One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole

This One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole takes just 30 minutes to make! It’s an easy, cheesy beef pasta that’s a homemade version of Hamburger Helper!

Be sure to try my Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole next!
A wooden spoon in a large skillet scooping up warm cheeseburger casserole.

I think my family has been eating this cheesy, beefy macaroni at least every two weeks ever since I started making Instant Pot Hamburger Helper. But now that I can make this Cheeseburger Casserole in just one pot, I’m even more hooked.

PLUS, this is a perfect freezer-friendly meal. Read on for everything you need to know about this fabulous Cheeseburger Casserole.

⭐Do not miss my first tip below, it will make you a better cook for life!

Overhead view of ingredients for cheeseburger casserole

The Key to Extra-Creamy Pasta

Refrain from adding cold ingredients into warm pasta when you prepare it. This includes the cheese, sour cream, and milk. The consistency will be super creamy if you follow this instruction.

Otherwise, ingredients can separate, milk can curdle, and the consistency may become grainy.

Shred the cheese yourself. Buy your cheese in blocks whenever possible and shred it at home. It will taste better, and it will definitely melt better.

Sprinkle flour over the cheese prior to adding it to the warm (not boiling hot) base. This helps to thicken the water that separates from the cheese once it begins to heat up.

Best Pastas For Hamburger Casserole

I had planned on using Rotini for this recipe, but ultimately decided that Elbow Macaroni most closely resembles the Hamburger Helper that we all know and love.

Gemelli, Mafalda, or Mini Shells would also work well. Here is a visual of each of these.

Elbow macaroni takes about 7 minutes to reach the al dente point when it’s at a strong boil, so check the instructions if you switch up the pastas to get an idea of how you may need to adjust the cooking time.

Make-Ahead Cheeseburger Casserole

  • If you prefer to to the prep work for this casserole ahead of time, prepare the recipe as-instructed but cook the pasta covered for 7 minutes instead of 8.
  • Stop at step #10, right before you top the casserole with additional cheese.
  • Let the casserole cool downthen top it with cheese.
  • Refrigerate for up to two days, then bake it in a 350 degree oven, covered, for 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the lid and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Top with parsley and serve!

overhead view of a large skillet filled with warm cheeseburger casserole with a white background next to parsley and a wooden spoon.

Freezing Cheeseburger Casserole

-Cheeseburger Casserole makes a wonderful freezer food. It’s best to freeze it in portion sizes.

-Reheating can be done in the microwave or in the oven, the cooking time will vary based on portion sizes.

-When I reheat these for my toddler, the serving size is about 3/4 cup. I place it in foil and heat it in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

overhead view of a skillet filled with cheeseburger casserole and a wooden spoon scooping it out.

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5 from 5 votes
Servings: 5
One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole
Prep Time:
8 mins
Cook Time:
22 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
 
Author: Stephanie
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Cheeseburger Casserole, Homemade Hamburger Helper

This Cheeseburger Casserole is comfort at it's best and is prepared in a single pot on the stove top! It's cheesy, meaty, and a delicious homemade version of Hamburger Helper!

Ingredients
  • 3 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese at room temp. Separated.
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef 85% lean
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 (16 oz.) box elbow macaroni *uncooked*
  • ¾ cup sour cream at room temp
  • ½ cup whole milk at room temp
  • Chopped Parsley to garnish
Instructions
  1. Toss the shredded cheese with 1 Tablespoon of flour and set aside. It must be at room temperature when added to the pasta later.
  2. Season the ground beef with desired amount of salt and pepper.
  3. In a large pot over medium heat, cook and crumble the ground beef along with the onions. Note: A Dutch oven or large high-walled skillet works best.
  4. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  5. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the tomato paste and stir until well-combined.
  6. Add the beef broth and the uncooked macaroni, stir to combine.

  7. Cover the pot and heat for 4 minutes. Uncover, stir briefly, replace the cover, and heat for 4 more minutes.
  8. Stir in the room temperature sour cream and half of the milk. Only add the other half if desired.
  9. Reduce the heat to low.
  10. Gradually sprinkle in 2 ½ cups of the shredded cheddar, stirring as you do so.
  11. Once the cheese is melted and you have a uniform consistency, top with the remaining cheese.
  12. Replace the lid and heat for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  13. Top with parsley and serve!
Recipe Notes
  • Whole milk is recommended for a creamier consistency, but a lower fat milk may also be used. 

 

Make-Ahead Cheeseburger Casserole

  • If you prefer to to the prep work for this casserole ahead of time, prepare the recipe as-instructed but cook the pasta covered for 7 minutes instead of 8.

  • Stop at step #10, right before you top the casserole with additional cheese. 

  • Let the casserole cool downthen top it with cheese. 

  • Refrigerate for up to two days, then bake it in a 350 degree oven, covered, for 15 minutes. 

  • Remove the lid and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Top with parsley and serve!

 

Nutrition Information
Calories: 811, Fat: 53g, Saturated Fat: 28g, Cholesterol: 167mg, Sodium: 1390mg, Potassium: 671mg, Carbohydrates: 36g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Protein: 44g, Vitamin A: 1145%, Vitamin C: 4.1%, Calcium: 683%, Iron: 3.6%