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Homemade Hamburger Macaroni

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This homemade hamburger macaroni is so easy to make and is the perfect weeknight dinner! It is packed with flavor and is sure to be a hit with the whole family!

If you love easy weeknight meals then this is the recipe for you. It’s a comforting and hearty meal.

Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni in a bowl next to a fork and  bread on the side on a red cloth
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Homemade American Goulash

Sometimes this hearty dish is also called American goulash. This dish dates back to at least 1914 and has been feeding families ever since.

I don’t know about you, but I remember growing up and eating this recipe at my Grandmother’s house. Now, you can serve this classic recipe to your family.

Why I Love This Recipe

This easy-to-make hamburger macaroni is the perfect weeknight dinner! It’s packed with flavor and will be a hit in your family, trust me you want to make this recipe for dinner tonight! 

  • Easy to make
  • Perfect for picky eaters
  • Fills the house with a delicious aroma
  • Only a few minutes of prepping time 

If you love easy pasta recipes like this one, then next time give this Ham and Cheese Tortellini recipe a try. 

Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni in a bowl next to a fork and  bread on the side on a red cloth
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The best thing about this homemade hamburger helper recipe is that it only requires a few simple ingredients that you may already have on hand. If you don’t have these on hand you can take a quick trip to the grocery store and be ready to make this easy dinner recipe in no time at all.

  • ground beef
  • onion, diced
  • diced tomatoes (don’t drain)
  • tomato sauce
  • butter
  • soy sauce
  • sugar
  • Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
  • cheddar cheese (optional)
Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni ingredients


Pasta: Out of elbows? You can use your favorite pasta shape instead.

Beef: If you are trying to cut fat, instead of ground beef you can use ground turkey.

Equipment Needed / Helpful Tools

You only need a handful of kitchen tools to help you make this hearty dinner recipe. Gather these tools and get ready to enjoy a simple recipe that your entire family will enjoy.

How to Make Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni

Making this homemade cheeseburger macaroni is simple. Follow the instructions below and you will have a tasty meal that your whole family will love with little effort.

Step 1: Brown the ground beef

Brown ground beef and cook until slightly pink.

Step 2: Add in the diced onions

Once the beef is mostly brown, add onion. Cook until the beef is fully brown and the onions are tender.

Ground beef and onions in a large skillet

Step 3: Add in the tomatoes

Next, add in the diced tomatoes. Do not drain the diced tomatoes.

Ground beef, onions and tomatoes in a large skillet

Step 4: Stir in the tomato sauce

Stir in the tomato sauce and mix until well combined.

Ground beef, onions, tomatoes and tomato sauce in a large skillet

Step 5: Add the remaining ingredients

Add butter, soy sauce, sugar, and Italian seasoning, then stir until combined.

Step 6: Simmer on low heat

Simmer for 20 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.

Step 7: Add the cooked pasta

Add macaroni noodles. Make sure that the noodles are drained before adding them to the beef mixture.

cooked pasta being added to the beef mixture

Step 8: Top with cheese and serve

Top with cheddar (optional) and serve.

Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni in a bowl with bread on the side on a red cloth

Variations / Options / Add-Ins

If you are looking to add a little something extra to this recipe, here are some ideas.

Vegetables: Add a can of corn, some diced bell peppers, or your favorite vegetables to stretch this meal.

Beans: Add a can of drained and rinsed black beans to add a little more protein to this dish.

Spicy: If you like your food spicy you can add a can of diced green chilies, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or even a sliced jalapeno pepper to increase the heat.

Serving Suggestions

This dish is hearty and filling, but if you are looking to add a little something extra to the table, here are some ideas.

Salad: Serve this recipe with a simple green salad and some ranch dressing.

Fruit: Add a seasonal fruit salad to the table for a light and refreshing side.

Bread: Serve this dish with a crusty loaf of bread or some dinner rolls.

Green Beans: Green beans or broccoli in cheese sauce is a tasty side dish to serve with the meal.

Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni in a bowl with bread on the side


Here are a few tips to help your recipe turn out perfectly every time you make it. 

  • If you are using lean ground beef or ground chicken pour a little oil into your skillet to prevent the meat from sticking.
  • I like to shred my own cheddar cheese instead of using the store-bought shredded cheddar cheese because I’ve found that it doesn’t melt as smoothly.
  • Add a dash of garlic powder, black pepper, and salt to add some additional flavor to this recipe.
  • If you find that your sauce is too thin, you can thicken it by using a whisk to mix a little flour into some beef or chicken broth and then adding it to the sauce, and simmering until it thickens. 
  • I like to garnish my pasta with sour cream and fresh parsley. 
  • I recommend that you boil the pasta until it is al dente since it will continue cooking while in the sauce. 


Do you have questions about this homemade cheeseburger macaroni recipe? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about this recipe. 

How to store

This recipe can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

How to reheat

Reheat on the stove over low heat until warmed through. You may need to add a little water or beef broth to thin it out as it reheats. You can also microwave this recipe, but it may dry out the pasta.

Can I freeze this recipe?

Yes, this recipe can be frozen. Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to three months.

Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni in a bowl next to a red cloth and a fork with title text reading Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni

More Pasta Recipes

If you like pasta, give these recipes a try:

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📋 Recipe

Homemade Hamburger Macaroni

Corinne Schmitt
This homemade hamburger macaroni is so easy to make and is the perfect weeknight dinner!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 598 kcal


  • Large skillet or cast iron skillet
  • wooden spoon
  • Measuring spoon
  • large pot or dutch oven


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ onion diced
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes don’t drain
  • 28 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni cooked al dente
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese optional


  • Brown ground beef.
  • Add onion when ground beef is halfway done. Cook until the beef is fully brown and the onions are tender.
  • Add diced tomatoes. Do not drain the diced tomatoes.
  • Add tomato sauce.
  • Add butter, soy sauce, sugar and Italian seasoning then stir until combined..
  • Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Add macaroni. Make sure that the noodles are drained before adding them to the beef mixture.
  • Top with cheddar (optional).


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 598kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 39gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 1077mgPotassium: 885mgFiber: 14gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 981IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 268mgIron: 11mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Need to run to the store for a few ingredients first? Don’t forget to pin this recipe so you can find it when you’re ready to cook!

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