One-Pan Cheeseburger Helper


Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 25 minutes | Serves: 6

Est. calories per serving: 362 for 1/6th of this recipe

  • 1 1/2c. Kaslo Sourdough Elbow Macaroni or other short Kaslo shape.
  • 1 pkg or 2 1/2c. Extra lean raw ground beef
  • 2c. Grated medium or marble cheddar cheese
  • 1c. Preferred milk
  • 1c. Hot water
  • 1tbsp. Butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 White onion
  • 2-3 Cloves garlic
  • 1c. Chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2c. Canned diced tomatoes
  • S&P to taste


  • Fresh Parsley
  • Parmesan
  • Ketchup
  • Hot Sauce


  1. Dice carrots and onion into small, bite-sized pieces. Sauté over medium-low heat in butter (or oil) and 2 tablespoons of water, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir often to avoid browning.
  2. With freshly washed hands ( or a potato masher, if preferred), massage ground beef directly into the pan with the carrots and onions. Season well with salt, pepper, and minced garlic.  Cook on medium low heat, stirring often, until all pink is almost gone from the meat. Do not strain.
  3. Open and strain canned tomatoes (if using fresh tomatoes, chop, de-seed, and strain well) Add to the pan, and stir mixture well to blend.
  4. Add milk and hot water, cover and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat (take care not to scald milk), about 3 mins.
  5. Add uncooked pasta noodles to the pan. Stir, and press noodles under the liquid (do not worry about noodles being completely covered). Cover the pan, and simmer until pasta is al dente about 123-15 minutes. If needed, add more liquid to the pan by the quarter cup.
  6. Cover the mixture with the grated cheddar cheese, cover, and lower heat to minimum. Your Cheeseburger Helper is ready when the cheese is melted, and the pan is bubbling.

Serve immediately! You can offer toppings like parmesan cheese, parsley, ketchup, and hot sauce, or just enjoy it on its own – your family, and especially your little ones, will love this meal. Serve up this ‘one-size-fits-all’ recipe over and over again, by changing up the vegetables and meat ingredients. Think combos like ground chicken and broccoli, peas and veggie grounds, bell peppers and Italian sausage….. you get the idea!