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Homemade Hamburger Helper (+Video)

This Homemade Hamburger Helper recipe is delicious comfort food with a creamy, cheesy sauce. It is an easy dinner made all in one pot!


I’m sharing another one pot wonder meal today. I will freely share that I loved Hamburger Helper as a kid and even as a young adult. I ate it with wild abandon. Apparently at some point it became taboo to admit that you made food from a box. Whatever. I enjoyed it. I think something shifts in your tastebuds though as you get older. You just want some more flavor and seasoning. So, enter a homemade version (that is still very simple!)

closeup, Homemade Hamburger Helper on a white plate


What is hamburger helper?

Hamburger Helper is an American invention. It is a boxed meal made by Betty Crocker (General Mills). The box includes a seasoning packet and pasta. The meal only requires one pack of ground beef and water to make along with the boxed ingredients. There are other versions but this is the basic original one.

Who invented Hamburger Helper?

The marketing minds at Betty Crocker invented Hamburger Helper. During the late 60’s and early 70’s, beef prices were getting very high. This meal kit was designed to help stretch out one pound of ground beef to feed a family of 5 by combining it with pasta to make a larger amount of food.

Can you use sausage instead of ground beef?

Absolutely! If you want to switch this up a bit, you can definitely use ground pork sausage instead of ground beef.

Don’t you need to boil the macaroni noodles first?

No. The macaroni will simmer in the chicken broth and the other ingredients for about 15 minutes. This will cook the macaroni and thicken the mixture.

What are other seasonings could I use?

If you want to kick up the spice a bit, try adding some red pepper flakes. Or maybe add in some minced garlic!

How do I store leftover Hamburger Helper?

Store it in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave.

Homemade Hamburger Helper recipe from The Country Cook pictured on a plate with a fork.


  • ground beef
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • salt and pepper
  • elbow macaroni
  • chicken broth
  • cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
ground beef, ketchup, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper, elbow macaroni, chicken broth, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream.


Cook and crumble the ground beef in a medium pot on medium high heat until no pink is left. Drain excess grease.

cooking ground beef in a large pan.

Lower heat and add macaroni, seasonings, ketchup, mustard, and broth. Stir well and cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until macaroni is cooked. 

macaroni, chicken broth, mustard, ketchup and seasonings added to cooked ground beef in a large pan.

Turn off heat and stir in sour cream and cheese. Stir well to combine.

shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream added to macaroni and ground beef mixture in pot.

Serve immediately. 

fully cooked hamburger macaroni cheese in a pot


Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper (+Video)

This Homemade Hamburger Helper recipe is delicious comfort food with a creamy, cheesy sauce. It is an easy dinner made all in one pot!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6



  • Over medium heat, cook and crumble ground beef in a large pan until no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
  • Lower heat and add macaroni, seasonings, ketchup, mustard, and broth
  • Stir well. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until macaroni is cooked.
  • Turn off heat then stir in sour cream and cheese.
  • Serve and enjoy! Sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired.


YouTube video
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American


Calories: 523kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 32g | Sodium: 890mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Pretty good recipe!! I didn’t have sour cream or cheddar, so instead, I used 4oz cream cheese and 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Tastes just like hamburger helper only creamier. It was PERFECT!!!

  2. This is a good recipe for Hamburger Helper I am looking for the Sweet and Sour Chicken. I can’t find it in the store and would like to make it.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was really good and easy to make! I love the one pot idea!!!! My husband really liked it, too!

  4. I mix & place all the dry ingredients in canning jar; include the recipe and give as gifts.
    I mix up in jars the dry ingredients and store in my pantry; copy the full recipe and tape to my jar and when it’s time to make it I’m good to go. When I use up the jar of dry ingredients I in turn mix up another batch and store in my pantry.

    1. 5 stars
      Thanks, Brandie! Great idea, Colleen. Saves so much time and if you are wondering what to make for a quick dinner…there it is all set to go .I always have hamburger meat divided into 1 lb freezer bags and grated cheese. I can even change up the pasta. It is so funny that a man (in my experience, I had six brothers and a husband and 2 sons), will stand there and stare into the fridge or pantry looking for something to jump out at him and say Eat Me!. He can even make this himself or request it more likely. Sorry, I was just venting. Anyway, Great Idea!