This easy, one-pot dinner is a copy of the popular Hamburger Helper version. Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet uses “from scratch” ingredients to recreate this classic comfort dish in minutes. Flavorful and kid-approved, this is clean eating at it’s finest.
Cheesburger Macaroni….those two words were my favorite to hear when I would ask my mom “what’s for dinner.” I absolutely LOVED Hamburger Helper’s Cheeseburger Macaroni. It was so simple and cheesy and filled with carbs. And browned ground beef….which I could easily just eat out of the pan and be really, really happy. Simple can be cool. And nostalgic and just in case you were wondering, mom….I used to eat about half the beef out of the skillet when you weren’t looking. Sorry….I have no self-control.
When I moved out on my own and was living the single life….with a three-year old in tow (not so single, single), I made Hamburger Helper almost every single week. It was inexpensive and quick….and if I ate all the ground beef before I whipped up the macaroni and cheese part, Katie didn’t even know. (or miss it for that matter, hence her love for boxed mac and cheese today.) It was glorious….until I sat down to eat dinner and I, too, was eating boxed mac and cheese. Over the years, I realized I was just sabotaging myself at this point so I stopped gorging myself on the ground beef.
As I started learning my way around the kitchen, I dabbled with ditching some convenience foods and making them from scratch. It was pretty amusing at times….you learn things like cornstarch (or flour) must never, ever, ever be added at the end of cooking to an already hot dish (clump city, friends) and sometimes you don’t even need cornstarch as a thickener…or flour. If you’re cooking with pasta, the starch itself will thicken up the sauce making things super creamy and the perfect consistency. Also, you learn a lot of convenience foods are not that convenient anyway. I made this Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet in just about the same amount of time it takes to make the Hamburger Helper version. Plus…a bonus….there’s no flour in the sauce, so if you’re gluten-free you can switch out the regular semolina pasta for your favorite gluten-free version.
If you don’t count salt, pepper and water….this recipe doesn’t require more then 7 ingredients. You probably already have everything you need to make it right now….and the one-pot deal keeps things clean in the kitchen. I hate dishes more than anyone I know, in fact, I have a sink full 80% of the time. I hate it, I try to keep up but this blogging thing kinda makes it difficult. So, one-pot dishes are king in this house. I’m sure you all agree.
Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 vidalia onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (or broth
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- 5 slices american cheese, cut into small pieces
- In a large skillet over med-high heat, brown the ground beef until completely cooked and no longer pink. Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon and drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat.
- Add the onion to the pan and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Return the beef to the pan. Stir in the milk, chicken stock and macaroni. Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn to heat to low.
- Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the macaroni is tender.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted. Serve immediately.