Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper

6a581-img_908709430-img_9085Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper
with thanks to Ezra Pound Cake


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon pickle juice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces macaroni
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) cheddar cheese, grated
  • Scallions, chopped, for serving (optional)


In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the beef, onions and garlic, breaking apart the meat as you go, until the onions are soft and the meat cooked through. Drain off grease (or not if it’s lean enough) and return pan to heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the beef broth, mustard, ketchup, tomato paste, pickle juice (if using), salt, and pepper. Add to meat. Bring the meat mixture to a boil, then add macaroni.

Reduce the heat to medium low, and cover. Continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pasta is tender (check it a couple of times during cooking to make sure the pasta isn’t sticking to the bottom).

When the macaroni is done, sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Stir until melted, about 1 minute. Top with scallions, if desired, and serve immediately.


Holy moly, people. If everyone discovered how easy and cheap and low-cal it was to make this shockingly good meal from scratch, I swear the boxed “helper” meals would gather dust on the shelves.

I was absolutely floored by this dish and by how much depth of flavor it had for so few ingredients. This will be a lifelong fixture in my household.

Make it make it make it.

Other Homemade Helper Recipes:


23 thoughts on “Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper

  1. I had this bookmarked when she posted it (a week? 2 weeks ago?)…from the list of ingredients I knew the family would like it. But now that it's got your endorsement, I will definitely move it up on the to do's.


  2. What's funny is, Paul been bugging me for months to make Kraft Mac and Cheese (with hot dogs) and I'm like “no. just no.” Then I saw this and I was “okay. this I can do.” I already had hers printed out. Did you change anything?


  3. Yes. I used 1/2 cup ketchup and 1/4 cup tomato paste. I think it probably saved it from being too sweet. I used 2 cups (8 ounces) of macaroni instead of a cup and a half. 1 tsp salt instead of 1/2 tsp.

    Also, I would use Dijon next time (or for you, the first time) instead of regular mustard, to give it zing and kick.


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