Bacon Brown Sugar Hamburger Helper

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Bacon Brown Sugar Hamburger Helper with a crispy, beefy, bacon filled pasta dish your kids will love!

Hamburger Helper is a kid favorite like Tater Tot Casserole and Frito Pie except this time I’m bringing you delicious sweet and salty brown sugar bacon!

Bacon Brown Sugar Hamburger Helper
 Bacon Brown Sugar Hamburger Helper

Bacon and brown sugar are one of the major engines on which this site runs. We LOVE the flavors so much we use them on chicken, on pork, on tater tots and more (you can see all the recipes here).

So this pasta was only slightly a nutty idea when we started recipe testing it. First came the sloppy joes version which have been a huge hit. Then came the recipe testing for this pasta. We didn’t want anything too sweet so we cut way back on the brown sugar.

The salty hit of the bacon works great with the hint of the brown sugar and the tomato sauce adds enough body for the sauce without letting the brown sugar take over.

Bacon Brown Sugar Hamburger HelperFor leftovers or meal prepping we leave the sauce less reduced and save the bacon crumbles on the side.

We love easy pasta recipes like Bacon Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper and Pepperoni Pizza Hamburger Helper because they’re so delicious and kid friendly!

Looking for more pasta recipes?

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Don’t want to use ground beef? You can certainly use ground chicken or ground turkey. Even ground pork would work great.

Want to skip the bacon? Cut back on the brown sugar by half because the salt content will be much lower, more similar to the flavors in this Glazed Brown Sugar Meatloaf.

Want to add in some vegetables?

  • Red, orange or yellow bell peppers, diced which you can sauté with the onions until well cooked.
  • Diced zucchini which you can sauté with the onions until well cooked.

CAN YOU FREEZE/REHEAT hamburger helper?

Yes, sort of. We tried this a couple of times and ended up with dry pasta. Then we tried something we’ve seen in frozen pastas and cooked the pasta, freezing it on a sheet in a single layer. Once frozen we made the recipe as directed.

Why freeze the pasta you ask? Pasta has this annoying quality where it sucks up all the liquids in a dish when there are leftovers. This means the next day your pasta is all dried out. By freezing the pasta before assembling we prevent the pasta from acting like a sponge.

Bacon Beefy Pasta

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Bacon Brown Sugar Hamburger Helper

4.67 from 6 votes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Course: pasta
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Bacon Brown Sugar Hamburger Helper with a crispy, beefy, bacon filled pasta dish your kids will love! The perfect weeknight meal in 30 minutes.


  • pound  large elbow pasta
  • slices  bacon
  • pound  lean ground beef
  • small yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • cup  beef broth
  • tablespoon  corn starch
  • 1/2  teaspoon  Kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  fresh ground black pepper


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Cook the large elbow pasta according to the directions on the bag and drain (do not rinse).
  2. Add the bacon to a cast iron skillet, cook until crisp and remove from the pan and crumble.
  3. Add the ground beef to a large cast iron skillet (this browns very well) and brown until a deep brown crust appears before breaking the beef apart.
  4. Remove the beef (you can leave the fat) and add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring well.

  5. Mix the beef broth and the cornstarch until it is dissolved.
  6. Add the beef, tomato sauce, brown sugar, beef broth mixture, salt, and black pepper into the pan.
  7. Cook until the mixture is only slightly liquidy (about 75% of the mixture is above liquid), 3-5 minutes before adding the pasta and bacon back into the pan and mixing well.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 servings, Amount per serving: 432 calories, Calories: 432g, Carbohydrates: 66g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 584mg, Potassium: 603mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 175g, Vitamin C: 3.7g, Calcium: 38g, Iron: 3.3g

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Keywords: bacon, Bacon Brown Sugar Hamburger Helper, baked pasta, brown sugar, hamburger helper

About the Author

Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

See more posts by Sabrina

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This wasn’t too bad. It seemed a little bland. I think the noodles to meat ratio was a little off. Next time I’ll add some garlic and some more meat.

  2. I love easy recipes, I am by myself with my “SERVICE DOGGIE” and she will love this recipe too. No dog food for my fur baby!!! I will be making this soon.