I am all about simple recipes during the week. And even better if I don’t have to make a huge mess in the kitchen while I’m doing it.
Or if it is one of those weeks where the dishes magically piled up and you only have a few clean dishes left (this never happens!), you can still make this easy dinner recipe!
If you love easy recipes, our one pot meals are a great option those busy nights!
Kid-Approved Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese with Beef make for the perfect combination and filling meal. A kids classic turns into a culinary masterpiece that everybody is going to love.
Add a little kick and a little flavor to it and you have yourself the perfect dinner for the pickiest eaters.
I found this macaroni and cheese recipe over at Kevin & Amanda and it has quickly become one of our family’s favorite meals- mostly because my kids devour it.
It is easy to prepare- only takes about 20 minutes- and tastes amazing.
Want to try another family favorite? Check out our popular Instant Pot Creamy Macaroni and Cheese!
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Ingredients for homemade hamburger helper:
- Ground beef
- Taco seasoning mix packet
- Diced tomatoes with green chilies (we used this Rotel)
- Beef broth
- Elbow macaroni
- Shredded cheddar cheese
You can always make your own taco seasoning and omit the packet of taco seasoning mix. Take a look at this great taco seasoning recipe from Allrecipes.com. If you do that I would add about 2 tablespoons of the homemade seasoning to this recipe.
How to make our Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet recipe:
Get out your large pan and brown up the ground beef until it is done. Then drain the grease and return the meat to the pan.
Next, stir in the taco seasoning, tomatoes, beef broth, and uncooked macaroni noodles (no need to cook them ahead of time) and bring everything to a boil in the pan.
Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Let it simmer for about 12-14 minutes or until the macaroni is tender.
In another small saucepan, melt the butter.
Once the butter has melted completely, add the flour and whisk it into the butter, continuing to cook and whisk it for another 4-5 minutes. It should become a light brown color.
Now the butter and flour are brown, whisk in the milk, and bring the mixture to a boil.
Continue to whisk the butter and milk mixture until it begins to thicken up and is smooth. Then remove it from the heat.
After you take the mixture off the heat, stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and stir it until the cheese is completely melted and combined.
Then add in the salt and pepper to the cheese and mix everything together.
Now, take the cheese sauce and pour it over the hamburger macaroni mixture and carefully stir everything together until it is combined well.
Lastly, serve it and enjoy it!
How to Brown Ground Beef
When purchasing ground beef, it’s important to understand that a higher fat to meat ratio means the meat is going to shrink up a little more as it cooks.
The store sells the higher fat beef cheaper and this may seem like the more budget-friendly option, but you are also getting less beef out of it. Either way, you get what you pay for.
When browning ground beef, you will want to use a nonstick skillet or spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add the uncooked beef to the pan and cook over medium-high heat.
Use a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula to evenly break up the meat as it cooks. You could also use a spatula to break of the meat into small, evenly sized, pieces.
Cook until there is no pink left in the meat. Browning ground beef usually takes about 10-15 minutes.
Looking for another easy ground beef recipe? Try our 15 Minute Ground Beef Tostadas!
How to tame the spice in this Cheeseburger Macaroni:
Depending on the taco seasoning and the green chiles you buy, this could get a little spicy. We have found that to cool the spice, we mix in a little sour cream.
If you are looking for a healthier alternative, you could also use Greek yogurt.
Related recipe: Don’t miss out on our Chili Mac Skillet Recipe!
Don’t love tomatoes?
If you have a few family members that don’t particularly love tomatoes, you could blend them up or use a little tomato sauce.
We recommend using sauce because it comes a little more flavored and salted than paste.
You could also use a little marinara sauce. However, changing up the ingredients might effect the consistency.
We recommend adding extra noodles or meat when leaving out the tomatoes and using a tomato substitute.
What to serve with Cheeseburger Macaroni:
Cheeseburger Macaroni Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning or about 1 ounce
- 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis such as a 10 ounce can of Rotel
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 cup elbow macaroni
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- Brown ground beef and drain grease.
- Stir in taco seasoning, tomatoes, beef broth, and macaroni and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover pan. Simmer 12-14 minutes until macaroni is tender.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
- Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking for 2-3 minutes until it becomes fragrant and starts to turn a light brown color.
- Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Whisk until smooth and mixture starts to thicken. Remove mixture from heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Add the salt and pepper to the cheese sauce.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the hamburger mixture. Stir gently to combine.
- Large Skillet
- Small Saucepan
Picky eaters are no joke! Check out our 20 Dinner Recipes for Picky Eaters!
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More delicious family dinner recipes:
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