Friday, August 17, 2018

Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet

A quick and easy homemade cheeseburger and macaroni skillet dinner. Better than the box!
A quick and easy homemade cheeseburger and macaroni skillet dinner. Better than the box!

Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet

If you've followed Deep South Dish for any length of time, y'all probably already figured out that I do love me a quick and easy skillet meal, especially on these hot summer days.

This one is no exception, but back when I was a young, young bride, I sure relied on that handy dandy boxed pasta meal. It was quick and easy after working all day and I actually liked the way it tasted. The lasagna one was a personal favorite.

I admit, it's been a super long time since I've tried them, because a homemade version is really not much more work, so long as you keep a well stocked pantry, including some standard dried herbs.

Okay, granted. This might be a little overkill. 😂
Anyway.... here's how to make my Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet. As always, full measurements and instructions, along with a printable document are located further down the page. Just scroll on down a bit.

Gather up your seasonings and mix those up. You'll add them in a bit. Saute some onion in a little melted bacon drippings or butter, add ground beef and brown, then drain off any excess fat. Return to skillet with some flour and cook and stir for a couple minutes. Add seasoning mix, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. If you want a little richer base, use the beef base, otherwise just  water with the milk is fine and what I used here.

Bring everything up to a boil, stir in macaroni and half of cheese. I used a colby and cheddar blend of pre-shredded cheese, but use whatever your favorite cheese is. It is, however, important that your pasta is covered with liquid and since elbows can vary in size among brands, if the pasta isn't covered with these measurements, simply increase water. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, or just until macaroni is tender and most of liquid has been absorbed. Uncover, taste and adjust seasonings, top with remaining cheese, remove from heat, cover and let cheese melt.

Dig in!

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Recipe: Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25 min
Total time: 40 min
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


For the Seasoning Blend:
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
For the Macaroni:
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter, bacon drippings or olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1-1/4 pound ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon beef base, optional
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups uncooked medium elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded cheese, divided

Mix seasoning; set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet and saute onion, add ground beef, drain off any excess fat. Stir in flour, cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add seasoning mix, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, beef base, if using, water and milk; bring to a boil. Stir in macaroni and half of cheese. (increase water if pasta isn't covered) Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, or just until macaroni is tender, and most of the liquid is absorbed. Uncover, taste and adjust seasonings, top with remaining cheese, remove from heat, cover and let cheese melt. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes: Elbow macaroni comes in various sizes. I like the smaller elbows for this dish, usually marked as medium, although even the size on those varies among brands. Whatever size you use, the key is to make sure that the pasta is covered with liquid. If the pasta isn't covered using my ratios, then pour in a little extra water or beef broth.

Instant Pot: Prepare as above using saute function on pot to brown ground beef. Drain off excess fat and stir in remaining ingredients, except cheese but including seasoning blend. Seal pot and cook on high for 4 minutes. Quick release. Set aside 1/2 cup cheese and stir in rest, 1/2 cup at a time until incorporated. Top with remaining cheese, cover and let rest until cheese is fully melted.


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Posted by on August 17, 2018

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  1. This sure does look and sound good.

  2. I survived my college and just married years with the boxes you described. This looks awesome and i have most of the ingredients. I'm jealous of your herb cabine

    1. I haven't tried them lately, but we sure survived on them too back in the day! I always thought it was pretty good & certainly cheap & easy. That cabinet, well, it might just be a tiny bit obsessive, but I pretty much use most everything in there on a regular basis. I love experimenting with different seasonings.

  3. That herb cabinet is impressive!!

  4. Every recipe I have made from your blog is amazing. Takes me back to my childhood with Grandmas cooking. When can we expect another book?

    1. Aw, thanks Cherie! No book in the plans yet - only in my head.

  5. Oh my gosh...I have to try this!

    Cheeseburger macaroni Hamburger Helper is one of my guilty pleasures. I'm a little ashamed to say I make it about once a month...and then eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner until it's gone! (Husband's not a huge fan).

    I will definitely try this. Have I ever told you I love your site and recipes before? If not...I DO!! <3

    1. Aw, thanks so much! I haven't had HH in a very long time, so while I can't guarantee that it will taste just like theirs I will say I think you'll enjoy it. Makes a bunch too!

  6. I made this for hubby the other night and he was in HEAVEN! I did tailor it...I snuck in 1/2 pound ground turkey w/ the beef and browned it with the onion/oil, I used 1 tsp Herbes de Provence w/ 1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning (my IT had hot pepper flakes in it and I can't take heat), 1st cup of cheese I subbed w/ 8 oz. cubed Velveeta. Near the end of cooking, I added in a can of drained tomatoes and some frozen corn. I'll definitely add it to the line-up of occasional recipes! It makes a ton and hubby had lunch for 3 days!

    1. Glad y'all enjoyed it Annie & thanks for sharing your variations - it's quite adaptable!


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