You won’t have to ask the kids twice to come to the table when you put this crazy good, one-pot Hamburger Mac and Cheese in front of them!
With tons of gooey cheesy goodness and pieces of bacon and hamburger, this hearty dinner hits everything you could ever want in one pot. You will love how easy this hamburger mac and cheese recipe is and your kids will love to eat it, better make a double batch just in case.
Why You’ll Lover Burger Mac
This isn’t your typical stovetop mac and cheese. It’s a one-pot weeknight wonder! Loaded with hearty ground beef, bacon, and seasonings, this meal is sure to satisfy even the most ravenous appetites. I love that it’s ready in about 45-minutes without any complicated ingredients. I have everything for this mac and cheese on hand pretty much all the time… which is great for nights when I didn’t pre-plan our meal.
Other Recipes to Serve with Hamburger Mac and Cheese
- Citrus Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Your family will ask for this easy roasted vegetable dish weekly
- Bacon Onion Green Beans: You will forget this is a vegetable side dish because the bacon makes it taste so good
Ground Beef: I always try to get the leanest ground beef I can, but choose what you like keeping in mind there is also bacon in this recipe.
Dairy: What’s mac and cheese without a creamy cheese sauce?! I highly recommend shredding the cheese yourself, it’ll melt so much better than pre-shredded. If you find yourself without sour cream, plain Greek yogurt will work too.
Pasta: I keep things traditional with elbow macaroni. If you prefer you can use medium shells, penne, or any short pasta you have on hand.
Seasoning: The combination of flavors in the cheese sauce is what really sets this mac and cheese part from others. I used chicken bouillon, onion, mustard, ketchup, onion powder, salt, and pepper to deepen the flavor. Everyone will want to know what your secret is.
Bacon: My secret ingredients! The addition of bacon and basically makes this bacon burger mac and cheese. It’s totally optional, but oh my goodness it’s delicious with everything else!!
How to Make Hamburger Mac and Cheese
STEP ONE: Dissolve the bouillon cubes in some hot water and let that hang out while you cook the ground beef and onions in a large pot.
STEP TWO: Add the ground beef, bacon, and seasonings to the pot. Then give that all a stir and cook until the beef is browned and the bacon is cooked.
STEP THREE: Pour the bouillon mixture into the pot and add in the pasta. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
STEP FOUR: Mix in the sour cream and cheese until the cheese is melted and you have creamy, delicious hamburger mac and cheese!
Tips for Success
- Let the bouillon dissolve fully in the water while you get started cooking. This will make sure there are any grainy bits in the sauce. You could also use bouillon paste, like Better Than Bouillion.
- Cook the pasta according to the time on the package or your own liking, they all different. If the pasta is not completely cooked after 25 minutes, add another 1/4 cup of water or chicken broth and cook for a few more minutes.
How do you store and reheat Hamburger Mac and Cheese?
Once the food has fully cooled you can put it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When you are ready to reheat you may need to add a little bit of butter or milk to get everything creamy again.
Can you put meat in mac and cheese?
Absolutely! You can add ground hamburger, bacon, ground turkey, diced ham, shredded chicken, or even smoked sausage for delicious protein additions to a classic macaroni and cheese dish.
Other macaroni recipes you will enjoy:
- Classic Macaroni and Cheese
- Skinny Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
- 30 Minute Crab Mac and Cheese
- Ligthened Up Buffalo Macaroni and Cheese
- Easy Chili Mac Skillet Dinner
- 2 cubes chicken bouillon (see note)
- 4 cups water boiling
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup yellow onion chopped
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons cooked bacon crumbled (see note)
- 1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni (or any short pasta)
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese shredded
- Add the bouillon cubes to 4 cups of boiling water. Set aside to dissolve. Use a fork to stir/smash the cubes a couple of times to make sure they're fully dissolved.
- Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Melt the butter and then add the onion. Cook for 2 minutes until the onions are softened.
- Add the ground beef, bacon bits, dry ground mustard, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Use a spoon to break up the beef and stir everything together. Cook for 6-8 minutes until the beef is cooked through and no longer pink.
- Add the chicken bouillon mixture to the pot along with the uncooked pasta. Stir everything together, cover the pot, and cook for 20-25 minutes until the pasta is cooked al dente. Stirring occasionally. (see note.)
- Uncover the pot and add the sour cream and shredded cheeses. Stir until the cheese is melted and a creamy sauce has formed.
- Serve warm with extra shredded cheese on top if desired.
- You can substitute the bouillon and 4 cups water for 4 cups of chicken broth if preferred.
- For the bacon, you can use store-bought bacon bits or cooked and crumble your own bacon. (Sometimes I add more bacon if we’re in the mood.) This ingredient can be committed if needed.
- You can use 3 cups of shredded cheese in any variety you like. Other cheeses that work great for this recipe are pepper jack, Monterey Jack, and even a little Parmesan.
- If the pasta isn’t cooked enough after 25 minutes, add another 1/4 cup of water or chicken broth, cover, and cook for a few more minutes.