Cheese and Hamburger Macaroni


Homemade macaroni and beef version of Hamburger Helper — just as easy and tastes so much better! You will need a large skillet with a tight fitting lid.

very close up on a spoonful of cheese and hamburger macaroni
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
30 mins


  • ½ pound lean ground beef, or more to taste

  • ½ small onion, minced

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni

  • 8 ounces reduced-fat processed cheese food (such as Velveeta®), cut into small pieces

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream, or more to taste


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir ground beef, onion, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper in the hot skillet until beef is browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and discard grease.

  2. Increase heat to high. Add water to ground beef mixture in the skillet. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir macaroni into boiling water-ground beef mixture. Cover, lower heat to medium, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir, cover, and continue cooking until macaroni is tender, about 5 minutes.

  3. Stir processed cheese food into ground beef-macaroni mixture until melted. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream.


For a Mexican version, add 1 tablespoon cumin and 2 teaspoons chili powder to ground beef as it cooks. Serve with chopped lettuce, tomato, and salsa. If you're in a hurry, you may use dehydrated onion instead of fresh and add more onion powder.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

449 Calories
15g Fat
48g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 449
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 930mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 352mg 27%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 468mg 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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