Cheeseburger Pasta skillet is one of our favorite family meals! It is a rich, creamy, and comforting pasta dish packed with two kinds of cheese, savory ground beef. It comes together in just one skillet, in under 30 minutes, and is full of creamy goodness!
- Lucious layers of velvety cheese sauce – check!
- Lots of tender, gently seasoned, ground beef – check!
- Enough pasta to bring it all together and make it filling- Check!
This dish gets all the checks from taste to one pan ease of making. Not only are the flavors full of ooey, gooey, and cheesy goodness, but you can make this delicious comfort food in as little as 20 minutes!
Since it is so easy to make, I don’t put up much of a fight when my kids ask for it on a weekly basis!
Move over Hamburger Helper… This Homemade Cheeseburger Pasta recipe is here to stay!
My Recipe Notes
My Cheeseburger Pasta skillet is just as easy to make as I promised! I am going to go through a few of my notes and tips here to make sure you get the absolute best results when you make this dish, and hopefully answer any questions that may come up while cooking.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to find the FULL recipe card.
- Ground beef – I like to use the most lean ground beef I can find. Since we will drain it after it cooks, it just saves some time and mess! Generally I find about 93% lean on the shelf at the supermarket, but if you see something else, don’t worry… they all work!
Feel free to substitute ground turkey or chicken.
- Spices– we use garlic powder, salt, and onion powder
- Pasta– Start with any shape you prefer. I used rigatoni here, but any variety will work!
- Cream cheese– You can use more or less cream cheese based on the richness and creaminess you prefer. I use the whole block both because we love a super creamy sauce and because I don’t like little bits left in the fridge!
- Sharp cheddar cheese– For the cheese I prefer sharp cheddar because it gives you the most flavor with the least amount of cheese. If you only have mild cheddar that will work too! You can add a little extra if you want a stronger flavor.
- Milk– You can use whatever you keep on hand. You may use more than directed if you want to thin the sauce more.
Step by Step
Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain any excess grease.
Add cream cheese and cheddar cheese and stir, allowing it to melt completely so that you can make a smooth sauce.
Stir in the milk until it forms a smooth sauce.
Toss cooked pasta with the sauce. If you like a saucier pasta, prepare 8-12 ounces of dried pasta to toss with the sauce.
- Be ready to go! This recipe moves quickly once it gets going, so make sure the cheese grated and the ingredients are measured to make this recipe smoothly.
- The key to making the sauce smooth, rich, and creamy is to start with a warm skillet with ground beef. Add the cream cheese and cheddar and keep stirring until they are fully melted. There will be no lumps left (except for the meat.)
Then (and only then!) start to pour the milk in slowly. Keep stirring as you pour. If you pour it all in at once it is harder to get it to mix smoothly. If you pour slowly stirring as you go, it allows the milk to thin the sauce evenly and it will combine beautifully!
- Note: This isn’t a super “saucy” dish as written. If you like your pasta heavier on the sauce, you can either stir in less pasta (up to half), OR double the ingredients for the sauce.
If you love this recipe and want to try something new, here are a few ideas for new twists on this tried and true recipe
- Cheeseburger Cauliflower– Make as directed omitting the pasta. Instead of pasta take bite sized pieces of cauliflower and boil them for about 3-4 minutes. Drain well and add to the sauce instead of pasta.
- Spicy Cheeseburger Pasta– Make as directed substituting pepper jack cheese for cheddar cheese. Add additional diced jalapeños at the end until your desired level of spiciness is reached.
- Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta– Make as directed. Add 8 oz of chopped bacon while browning the ground beef. Continue cooking until crispy and finish the recipe as directed. Top with additional crispy crumbled bacon if desired.
- Cheeseburger Spinach Pasta– Make as directed through step 2. Once the meat is drained add 8 oz of frozen spinach that has been thawed with the liquid wrung out. Break up and stir in with the meat. Continue at step 3 and finish out the recipe.
What to Serve with One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta
If you are planning your meal and need a couple of sides to round out the dish, there are plenty of great options to fill up your table.
I like to pair this dish with a veggie or two since this recipe is already fairly rich and filling, plus it helps to keep it wholesome! You can never go wrong with a slice of garlic bread to dip in that cheesy goodness!
Side dish ideas
- Sautéed Green Beans
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Broccoli Salad with bacon
- Perfect Oven Roasted Veggies
- Buttery Garlic Bread – The BEST recipe!!
You can pick one, or serve Cheeseburger Pasta with a few sides to really stretch the meal to feed a crowd. Either way works great to leave you with a happy family!
Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet Leftovers
If your hungry crew doesn’t devour the whole skillet of this Cheeseburger Pasta, leftovers can be saved for another day.
Place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
This dish does not freeze well, so I recommend only making as much as you can eat fresh.
To reheat leftovers, place in a microwave safe dish and heat in 30 second increments stirring in between until heated through.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe I hope you will take a few minutes to check out some of our other recipes perfect for a hungry crowd.
- Italian Sausage and Tortellini Skillet
- Garlic Parmesan Chicken Bake
- Cheesy Taco Skillet
- Baked Meatballs Parmesan
- Cheesy Bacon Tater Tot Casserole
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Don’t forget to leave a comment and rating and let me know how you liked the recipe!
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 16 ounces pasta, (uncooked)
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup milk
- Cook pasta per package instructions to al dente.
- While pasta is cooking, brown the hamburger meat in a large skillet, breaking it up as it cooks. Once it is done, drain any excess grease and return the meat to the skillet.
- Add the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and seasonings (garlic powder, salt, and onion powder) to the meat and stir until it is melted and combined.
- Slowly add the milk while continuously stirring to make a sauce.
- Add the cooked pasta into the sauce and stir to coat. Serve immediately. Enjoy!