Cheeseburger Casserole – (One Pot!)

This Cheeseburger Casserole takes just 30 minutes to make in a single skillet! Your family will love this homemade 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 meal. Read on for everything you need to know about this fabulous recipe.

⭐Do not miss my first PRO tip in this post, it will make you a better cook for life!

Ingredients

See recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full instructions

  • Cheddar Cheese- Shredding it from a block tastes and melts the best. I use Heluva Good! Sharp Cheddar. It melts really well.
  • Ground Beef- 85% lean
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic- Mince it yourself at home for best flavor, don’t buy the jarred stuff.
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Tomato Paste
  • Beef Broth
  • Elbow Macaroni
  • Sour Cream
  • Milk- Preferably whole milk
  • Parsley

TIP: For a little kick, add in some hot sauce!

Overhead view of ingredients for cheeseburger casserole

How to Make it

Cook and crumble the ground beef and the onions. Drain any excess grease. Add the minced garlic, cook for 1 minuet. Add the Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste and stir until combined.

Add the beef broth and uncooked macaroni. Stir to combine.

Cover and heat for 4 minutes. Uncover, stir, then cover again and cook for 4 more minutes.

Macaroni being cooked in a dutch oven for cheeseburger casserole.

Stir in the room-temperature sour cream and half of the milk. Only add the remaining milk if you desire it for consistency purposes.

Reduce the heat to low. Sprinkle on 2 + 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese.

Let the cheese melt and the sauce become creamy. Top with remaining cheese and parsley. Serve!

Elbow macaroni in a dutch oven being topped with shredded cheese for cheeseburger casserole.

PRO Tips For This Recipe

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.

-Refrain from using extra sharp cheddar or aged cheeses. Mild cheddar or sharp orange cheddar works well. I use Heluva Good! Sharp Cheddar. It melts perfectly.

Best Pastas to Use

Elbow Macaroni most closely resembles the Hamburger Helper that we all know and love.

Rotini or Mini Shells would also work well.

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 Method

  • 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.

Storing Leftovers

Refrigerator

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Freezer

  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat in the microwave or in a 350° oven, the cooking time will vary based on portion sizes.

What to serve with Cheeseburger Casserole

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

Try These Next!

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One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole

4.79 from 28 votes
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 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

  • Shred the cheese and set it aside. It should be at room temperature when added to the pasta later.
  • Season the ground beef with desired amount of salt and pepper.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, cook and crumble the ground beef along with the onions. Drain any excess grease.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce and the tomato paste and stir until well-combined.
  • Add the beef broth and the uncooked macaroni, stir to combine. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium or medium/low.
  • Cover the pot and heat for 4 minutes. Uncover, stir briefly, replace the cover, and heat for 4 more minutes. At this point the macaroni should be just about cooked through.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Stir in the room temperature sour cream and half of the milk. Only add the other half if desired.
  • Gradually sprinkle in 2 ½ cups of the shredded cheddar, stirring as you do so.
  • Once the cheese is melted and you have a uniform consistency, top with the remaining cheese.
  • Replace the lid and heat for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  • Top with parsley and serve!

Video

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

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