Cheeseburger Macaroni in the Instant Pot: A homemade “hamburger helper” dinner ideas that can be quick for a family meal using items that you may even have on hand!
Hey there quick meal idea lovers. I’m right there with you, hence the reason I finally took the plunge and bought the Instant Pot.
After staring at my pantry the other day, I decided I wanted to experiment a little bit with the Instant Pot, and now you’re looking at the result. After we realized how quick and easy it was, I knew I had to share it with you.
I wasn’t sure if I’d ever like another “cheeseburger” dinner as much as we love the baked cheeseburgers but this dish is an amazing easy dinner idea when the comfort food craving calls!
Cheeseburger Macaroni in the Instant Pot
Not only is there a ton of flexibility that you can have with this recipe, but the ease of throwing it all together was also my FAVORITE part.
Answering Your Cheeseburger Macaroni Questions:
I haven’t tried this, but I don’t see why you couldn’t substitute it. I’d just make sure to use about 10 oz. of Velveeta (cut up into cubes, like we did in this Rotel Dip, and maybe add a little bit of milk — maybe 1/4 cup??? – guessing here) since the canned cheese is a little more liquified than the block cheese. If you try this, let us know!
Want to use frozen beef? You totally can, because I do too! I typically either forget to thaw it out, or I decide at the last minute to make something with it. I made this using frozen ground beef, although provided directions for thawed beef too!
But when I’m totally on my game and remember to thaw ground beef out naturally, you definitely find me making The BEST Cheeseburger recipe, where I use browned butter and basic ingredients/methods to make them the juiciest burgers I’ve ever had! So if you were on your game today, or just snagged some ground beef from the grocery store, you may want to make this cheeseburger recipe too!
Instant Pot Hamburger Helper
Now, I LOVE a good boxed, Hamburger Helper dinner from the grocery store. But what I REALLY love about this recipe is that it’s similar, super easy… (no, everything doesn’t come in a box) but the flavor of this dish is waaaay more powerful!
Other Instant Pot Recipes You’ll Love:
- Kielbasa and Cabbage in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Pot Roast – Even using a FROZEN roast!
- Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- How to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot
- Sweet Potatoes in the Instant Pot
Easy Cheeseburger Macaroni Recipe…
When sharing this recipe with you, I’m keeping in mind that a lot of you may desire a different level of seasonings and spices and I want to keep it as easy as possible.
So expect this to be a very basic recipe that could use extras spices and flavors… or cheese. You can NEVER go wrong with adding more cheese!
However, here are a few things I’d suggest doing additionally to really add flavor to it so it doesn’t come out bland.
Items to Add to Cheeseburger Macaroni
- Garlic Pepper (It’s my absolute favorite, to sprinkle on to the top of each serving, but not for my kids.)
- Extra shredded cheese on top of each serving is a MUST in my book.
- Add milk after cooking if you prefer it more creamy.
- Salt and Pepper as desired, but remember… you can always add more, but you can’t take it out.
- Sour Cream (Reader Suggested)
- Hot Sauce – I haven’t tried this yet, but I could definitely go for this on my serving.
- Can of diced tomatoes and green chilies! (Reader Suggested)
- Bacon or bacon bits for super easy additions! (Reader Suggested)
Left Over Cheeseburger Macaroni?
If serving this leftover, you may want to add a little milk to it before reheating, just to recreate a creamy texture.
I so hope you love this recipe. We ate on this for a couple of days and I’m already looking forward to making it again because it was so quick.
This recipe is not only a great family dinner idea to meal plan with, (get your meal planning printable in the home management binder) but it serves as the perfect dish to deliver to someone in a meal care package to eat on for a few days!
Maybe just send along a little extra milk too, so they can add a bit to enhance the creaminess when reheated!
If you’re into quick and easy recipes, then you’ll LOVE to blog the recipe archives here on the blog, OR make dinnertime insanely easy, and grab my “Fabulously Fast Dinners” cookbook where I’ve done all of the dinner time planning for you!
More Comfort Food Recipes
If you love comfort food, then you’re in the RIGHT place. Here we believe that food is love. So when you either want to show yourself some love, or making something comforting for someone you love, then browse our favorite easy to make recipes!
But I’ve picked out some of our favorite comfort dishes here…
This Cheeseburger Casserole has all the flavors of a cheeseburger but in a dish that’s perfect for a family weeknight meal, or even a care package!
30-Minute Taco Pasta Recipe – This 30-minute Taco Pasta Recipe makes the perfect weeknight dinner! If you are a busy mom looking for a simple, quick, and healthy recipe that can be made in under 30 minutes, this taco pasta recipe is for you.
Chili Mac Recipe – In less than 30 minutes, and a few simple ingredients, this chili mac using ground beef, beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, elbow macaroni, and cheese, will soon become a new favorite spin on a chili recipe! But similar to chili mac, this slow cooker goulash recipe is always a great choice!
Cheeseburger Macaroni in the Instant Pot
- 1 lb lean ground beef drain after cooking if using a fatty beef
- 16 oz elbow macaroni uncooked
- 10.5 oz can of cheddar cheese soup
- 3 cups broth chicken or vegetable (Recently updated from 2.5 cups to 3)
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper as desired
- garlic pepper seasoning optional
- If ground beef is frozen, pour 1 cup water into the Instant Pot, put on the lid, make sure the valve is on “seal”, and select 25 minutes on “high” manual mode. Ground beef should be fully cooked before moving forward.
- If starting with thawed ground beef, turn the “saute” setting on and cook the ground beef, garlic powder, and onion powder until beef is no longer pink.
- Next add in broth, elbow macaroni, can of cheddar cheese soup and salt/pepper if desired.
- Lock lid and close the valve to “seal” and cook for 4 minutes on manual “high” setting. The pressure cooker will take about 5 minutes to seal, 4 minutes to cook and then quick release the valve to let the pressure out.
- Add in 2 cups of shredded cheddar and stir until melted.
- Divide and sprinkle on remaining shredded cheddar on to each serving, for extra cheesy goodness!
- Tip: Get creative by sprinkling on seasonings like garlic pepper seasoning, hot sauce, and anything else that you love, to add more flavor!
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
Did You Make This?
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This is really good. Use beef broth instead of chicken/vegetable. I also used Fiesta Cheddar cheese soup in place of cheddar cheese soup. You have to cook this for 6 minutes or the macaroni won’t be completely cooked.
What could be substitute for the cheese soup? Would shredded cheeses and milk work?
Allison Schneider says
I have looked everywhere for cheddar cheese soup and can’t find it. Planning to make a cheddar béchamel sauce as a substitute for this soup.
Oh shoot! I hope the sauce that you make for it turns out great! It sounds delicious!
My family loves this recipe so much. I used two cups of beef stock and one cup of water Instead of chicken and the flavor was Amazing! The only problem I had was some of my pasta didn’t cook all the way. Should I cook longer than four minutes next time or add a bit more liquid? Also is there a way to make this creamy? I have a picky eater that wants it creamy. Also, I’m thinking about adding another can of cheese sauce next time.
Hello there! Thank you for the review! So fun to hear that you switched up the broth. Well mine did come out creamy so I’m wondering if it’s somehow related to the 1 cup of water you used?? I’m not sure if that would make a difference or not since I use 3 cups of liquid anyway. However, I did start out making this recipe, using 2.5 cups of broth instead of 3 but had so many readers say they preferred using 3. So maybe cut back for it to be a little more creamy?? I’m also not sure why the pasta didn’t cook all of the way for you?? Perhaps try making sure all of the noodles are mixed in with the broth and other ingredients before turning on??? That may be worth a try. And adding another can of cheese sauce next time would be something to try. I don’t feel like you can ever have too much cheese! Haha! Good luck, and thank you for sharing!
I add a dolup of sour cream on each bowl or right in the pot. I haven’t had a problem with the noodles not cooking but I did only use 2 cups broth and I think that I put too many noodles in it as well. Lol, I was trying to get it in the pot quick because I had a very hungry daughter. My family loves this recipe, keep trying it. I find the more I make it (and make tiny adjustments) the better it tastes! This is the
Yum! Love hearing about your additions to this recipe! So glad that you liked it and thank you for sharing!
Did you use pre-shredded cheese or shred your own?
I used pre-shredded because that’s how I roll, haha! But I’m sure shredding your own would be even more delicious!
April V says
I’m always scared to make things in my Instantpot because I feel like I always get that wretched burn notice! But I made this and it came out great! Cheesy, creamy, tasty! I used beef broth instead of chicken broth because that’s all I had on hand. Thanks for a recipe I can add to my limited list of instant pot recipes. 😁
Hi April! I’m so glad to hear that this cheeseburger macaroni came out great for you too! It’s definitely a keeper and one to make often I think! 🙂 Thank you for the review and for the sweet words! Make sure to stop by and check out my other easy Instant Pot recipes if you loved this one! 🙂
Not an instant pot user maybe some day. However this can easily be made in a pot on the stove with a lid and for an additional 4 min.
Oh Ellen!! Thank you SO much for sharing this stovetop method. I’ve had others ask if it’s possible and I hadn’t tried it yet so I’m so excited you did and thankful you took the time to share with us. Thank you!
Is it condensed cheddar cheese soup? I haven’t seen another kind here in CANADA
Looking forward to trying it!
Hi Janet! It is condensed cheddar cheese soup, yes! I hope you love it!
I loved this! It was my first recipe in the instant pot and it was so quick and easy! Thank you for sharing. I did use velveeta cheese instead of the soup because I have a gluten allergy!
I followed the recipe exactly and wasn’t really thrilled with the outcome. Pasta was not done and honestly had a pretty flat flavor. Wouldn’t exactly call it “basic”. I would definitely add another can of cheese soup to this and cook it longer next time. I really had to play around with some spices to give it flavor so that it was palatable.
I used thawed ground beef and with the can of cheese and 3 cups of broth it isn’t enough to cook the macaroni. After 4 minute with a QR the pasta was not cooked. Added a cup of water and PC for 3 minutes.
Ruth Bechtle says
We really liked this recipe! I’ll tweak it a little more next time, but this time all I did was use chopped onion and garlic instead of powder. Next time I’ll probably use more broth and cook for 5 minutes. Excellent extremely easy recipe. Thank you!
Hi Ruth! So glad that you tried it and you liked it. Thank you for letting me know what you’d do next time too!
Can I add a vegetable like broccoli or peas?
I don’t see why not! I think adding a green vegetable like those would be great!
I love love love this recipe!! I used real onions and garlic instead of powder and used extra old cheese and cooked it for 6 minutes.
Oh yum!! Adding fresh onions and garlic sounds amazing and definitely adds more flavor, I’m sure! Thank you for sharing!
My family loves this recipe! I also add onions when cooking the hamburger. I also add a can of whole kernel corn at then end. Stir it in and by the time everyone gets a dish of it the corn is heated threw. So good!
Oh Yum!! This sounds great Jannell, thank you so much for sharing that you loved this cheeseburger macaroni too!