The Cozy Cook

Cheeseburger Pasta

This Cheeseburger pasta is made with seasoned ground beef and pasta in a creamy cheddar cheese sauce with bacon and a hint of ketchup, mustard, pickle juice, and Worcestershire sauce for the perfect balance of cheeseburger flavor!

A white plate with Cheeseburger Pasta in a creamy cheese sauce with seasoned beef and bacon.

Cheeseburger Pasta

My husband and five year old daughter go crazy for this pasta! First, you’ll fry up some crispy bacon in a skillet. The drippings are reserved and are used to make the roux for the creamy cheddar cheese sauce!

The sauce is further enhanced by hints of ketchup, mustard, pickle juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. You can’t taste the hot sauce or Worcestershire sauce outright, they act as subtle flavor enhancers that round out the flavor profile. (And the hot sauce doesn’t make it hot/spicy!)

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Cut the bacon into thirds and fry over low heat until crispy. Reserve bacon drippings and set aside. Roughly chop once cooled.

Season the ground beef with steak seasoning. Cook and crumble the meat in the same skillet. Drain grease and set aside.

 

Crispy bacon on a plate next to a skillet of cooked ground beef.

 Cook the pasta to al dente and drain once cooked. While the pasta boils, melt butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the heavy cream, milk, and chicken broth in small splashes, stirring continuously. Stir in the mustard, ketchup, pickle juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low.

Adding cream to a roux to make a cheese sauce.

Sprinkle in the shredded cheese, stirring continuously to combine. Add the ground beef.

Adding cheese and ground beef to a cheeseburger sauce for pasta.

Add the drained pasta and stir to combine. Add the bacon and serve!

Adding cooked rotini pasta to cheese sauce with ground beef and topping with bacon.

What to Add to Cheeseburger Pasta

  • Diced red onions can be added during the last 5 minutes of cooking the ground beef if desired!
  • Diced tomatoes and/or pickles can also be sprinkled on top at the end.
  • 1-2 teaspoons BBQ sauce can be added with the other condiments as well.

Pro Tips

  • I use Frank’s hot sauce in this recipe. (Reminder: The hot sauce is a flavor enhancer and it doesn’t make this hot/spicy.)
  • Be sure to shred the cheese fresh from a block as it will melt and taste much better than packaged shredded cheese. I use Cracker Barrel Sharp yellow cheese for this recipe. 
  • Other pastas that work well include macaroni, shell pasta, and bowtie/farfalle. 
  • I use my own Steak Seasoning for this but other varieties like McCormick can also be used.
  • Ground Turkey can be used instead of ground beef. 

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • Leftovers do freeze/reheat well, just be sure not to overcook the pasta. (I always set a timer.)

A white plate topped with cheeseburger pasta with ground beef and bacon in a creamy cheese sauce.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • This is the skillet– I used in this recipe, (and in 90% of my recipes). It’s pricey, but it conducts heat really well and is oven safe. The size is perfect and the quality is great.
  • Kitchen Shears -I use these to cut the bacon into thirds. This makes it easy to flip and rotate them around the skillet for even cooking.
  • Box cheese grater– Shredding the cheese from a block ensures that it melts smooth and creamy into the sauce.
  • Pinch Bowls– For measuring seasonings/flavor enhancers ahead of time.
  • Pasta Strainer– This is the one I have, it’s a great size.

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A white plate with Cheeseburger Pasta in a creamy cheese sauce with seasoned beef and bacon.

Cheeseburger Pasta

5 from 1 rating
Cheeseburger Pasta is an easy family recipe that's made in a skillet with bacon and a creamy cheddar cheese sauce! You will love making this easy dinner recipe.

Ingredients

  • 6 strips bacon
  • ¾ lb. ground beef
  • 1 ½ teaspoon steak seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons butter, or bacon drippings
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup chicken broth, or beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons dill pickle juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ lb. pasta

Instructions

  • Cut the bacon into thirds and fry in a large high-walled skillet or Dutch oven over low heat until crispy on both sides. Remove from skillet and reserve bacon drippings. Roughly chop the bacon once cooled. (Measure out remaining ingredients while the bacon cooks.)
  • Season the ground beef with steak seasoning and cook and crumble it over medium-high heat in the same skillet. Drain any grease, then remove and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted pasta water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Drain once cooked.
  • While the pasta boils, melt 3 tablespoons reserved bacon drippings (or butter) to the same skillet over medium heat. Whisk in 3 tbsp. flour and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the heavy cream in small splashes, stirring continuously. Add the milk and chicken broth in the same manner. Stir in the mustard, ketchup, pickle juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.
  • Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low. Let the base cool for a minute, then gradually sprinkle in the cheddar cheese, stirring continuously.
  • Add the ground beef and half of the bacon and stir to combine. Gently stir in the drained pasta.
  • Sprinkle with remaining bacon and serve!

Notes

Pro Tips
  • I use Frank's hot sauce in this recipe. (Reminder: The hot sauce is a flavor enhancer and it doesn't make this hot/spicy.)
  • Be sure to shred the cheese fresh from a block as it will melt and taste much better than packaged shredded cheese. I use Cracker Barrel Sharp yellow cheese for this recipe. 
  • Other pastas that work well include macaroni, shell pasta, and bowtie/farfalle. 
  • I use my own Steak Seasoning for this but other varieties like McCormick can also be used.
  • Ground Turkey can be used instead of ground beef. 

Optional Additions
  • Diced red onions can be added during the last 5 minutes of cooking the ground beef if desired!
  • Diced tomatoes and/or pickles can also be sprinkled on top at the end.
  • 1-2 teaspoons BBQ sauce can be added with the other condiments as well.

Storage
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • Leftovers do freeze/reheat well, just be sure not to overcook the pasta. (I always set a timer.)

Nutrition

Calories: 587kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 126mg, Sodium: 558mg, Potassium: 454mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 849IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 287mg, Iron: 3mg

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2 comments on “Cheeseburger Pasta”

  1. I just had to make this recipe after seeing it posted. It has all the ingredients of the most perfect cheeseburger ever…but in pasta form. What a treat for my kiddos! I loved that it even had pickle juice!!! My kids helped me make it and laughed as we put together the creamy sauce. The flavor is incredible and the bacon brought all the flavors together perfectly. I know I will be making this recipe a lot!!!! Thank you so much for sharing it!

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