Cheeseburger Casserole is a one pot, 30 minute recipe that’s outrageously good. Beefy, cheesy and saucy, it tastes like cheeseburgers in pasta form. It’s a homemade Hamburger Helper – a tastier and much healthier version of the popular boxed pasta!
I love a good one pot recipe, and this one sits alongside reader favourites including Greek Chicken & Lemon Rice, Sausage Bake with Vegetables and Gravy, Baked Chicken with Garlic Butter Rice and the one skillet Asian Beef Noodles!
“It’s beefy, cheesy and saucy – Hamburger Helper tastes like cheeseburgers in pasta form!”
The first time I published this recipe, I said that I burnt my mouth taste testing this straight out of the pot.
And almost 3 years later, I’m saying the same thing – yet again, I burnt my mouth.
I took a small taste to check for seasoning. Had a swoon moment, then scooped up a huge spoonful and shovelled it in my mouth.
And totally scorched the entire roof of my mouth. OUCH.
Here’s an up close and personal look at the offender. Look at it. Can you blame me for my lack of self control??
Another ground beef recipe!
I’m a big fan of ground beef (mince) recipes because it’s economical, requires no chopping and it’s a terrific sponge for flavour.
So for those of you who put a packet of beef mince in your shopping basket this week, this Cheeseburger Casserole is for you! The key ingredients are fairly standard pantry items. And the items that are not can be substituted:
carrot, celery and corn are optional. Feel free to add other chopped veg
some subs available for the spices
The cheese is not optional. If you skip it, then this pretty much becomes a bolognese, hmm??
One pot! 20 minutes!
The beauty of this recipe is the speed at which it has to be cooked. You cannot cook the pasta for longer than 12 minutes, otherwise your sauce will disappear and you’ll end up with overly soft pasta.
It’s a 19 minute job on the stove:
Onion, garlic, celery, carrot – 4 minutes
Brown beef – 3 minutes
Add the other stuff and stir – 2 minutes
Cook – 8 minutes (no peeking!)
Stir & Cheese – 1 minute
Melt -2 minutes
TOTAL 20 minutes
(PS I used to work in finance. This is the extent of the maths I do nowadays 🤓)
I originally shared this recipe back in 2016 to celebrate the release of her cookbook. It was fabulous then, and it’s just as fabulous now. ❤️
Sometimes, I reduce the amount of pasta (because I always have half packets 250g/8oz lying around!) and up the veg quota. Zucchini and red peppers /capsicum are ideal. Jo also suggests topping it with diced tomato which is a great topping.
If you do this, then you might not need a side salad. But if you do, try your garden salad or steamed vegetables with French Dressing, Balsamic Dressing or my favourite Italian Dressing. Or make a big batch of Broccoli Salad that will last you days and days! – Nagi x
More One Pot Ground Beef / Mince recipes
Chili Mac – mash up of Mac and Cheese with Chilli Con Carne, so good!
Asian Beef and Ramen Noodles – one skillet, 15 minutes
Taco Soup – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, it’s amazing!
Watch how to make it
Cheeseburger Casserole (Homemade Hamburger Helper)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot * , chopped (optional)
- 1 celery stalk * , chopped (optional)
- 500 g/ 1 lb ground beef (mince) , preferably lean
- 12 oz / 340g dried macaroni , uncooked
- 1/2 cup frozen corn * , optional
- 2 cups chicken broth/stock, low sodium
- 1 tbsp hot sauce or Sriracha sauce , adjust to taste
- 1 tsp American chili powder (Note 1)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder , or sub onion powder
- 800 g / 28 oz crushed tomato
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1.5 - 2 cups (150 - 200g) cheddar or tasty cheese, shredded (Note 3)
- 1 cup (100g) mozzarella cheese , for topping
- 1 green onion , sliced
- Heat oil in a dutch oven or large deep skillet over medium high heat.
- Add onion and garlic, cook 1 minute.
- Add celery and carrot, cook 3 minutes until soft.
- Increase heat to high and add beef. Cook, breaking it up as you go, until no longer pink - 3 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT cheese. Stir to combine, add macaroni, then turn down to medium or medium low so it's simmering gently.
- Cover, cook 8 minutes. Pasta should be just about cooked, and still nice and saucy.
- Add cheddar cheese, stir. Top with mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with lid, cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Remove from stove. The pasta should now be cooked - tender but firm, not mushy, slick with sauce, not dried out.
- Serve immediately, garnished with green onions, if using.
Life of Dozer
This is the same Dozer photo I shared when I first published this recipe back in 2016 – Dozer looking at Jo’s cookbook instead of the food.
We all know I was holding a treat just out of frame to make him do that.
But she loves the photo so much anyway, I can’t change it!!