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One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta is an easy, cheesy, and filling dinner that takes just about half an hour to make! This kid-friendly easy recipe features ground beef and tender pasta tossed in a truly mouthwatering cheddar cheese sauce. You’ll probably be full after just one serving, but that won’t stop you from going back for more!

a large pot is filled with cooked cheeseburger pasta.
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Why You’ll Love This

  • It’s kid-friendly. If you need a picky eater at your table to approve of their dinner, this is a great recipe to make! It’s essentially Hamburger Helper, except SO much better than anything that comes in a box.
  • Cheese lovers, rejoice! There’s enough cheddar cheese in this easy recipe to really satisfy your cravings. It’s masterfully (yet so easily) mixed with a few other ingredients to make a sauce you’ll find yourself dreaming about once it’s gone.
  • SO easy to make. Cook the pasta, cook the beef, whisk together the sauce and toss it all together in a pot. That’s basically all there is to this easy 30 minute dinner recipe!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here‘s what you’ll need to make this easy one pot dinner. Make sure to scroll down to view the full recipe for more exact measurements.

  • Beef broth
  • Rotini pasta
  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • White onion
  • Ground beef
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Butter
  • Yellow mustard
  • All-purpose flour
  • Milk
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
cheeseburger pasta is being mixed in a pot with two wooden spoons.

How To Make One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta

Here are the basic steps you’ll need to follow to make the BEST cheeseburger pasta. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.

Cook the pasta. Boil the beef broth in a pot over high heat. Cook the pasta in the broth according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the broth, then drain the pasta and set aside.

Cook the beef. Heat the oil in the same pot you cooked the pasta in. Sauté the onions, then toss in the beef, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook the beef until browned, then remove it from the pot and set aside.

Make the sauce. Melt butter in the pot, then whisk in the mustard and flour until it’s bubbling and lightly browned. Slowly whisk in the milk and beef broth (the cup you reserved earlier) and continue to whisk as it simmers for 3-4 minutes until thickened.

Make it cheesy! Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until smooth, then add the pasta and beef back to the pot. Toss it all together to combine.

two servings of pasta are placed next to a full pot.

Substitutions and Variations

This one pot pasta dinner can be made in a few different ways to best fit your needs! Here are just a few ways you can get a little creative and really make it your own:

  • Change the meat – If beef isn’t a part of your diet, no worries! You can easily swap the ground beef with ground chicken, turkey, or even a plant-based alternative.
  • Use another type of pasta – Rotini is my favorite kind of pasta to use here. However, you can swap it for another short pasta like penne, macaroni, shells, or whatever else your heart desires.. or happens to already be in your pantry!
  • Add some heat – If you like a little spice in your dinner, this is a great recipe to play around with! Consider adding some crushed red pepper flakes to the ground beef when you add the salt and pepper. Be careful though, since a little usually goes a long way.
several small white bowls are filled with pasta.

Tips for Success

Make this quick and easy One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta the best it can be with these tips and tricks:

  • Don’t burn the butter and flour. Essentially, you’re making a roux when you’re whisking up the sauce. Rule number one of a roux… don’t burn it! Once the butter, mustard and broth are whisked and bubbling/lightly browned, it’s ready for the milk.
  • Shred the cheese yourself. Freshly grated cheddar cheese right off the block is superior for two big reasons. One – it melts together better! Pre-shredded cheese is coated in an anti-caking powder that prevents it from clumping, which in turn also makes it not melt together smoothly in a sauce. Two – freshly grated cheese tastes so much better than the bagged stuff!
  • Use whole milk. If you truly want the creamiest sauce, you’ll want to use whole/2% milk. Any other dairy or non-dairy alternative will get the job done, but your sauce won’t be as thick and creamy as it can be.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

I LOVE ending up with leftovers of cheeseburger pasta! Once it cools to room temperature, transfer the pasta to an airtight container and pop it in the fridge. Properly stored, it’ll stay fresh for about 3-4 days. The best part is that it reheats very well in the microwave! Zap it for 30 seconds at a time, stirring every time it stops until it’s warmed all the way through.

a white bowl is filled with a single serving of cheeseburger pasta.

What to Serve with One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta

Round out your hearty meal with some of my favorite veggie side dishes! This savory, beefy, and cheesy pasta dinner is best when plated with something like:

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4.67 from 3 votes

One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta

One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta is an easy, cheesy, and filling dinner that takes just about half an hour to make! This kid-friendly easy recipe features ground beef and tender pasta tossed in a truly mouthwatering cheddar cheese sauce. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 48 ounces (1361 ml) low-sodium beef broth
  • 8 ounces (227 g) rotini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup (80 g) diced white onion
  • 1 pound (454 g) 85/15 ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (237 ml) milk
  • 2 cups (226 g) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions 

  • Bring the beef broth to a boil over high heat in a large pot then add the pasta and cook for the amount of time indicated on the box that it came in.
  • Set aside 1 cup of the broth then drain the pasta and set it aside for later.
  • In the same pot, heat the oil then add the onion and cook until it becomes translucent.
  • Add the beef, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until the beef turns a dark brown color.
  • Remove the beef from the pot and set aside for later.
  • Add the butter to the pan then add the mustard and flour and whisk until the flour starts to bubble up and brown lightly.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk and reserved beef broth and continue whisking as it simmers for 3-4 minutes or until it thickens.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese until it has melted then stir in the pasta and beef.
  • Serve with freshly minced parsley for garnish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 567kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 104mg, Sodium: 1176mg, Potassium: 886mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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5 Comments

    1. hi Janet, yes it can. in the recipe card, tap the 1/2 button next to ingredients and it automatically halves the recipe for you.

  1. I can’t believe this only has one review, this dish is AMAZING. It’s like homemade hamburger helper in the best way. Cheesy, filling, delicious comfort food. We make this frequently!