Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta

Y’all know I love my global flavors, but every once in a while I get in the mood for straight up American food, like cheeseburgers. When that craving hit this week I decided to make a pasta version of cheeseburgers, which gives me all the “cheeseburgery” flavor with a lot less actual burger. When meat is one of the most expensive items at the grocery store you have to streeeeeeeeetch it any way you can and this Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta does just that. 

Hamburger Helper watch out, I’m comin’ for ya. (j/k)

Overhead view of a bowl full of Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta with green onions on top and a fork stuck in the side.

How to Serve Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta

I’m usually all about stuffing my recipes with as many vegetables as possible, but I couldn’t figure out a way to incorporate more vegetables into this recipe without diluting the hamburger-ness, so I’m just going to suggest you serve it with a simple side salad. Nothing fancy, maybe just some Romaine, tomatoes, and dressing. Keep it easy. :) And maybe Homemade Garlic Bread? Because every meal is better with garlic bread.

Freeze Some For Later

Saucy pasta dishes like this freezer pretty well, IMHO, so if you’re cooking for yourself this would make a good cook-and-freeze-for-later dish. If you’re extra sensitive to texture changes like pasta getting slightly softer, though, you may not be a fan of the leftovers.

 
Print Recipe
4.8 from 34 votes

Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta

Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta is a fast and easy "from scratch" version of the classic hamburger helper boxed dinner, and everything cooks in one pot!
Keyword: Easy Dinner, Hamburger Helper, One Pot Pasta
Total Cost: $7.19 recipe / $1.80 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.16)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef ($3.84)
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour ($0.02)
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce ($0.69)
  • 2 cups beef broth ($0.26)
  • 1/2 lb. pasta shells, uncooked ($0.50)
  • 4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar ($1.20)
  • 2 Tbsp hot dog relish ($0.16)
  • 2 green onions, sliced (optional) ($0.20)

Instructions

  • Finely dice the onion. Add the olive oil, onion, and ground beef to a large deep skillet and sauté over medium heat until the beef is fully browned and the onion is soft and transparent. Drain off any excess fat, if needed.
  • Add the flour to the skillet and continue to stir and cook for one minute more. The flour will form a paste that may coat the bottom of the skillet. Be careful not to let the flour burn.
  • Add the tomato sauce, broth, and pasta to the skillet. Stir to combine the ingredients and dissolve any of the flour off the bottom of the skillet.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let the liquid come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, give it a quick stir, replace the lid, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the pasta simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the sauce has thickened. Turn the heat off.
  • Add the cheddar, a handful at a time, and stir until it has melted into the sauce. Stir the hot dog relish into the sauce and then top with sliced green onions. Serve hot.
Tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!

Scroll down for the step by step photos! If you love easy one pot pasta dinners, check out our One Pot Meals category!

Close up view of Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta in a bowl, topped with green onion.

Side view of Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta in the skillet

Step by Step Photos

Brown Beef and Onions in the skillet

Start by finely dicing one onion. Add the onion, 1/2 lb. lean ground beef, and 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large deep skillet (like this one). Sauté the onion and beef until the beef is fully browned and the onions are soft and transparent. Drain off any excess fat, if needed (if you’re using 94% lean or higher, there probably isn’t anything to be drained off).

Add Flour to beef and Make Roux

Add 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour to the skillet and continue to stir and cook for one minute. The flour will become kind of paste-like and may coat the bottom of the skillet. This is okay, just be sure to watch it closely and not let it burn. The flour will help thicken the sauce later.

Tomato Sauce and Pasta added to the skillet with the beef

Add an 8oz. can of tomato sauce and 1/2 lb. uncooked pasta shells.

Beef Broth added to the skillet

Also add 2 cups of beef broth (I use Better Than Bouillon to make my broth). Stir everything together and dissolve any flour that might be stuck to the bottom of the skillet.

Deep skillet with the lid on as pasta simmers

Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the liquid to come to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, give it a quick stir, replace the lid, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the skillet simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the sauce has thickened. Turn the heat off.

Add Cheddar to cooked pasta

Stir in 4oz. shredded cheddar, one handful at a time, until it has melted into the sauce.

Add Relish to cheesy cooked pasta

Finally, add 2 Tbsp of hot dog relish (mustard relish), and stir it into the sauce. I feel like the relish is what really made this taste like a hamburger, but if you’re not into relish you probably won’t like this last step. It will still be some really great cheesy-beefy pasta without the relish, though. :)

Finished Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta in the skillet with green onion and a wooden spoon

I had some green onions in the fridge, so I sliced a couple up and added them on top. They were pretty and added a nice little “fresh” touch to the Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta.

Front view of a bowl full of Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta

Hello homemade!

Close up of a forkful of Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta

I don’t know a single thing about kids, but I feel like it’s a safe bet that they’d eat this Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta (especially if you TELL them that it’s “cheeseburger” pasta). ;) #cheeseburgery

Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta is a fast and easy "from scratch" version of the classic hamburger helper. BudgetBytes.com