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This Cheeseburger Casserole is a great family-friendly meal that will fill tummies and make your kitchen smell great. Similar to my Homemade Hamburger Helper recipe but cheesier (yum)!
Cheeseburger Casserole | Cheesy + Delicious
You might have seen this kind of recipe float around the internet for some time. Well, I made this Cheeseburger Casserole recipe back in 2015 and decided it needed some updating. This recipe is a one-pan, done in 30 minutes from start to finish, type of recipe. Super similar to my Homemade Hamburger Helper recipe but cheesier and a lot better than the boxed stuff. Plus it makes for a great freezer meal, perfect for meal prep! Ok, let’s get into this.
Main Ingredients Needed
This ingredients list is long but I promise you it is so worth it! Everything comes together and in the end, you get a cheesy and tasty meal. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Olive Oil – this is used to cook the ground beef and onion. It’s a healthier option than butter and has a higher smoke point.
- Ground Beef + Onion – I used a 93/7 blend of ground beef and yellow onion, but you could just as easily use a white onion or ground turkey for a healthier choice.
- Elbow Macaroni – you can use whatever shape of pasta you’d like (rotini or shells work great), I just kept it classic by using macaroni. Also note that your cooking time with vary based on what type of pasta you use.
- Beef Broth – this helps cook the pasta while still providing that cheeseburger flavor.
- Tomato Sauce – in the original recipe I used crushed tomatoes. This time around I went for a smoother sauce while still maintaining tasty flavor.
- Milk – this also helps cook the pasta while keeping things creamy. I used low-fat but feel free to use whole.
- Garlic Powder, Chili Powder + Ground Mustard – some seasonings to give it a classic cheeseburger taste.
- Worcestershire Sauce – another flavoring agent, a little goes a long way! Don’t skip out on this one people.
- Salt + Pepper – and don’t forget to season as you go, these make everything better.
- Cheddar Cheese – you can make this as cheesy (or not) as you’d like. I highly suggest using freshly grated cheese as opposed to preshredded cheese. The preshredded stuff is usually covered in starch and doesn’t melt as nicely as the fresh stuff.
- Half & Half – or use heavy cream. This really makes the sauce creamy and dreamy. If you’re really in a pinch you could also use sour cream, just expect a slight tang.
- Parsley – this is a garnish and is optional.
How to Make Cheeseburger Casserole
For full details on how to make Cheeseburger Casserole, see the recipe card down below 🙂
Cook Ground Beef + Onions
In a skillet with deep sides, heat olive oil. Brown onions and ground beef, breaking apart as it cooks.
Add Other Ingredients
After onions are tender and ground beef is completely cooked, add in macaroni, beef broth, tomato sauce, and milk.
Add in spices, Worcestershire sauce, and plenty of salt and pepper.
Cook Pasta in Sauce
Stir well and cover. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to simmer, stirring every 5 minutes or so to help prevent sticking and scorching.
After about 12 minutes your pasta should be completely cooked through and the sauce mostly absorbed (cooking time varies on the type of pasta you use).
Add Cheese + Half & Half
Finally, stir in half & half and freshly grated cheddar cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Top with parsley (optional) and serve hot.
Storing + Reheating Cheeseburger Casserole
You can store any leftover Cheeseburger Casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat simply microwave until heated through. This recipe makes a total of 6 servings, so you can enjoy it all week long if you have a small family.
You can also freeze this recipe for up to 3 months! I’d recommend storing it in one of those disposable aluminum baking dishes. Be sure to cover well with a couple of layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Then when you are ready to reheat, pop that sucker into a 350 degree F oven until heated through
What to Serve with Cheeseburger Casserole
There are two routes you can go with side dishes for this recipe. Bread or veggies. Here are some recipes that pair well with Cheeseburger Casserole:
More Casserole Recipes to Try!
- Taco Casserole
- Potato Casserole
- Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Leftover Turkey Casserole
- Classic Breakfast Casserole
Voila! A super-delicious family-friendly meal in about 30 minutes. Yum!!!
The printable recipe card is down below. Enjoy, friends!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef 93/7
- 1 1/2 cups onion diced
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 3 cups beef broth
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 1 cup low fat milk
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese or more
- 3/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
- chopped fresh parsley or chives for garnish optional
- In a large skillet with deep sides, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown onions and ground beef, breaking apart as it cooks.
- After onions are tender and ground beef is completely cooked, add in macaroni, beef broth, tomato sauce and milk.
- Add in spices, Worcestershire sauce and plenty of salt and pepper. Stir well and cover. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to simmer, stirring every 5 minutes or so to help prevent sticking and scorching.
- After 12 minutes*, your noodles should be completely cooked through and sauce mostly absorbed.
- Stir in half & half and grated cheddar cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Top with parsley (optional) and serve hot.
This recipe used to be great, but it was updated in September of 2021 for the worse. I wish the new recipe had been published as its own post. Overwriting the original post effectively turns any Pinterest links into a massive bait and switch, and makes the comment section hugely misleading since the majority of comments are about the old, superior recipe.
Incidentally one of the only comments since the change points out the similarity to your hamburger helper recipe which… yeah…. The only difference between the two is an extra cup of grated cheese in this recipe. Open both recipes in print view and look at them side by side – it’s like a spot the difference puzzle.
My favorite part of the old recipe was that the ingredients were in quantities that worked with how the ingredient is typically sold such as 1 lb pasta, 1 lb beef, or 1 can diced tomatoes. The new recipe calls for 24 oz of broth when it’s sold in 32 oz packages, 8 oz of milk and 6 oz of half and half. Not every household runs through milk like it’s water.
Shortly after the recipe changed I left similar feedback, but I don’t see that comment here now. I expect this one won’t be published either, but I have hopes that it’s at least being read.
Please restore the old recipe! The update is just a clone of another recipe, and the old version was so good!
Thank you for easy directions! I made this tonight after a long day of packing and cleaning to sell the house that is way to big for us. I used gluten free chickpea pasta and added celery and tomatoes. No salad needed! So yummy and easy.
It looks like this recipe is identical to the hamburger helper recipe one. Or is it me
looks great might make tonight .
What’s the serving size in your cheeseburger recipe? I like knowing what a serving is….. Thank you.
I made a vegan version of this for my family tonight (pea protein crumbles for the hamburger and vegan cheddar shreds for the Colby jack). It was a huge hit – no leftovers! This will definitely make another appearance in our house.
My hubby likes cheeseburger macaroni skillet dinners but I think this casserole was much better. I did use tomato sauce instead of the ketchup and liked the milder flavor. Used small shell pasta that I cooked until almost tender so it wouldnt get to soft and sticky when baking. Great tasting comfort food! Made and reviewed for the What’s On The Menu recipe tag game.
[…] CHEESEBURGER MACARONI CASSEROLE […]
Love this recipe! My toddler is a very picky eater and I can hide so many good things in here and it quick to make on our busy nights and also freezes well for a dump meal when we are to busy to cook
How do I make this recipe using uncooked pasta? Would love to eliminate that one step–just like hamburger helper…
Thanks for this recipe. I’ve been trying for awhile now to get the right combinations and amounts and it hasn’t worked. Your recipe for cheeseburger macaroni looks like my answer. I cook at the Salvation Army Senior Center in Portland, Oregon and I like to make them happy.
I made this last night and it was a hit! Thanks for another delicious family friendly recipe.
Made this for dinner the day you posted it. BIG hit!! And of course, I added much more cheese than called for-LOL! Thanks for a new family fave!
That looks awesome, great recipe! Pinned 🙂
We just made this. It was delicious. I used a bit more cheese (layered American to stick with the cheese burger theme) Yum!
Looks great, except We just can’t do “blobby” tomatoes, I’d add tomato sauce ,and italian spices.. or tomato paste ..we just don’t like the chunks of tomatoes but not everyone is picky as we are! and red or orange peppers may be nice as well.. Thanks Lauren!
A nice family recipe. Thank you and have a great weekend!
Yum! Love me some comfort food!
Mmmm this looks like the ultimate comfort food meal–perfect and cozy!
This looks so rich and cheesy and amazing. And it looks like the perfect weeknight meal! I can’t wait to try is. I know my family would love it. Pinning!