want to make sure that you now this is completely normal and is a result of the milk reaching a boiling point.
If you chose to substitute it for a higher fat like heavy cream it would be less likely to do this, but the dish would have a much higher fat content.
As the liquid gets absorbed by the noodles, the curdle look goes away, and after adding in the cheese it’s completely gone and unnoticeable. It has no change in the texture of the dish.
If you want a stronger cheese flavor use sharp cheddar cheese or double up on the cheese if you really want it extra cheesy!
FAQ’s about homemade cheeseburger helper
Your leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. This should give you plenty of chances to eat it all or it can be a great way to meal prep for the week.
Yes! Just place the cooled meal in an airtight container or Ziploc bag and place it in the freezer for up to 6 months. To thaw, place it in the fridge overnight and reheat before eating.
How to make easy cheeseburger macaroni skillet
Combine your ground beef and diced onion in a large pot over med/high heat.
Drain the excess grease and then stir in the seasonings.
Add in the cream cheese and stir until melted.
Turn the heat to high and add in the water and milk. Bring to a rolling boil.
Add in the elbow noodles and return to a boil.
Cover. Reduce the heat down to medium and let it boil for 5 minutes.
Stir, and then place the lid on and continue boiling or another 5 minutes. It’s going to look curdled, that’s okay.
Remove the pot from the heat and top with your cheese. Place the lid back on and wait a minute or two for the cheese to melt. This makes it easier to stir in.
Stir until the cheese is fully mixed in. Gently fold in the cherry tomatoes.
Let stand 5 minutes uncovered and then serve.
Other great dinner ideas
- Chicken Divan Noodle Casserole
- Creamy Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole
- Tater Tot Casserole
Hamburger Macaroni Skillet Meal
- 1-2 lbs ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 16oz box elbow noodles
- 8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup cherry red tomatoes, quartered
- In a large pot over medium/high heat, combine your ground beef and diced onion.
- Brown the ground beef and drain all excess grease. Add in the seasonings and stir until combined.
- Add in the cream cheese and stir until it's melted and fully incorporated.
- Turn the heat up to high and add in the water and milk. Bring to a boil and add in the elbow noodles.
- Return to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat down to medium-low. Boil for 5 minutes. Stir, and then boil for another 5 minutes. You may notice the curdle appearance of the liquid at this point. This is normal.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add your cheddar cheese. Place the lid on and wait a minute or two for the cheese to melt. This makes it easier to stir in. Stir the cheese in until it's fully combined.
- Gently fold in the cherry tomatoes. The heat of the noodle dish will warm them up and cook them slightly, but you don't want to crush them.
- Let the pot stand for 5 minutes before serving to help the sauce thicken and cool.