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cheesy yellow pasta and beed in a skillet

Easy Homemade Hamburger Helper

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6


Homemade Hamburger Helper is all of the simpleness and ease of the stuff in the box, without the box! This dish is a creamy, cheesy, pasta and hamburger recipe that’s super fast to make.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 ½ cup chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cups medium shell pasta (8 ounces)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet or high sided saute pan add the ground beef and cook over medium-high heat until the beef is cooked through and no longer pink, breaking it into pieces with a spoon as it cooks.
  2. When the beef is cooked through, add the cornstarch, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the chicken stock and stir to combine.
  4. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Bring the pan back up to a boil and reduce the heat so that it’s simmering steadily but not boiling hard.
  5. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the pasta is cooked al dente, stirring often, about 15 minutes.
  6. When the pasta is cooked through remove the lid and stir in the heavy cream.
  7. Add the cheese and stir to combine until the cheese melts. Simmer for 1-2 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.
  8. Remove from the pan and adjust the seasonings to taste.
  9. Serve right away while still hot.


  • This recipe is so flexible! This is the bare-bones version that is very quick and easy, just like opening a box from the store and cooking it on the stove. Feel free to change up the kind of pasta or cheese you use.
  • You can add vegetables easily to this dish. Sometimes I’ll add chopped broccoli to the pan about half way through cooking the pasta so that it boils with the pasta for around 8 minutes to soften. Other times I’ll throw in frozen peas or frozen peas and carrots when I add the cream and just cook until they are warm .
  • I have used canned evaporated milk in a pinch when I didn’t have heavy cream on hand and it worked great.
  • A good quality broth adds a lot of nice flavor to this dish. Make your own or buy a quality chicken stock for this recipe.
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Easy Homemade Hamburger Helper, hamburger helper recipe, easy hamburger helper, stove top hamburger helper recipe