This homemade cheeseburger macaroni recipe is made with whole, clean ingredients, tastes better than the boxed stuff and is ready in 20 minutes!
Sometimes it’s those simple comforts that hit the spot best.
I grew up in health-conscious home where things like Hamburger Helper were only served on very rare occasions. And I’m grateful for a mom who took the time to cook healthy, wholesome meals for her family. I now do the same. But on those rare occasions we certainly enjoyed those quick, less-than-healthy meals. Let’s face it, they taste pretty good. I specifically recollect those moments of eating Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni and Tuna Casserole. Probably because it was so infrequent.
So here is a version of it you can eat and enjoy without any worry about of the nasty ingredients that typically accompany pre-prepared foods.
Like this ingredient list below from Hamburger Helper’s Cheeseburger Macaroni – you don’t have to worry about any of those items I’ve emphasized in bold:
“Enriched Macaroni (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Corn Starch, Salt, Enriched Flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Sugar, Ricotta Cheese* (whey, milkfat, lactic acid, salt), Tomato*, Monosodium Glutamate, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Modified Corn Starch, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Paprika, Spice, Color (yellow lakes 5 & 6, yellows 5 & 6), Mono and Diglycerides, Cheddar Cheese* (milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Yeast Extract, Enzyme Modified Blue Cheese (milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Cream, Whey, Enzyme Modified Cheddar Cheese (milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Butter Oil, Nonfat Milk, Blue Cheese* (milk, salt, cheese cultures, enzymes), Sodium Caseinate, Silicon Dioxide (anticaking agent), Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Calcium Caseinate, Enzymes.*Dried”
Now compare that with our ingredient list:
“Macaroni, beef, onions, tomatoes, avocado oil, spices, sugar, flour, milk, beef broth, cheddar cheese”
And that’s including the out-of-box ingredients of beef, milk and broth.
With a clean list of ingredients you can feel good about what you’re feeding your family. Our kids love this cheeseburger macaroni and I don’t have to worry about what’s in it.
Ready for the table in 20 minutes, there simply is NO good reason to every buy the packaged stuff again!
Ready to get cooking?
Let’s get started!
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the ground beef until no pink remains.
Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and add the seasonings and flour.
Add the milk and beef broth and stir.
Stir in the macaroni.
Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low.
Cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until the macaroni is done. I prefer mine a little al dente and check after 9 minutes.
Add the cheese.
Stir until the cheese is melted.
For serving you can garnish it with a little chopped fresh parsley if you like.
Dinner is served.
For a fun and tasty variation for autumn, try our Pumpkin Mac and Cheese!
BEST Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni (Hamburger Helper Copycat)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 small onion ,finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour (Gluten Free: dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in the beef broth)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 3/4 cup natural non-MSG beef broth
- 2 cups dried whole wheat elbow macaroni pasta
- (Gluten Free: Use GF Macaroni)
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the ground beef until no pink remains. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, seasonings and flour. Pour in the milk and broth and stir. Stir in the macaroni.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the macaroni is done. For al dente check after 9 minutes.
- Stir in the Cheddar cheese until melted.
- Serve immediately garnished with some chopped fresh parsley if desired.