Bacon Brown Sugar Hamburger Helper

6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

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?

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

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


  • 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


  • Cook the large elbow pasta according to the directions on the bag and drain (do not rinse).
  • Add the bacon to a cast iron skillet, cook until crisp and remove from the pan and crumble.
  • 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.
  • Remove the beef (you can leave the fat) and add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring well.
  • Mix the beef broth and the cornstarch until it is dissolved.
  • Add the beef, tomato sauce, brown sugar, beef broth mixture, salt, and black pepper into the pan.
  • 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.


Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 584mg | Potassium: 603mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 3.7mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 3.3mg
Keyword: 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.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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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.