Homemade Hamburger Helper: Cheeseburger Macaroni

I first shared this recipe back in 2008. It’s amazing to sit back and think about how much has changed since then. I guess 6 years can do that…

There’s one thing that hasn’t changed though, and that’s our love of this Cheeseburger Macaroni! As the kids have gotten older, they’ve all developed very particular tastes and dislikes (much to my chagrin and best efforts), but this meal is one they all clean their plates with. That’s always a win in my book!

Here’s a quick overview of the updates in this recipe as compared to the original:

  1. It’s truly homemade Hamburger Helper style in that everything cooks in 1 pot.
  2. The flavor has been tweaked slightly. After years and years of making this, I’ve finally hit on just the right combination of ingredients to give it the best, most “cheeseburgery” flavor, at least as far as the 7 of us are concerned.
  3. The recipe is gluten free friendly. My husband has celiac and 95% of our meals have been gluten free since late in 2011, so I’ve learned to modify many of our favorites so that we can all enjoy the meal.

Homemade Hamburger Helper: Cheeseburger Macaroni

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hamburger
Servings: 6


  • 1 lb  ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 12 oz elbow macaroni (I used gluten free)
  • 3 cup beef stock
  • 2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp dill pickle relish
  • 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Additional salt and pepper, optional


  • Put ground beef or turkey and diced onion in a large, deep skillet and season with salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Cook until browned and drain.
  • Stir in macaroni noodles, beef stock and milk.
  • Bring to a slow boil, stirring frequently.
  • Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occassionally, for about 15-20 minutes, until noodles are tender. (I find that the gluten free noodles cook more quickly than regular noodles, so check frequently.)
  • Remove cover and stir in remaining ingredients, stirring to combine well. If the sauce is too thin for your liking, cook for a few additional minutes.
  • Enjoy!


The leftovers of this are fantastic when made with regular pasta, but not so much when you use gluten free noodles. Just something to keep in mind!

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