Real Food Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Pasta

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Everyone loves this Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Pasta, made with real food ingredients! If you love traditional cheeseburger pasta, you’ll flip for this healthier pasta recipe. 

Real food ingredient homemade Cheeseburger Pasta in a white bowl

Is homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Pasta healthy?

Yep, I went there. I made a dry mix to replace the chemical-filled box of processed powdered cheese and pasta.  This homemade Hamburger helper cheeseburger pasta recipe is healthier than anything you will make from a boxed mix.

Now, most folks will use ground beef to make this recipe, and that’s totally fine if that’s your preference. However, I can’t stand the taste of beef, so I use ground turkey and it is very, very good. There were exactly zero complaints from Mini Chef at the dinner table.

As for the cheese sauce, this recipe may not be “healthy” enough for some of you out there. I say this because of the extra fat content in real cheese and whole milk. But, the proper way to make this a clean eating recipe requires those ingredients. Even so, it is a far cry healthier than the boxed stuff. I encourage the use of good quality, grass-fed beef if you are going to use it.


There was a time when I would also encourage avoiding orange cheddar and opting for white instead. But after some research, I found that cheddar is colored with Annatto seed, not food coloring in the traditional, chemical sense. So I went ahead and used the orange stuff here. I leave it up to you to make that decision for yourself, but as far as I understand it, the coloring is natural. That being said, I do encourage you to try to avoid the pre-shredded packages of cheese because they add anti-caking agents to shredded, packaged cheese. Just a block of cheddar you can grate at home should do the trick quite nicely.

I have to say, despite my avoidance of dairy, I did give this a try and it is downright delicious. Complete and total comfort food that is easy to make and will make the kids happy. Can’t argue with that!

bowl of real food homemade Hamburger Helper cheeseburger pasta


To make this healthier pasta recipe, you will need the ingredients listed in the recipe card below, as well as the ingredients for the clean eating hamburger helper mix.

Use 1 tablespoon of the dry mix for mildly flavored pasta or 2 tablespoons for a more full-bodied flavor, like the real Hamburger Helper dry mix.

If you want to try it both ways, you can start with 1 tablespoon and add in more after all the cooking is done, or simply adjust to taste.


If you want to make this recipe even healthier, stir in some cooked or frozen vegetables towards the end of the cooking time. Any of these choices will add nutritional value and delicious taste, too!

  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts


If you love this healthier homemade Hamburger Helper recipe, here are some other healthier pasta recipes to try.

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry

bowl of homemade Hamburger Helper cheeseburger pasta

Real Food Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Pasta

A classic homestyle, American favorite gets a healthy and delicious upgrade! This Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Pasta is made with real food ingredients! If you love traditional cheeseburger pasta, you'll flip for this healthier pasta recipe. 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 423kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
  • 1 tbsp. clean eating hamburger helper mix (see link above)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups dry whole grain macaroni (or rotini)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese


  • Warm the olive oil in a large skillet (one with a lid) and brown the beef or turkey.
  • Stir in the milk, water, pasta and seasoning mix.
  • Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.
  • Stir in your cheese and keep stirring until it has melted and you have a cheesy sauce.
  • Now you can adjust your seasonings with salt, pepper, or even more seasoning mix if you prefer a stronger flavor.
  • Cool slightly and serve.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible. Also, the data below does not include the hamburger helper mix. Please visit that recipe for the nutrition data for that.


Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 312mg | Potassium: 438mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 530IU | Calcium: 379mg | Iron: 2.1mg

overhead photo of rotini pasta with ground beef and homemade cheese sauce

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  1. 5 stars
    Made this last night. I added about 4 tablespoons of the hamburger helper mix (your recipe) and it turned out sooo good!! Thank you! Will make again:)

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicole – That’s wonderful!! Me and my little guy really enjoyed this one too. You don’t have to give up your favs to eat clean! 🙂

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