Homemade Beefaroni

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Every so often, I break down and buy a few cans of spaghetti-Os or beefaroni for lunch. The kids enjoy it because it’s something different. Eric and I kind of enjoy it for the nostalgia of it, although eating is not as fun when you understand what’s actually in it.

I decided recently though that I wanted to see if I could duplicate the fun of beefaroni with a homemade substitute. It turned out great and the kids just love it! The taste is exactly the same as what you get from the can, but it is really good. I like to make this for lunch and it’s usually enough for two days worth for the 6 of us.


Homemade Beefaroni

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 14.5 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 t. each garlic powder, salt and Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 t. black pepper
  • 1 lb. cooked pasta (I used the new Barilla piccolini ziti, because of it’s closeness in shape to the traditional beefaroni noodles, but any shape would be fine.)

1. Brown ground beef in a sauce pan and drain. Stir in remaining ingredients, except the pasta. Simmer for about 10 minutes, to let the flavors combine.

2. Stir in the pasta until coated. Enjoy!

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  1. Suzanne says:

    Oh yum! I haven’t been able to bring myself to eat the stuff from the can lately (only because, as you said, we know what’s in that stuff now). But, I did love it as a kid. I’m looking forward to making this. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Bob Levitt says:

      I’ve been making this for years. Add a onion to the ground beef when browning it. Also use 1 can tomato paste and 1 big can diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce.

  2. What a great idea! I’ll have to try it sometime. My husband loves that kind of stuff. The kids really love spaghettiO’s. I bet they would love this.
    God bless,

  3. Michelle says:

    This sounds great! It will be really good on a busy school night! Thanks for sharing! BTW< i made your pizza bread a few night ago and it got RAVE reviews! Thanks so much!!!!

  4. Mitzi says:

    I found your blog through a friend of mine and I have fallen in love with your recipes! Your pictures are fabulous and make everything look so mouth-watering. Keep ‘em coming! This mother of 3 hungry children and one starving husband thanks you!

  5. stephanie says:

    I made this for dinner last night and it was a hit! Definitely going into my rotation for this fall. I bet this would freeze really well, too (as I have LOTS of friends having babies this fall.) :)

  6. Sonya says:

    Oh wow this is great! Im always looking for homemade versions of canned or prepackaged foods since I can no lonber buy it living in the netherlands. Its nice being able to reproduce those yourself with out all the added bad stuff!

  7. niki says:

    Oooh! I am so excited about this. Hubby is always begging me to buy it (and yes, I’ll even admit I loved it as a kid) but I refuse.

    This is gonna make my hubby so happy!


  8. Bridget says:

    Great recipe! Did not really taste like the canned beefaroni – but that is not a bad thing! My husband loved it and wants it included in our normal rotation. I am thinking this would be great to make in batches and freeze (meat only). Then only the pasta needs to be done.

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  16. JessieLeigh says:

    Yum! This was so easy and tasty for supper tonight. After hosting two parties yesterday, I was craving something quick and still satisfying. This fit the bill perfectly- I think it’s the texture of the sauce (thinner than most spaghetti sauces) that is reminiscent of Beefaroni. But this is better and more flavorful! :)

  17. Thanks for the recipe – I wanted to learn this as I dont trust Chef Boyardee meet

  18. Amanda says:

    This was delicious, however, I cook for 2 and there were tons of leftovers. Would I be able to freeze the remaining half??

  19. barbara says:

    boy i made this tonight and it was very good i just found this website and i found enought good looking recipesbto keep me busy a long time

  20. Sharon says:

    My mom made beefaroni long years before it was ever marketed. She browned the meat about half done, drained the grease, added chopped onions and garlic. The macaroni was cooked, then the meat mixture was added with a can of chopped tomatoes. We added a side of salad and thought it was wonderful. Sometimes, she would put it in a pan, put grated cheddar cheese on it, and put it in an oven until the cheese was melted. Liked that too.

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  22. mrsblocko says:

    I made this and wrote about it on my blog (http://tomatoesforapples.blogspot.com/2012/10/beefaroni-from-can-never-tasted-like.html#)

    It was awesome, and I think my daughter’s new favorite dinner! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

  23. Clyde says:

    Great recipe! However, pasta selection is critical to differentiate between this (Beefaroni) and Goulash. I couldn’t find the picco pasta, so I used elbow and I ended up with a tasty Goulash.

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  25. rePete says:

    I made this with rice pasta and meatless ground round and it was really good! Thank you for coming up with such a great recipe!

  26. Brittany Worrell says:

    This is a great recipe! I followed the instructions exactly except for I used ground pork instead it’s more moist and great for Italian food !

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  42. Sam says:

    IF (& sometimes there isn’t) there is enough liquid in pasta recipes like this, I will do it in a Dutch oven, add uncooked pasta, simmering until cooked. Saves me time & one less pot to wash.

  43. Ted says:

    Hi, what brand of Pasta sauce did you experiment with, that would make the difference of an exact copycat or just something similar.


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  45. Sam says:

    8 oz. of dry pasta is about the right amount.

    • al says:

      ur an idiot for all that sauce u neeed about a lb.. u dont want a dried r water fountain… im adding mire aosta as to the 2 lbs of tomatie sauce

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