Bacon Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper is full of bacon and cheesy pasta goodness turned into a 30 minute meal perfect for weeknights that the kids will love!
Bacon Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper is a dish that our kids LOVE which makes this a total win for us on weeknights. Now that the summer season is coming to a close we are winding down our grilling days. Plus it is an all natural way of making your favorite copycat of Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper Classic Bacon Cheeseburger (I grew up with this familiar red box!).
I don’t know if you all used to watch Food Network (or maybe still do?), but Michael Symon used to be on the station a lot and he referred to himself as a POP (a Pal of Pork). Our family is full of POPs so anything bacon goes into is automatically a hit with the kids. You can certainly add or subtract ingredients as you’d like but this dish is easy to make and takes just two pots (one for pasta to boil and one to make the rest of the meal) and with some steamed veggies on the side you’ve got a whole meal. Plus it truly does take 30 minutes (I’ve even done it in 20 minutes!). While the pasta is boiling you’re making the bacon, then browning the beef and cooking down the onions.
Looking for more great cheesy pasta dishes? Look no further:
- Cheesy Taco Pasta
- Pepperoni Pizza Hamburger Helper
- Philly Cheesesteak Hamburger Helper
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake
Tools Used in the making of these Bacon Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper:
Cast Iron Skillet: This is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.
Chef’s Knife: This knife is one of the three most used tools in my kitchen (tongs and my pig tail flipper are the other two). I love it, I’ve had it for almost 10 years and it is as sharp today as the day I got it. (left column, second from the top). Mind you I love it this much even though I have a ridiculously expense knife set as well.
Large Shells Pasta: I am linking to this because when I sent my husband to the store to get large shells he brought home the variety you stuff! So for reference here is the size you need!
Beef Broth: I always keep this on hand instead of buying boxes of broth, I just mix a tablespoon with a cup of water and it is the perfect replacement. Plus it is all natural.
- 1 pound large shells pasta
- 8 ounces uncooked bacon
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded (6 ounces)
- Cook the large shell 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.
- Crumble the bacon into small bits.
- 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.
- Stir the ground beef and brown until a deep crust appears on about 50 or so percent of the beef.
- Remove the beef (you can leave the fat) and add the onions.
- Let brown for 1 minute before stirring, then let brown for another 1 minute before stirring again.
- Add the beef back into the pan.
- In a small cup mix the beef broth and the cornstarch until it is dissolved.
- Add the ketchup, mustard, 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.
- Add the pasta back to the pan and mix together gently.
- Add the bacon crumbles back into the pan.
- Turn off the heat, add in the cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
- Serve immediately.
Turns out very well. I’ve made it a few times, and this time I didn’t realize I didn’t have a bag of appropriate pasta. In a pinch I made it with fettuccine instead and it still turned out well. I’m going to have a lot of leftovers.
Hubby loved it, had plenty of leftovers for lunches! This was a big hit with us. I personally thought that I could half the noodles but my hubby thinks it is perfect as written! Thank you for a great recipe!
Thank you Trinity!
Really enjoyed this recipe – thanks! Made this as listed – no changes. Was concerned by the name (didn’t tell my wife that it’s a ‘Hamburger Helper’ recipe), but we both liked it a lot. After we finished I told her the actual recipe name to which she responded that she would not have tried it if she’d known but was glad she did since she enjoyed it so much.
My husband loved this recipe. I had to cut down on the amounts of bacon (about 6 thick slices) and pasta (used 4 oz of whole wheat elbows) but it worked out great. Plenty of pasta and bacon flavors. I doubled up on the sauce amounts (ketchup, mustard, etc). I also cooked the onions with the ground beef.
It sounds nit picky, but I should have waited for the cheese to melt BEFORE stirring. It still came out fine, but it was a bit messier and didn’t combine as well.
I’m so appreciative of stove top recipes that are like oven baked casseroles. This is a keeper and thank you so much for sharing it!
Thanks for all of your feedback. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
I followed the recipe exactly. I don’t know if I still did something wrong. I felt it was dry and needed more sauce or something.
Oh no! You can always add more broth and that might help make it more of the consistency you’re looking for.
This was AMAZING!!! I followed the recipe to a T, except I don’t have a cast iron skillet, and I used elbows instead of shells. This is going to be a staple in my house! THANK YOU for such a fantastic recipe!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Arielle! I appreciate the 5 star rating!
The whole family loved it!
I personally added some BBQ sauce (baby Ray’s original) and Sriracha
Dear Sabrina: I LOVE your recipes, and I’d like to send ‘my favorites’ to myself, and file them in my ‘appropriate’ folders. Your blog does not provide me with that option. I don’t choose to use social media, so how can I send a ‘specific’ recipe to myself? Please advise.
Thank you so much for loving the recipes! To save specific one you can either bookmark it or if you go to the print option, in the drop down it’ll give you the option to save as a pdf. Hope this helps!
My kids would absolutely LOVE THIS!
This is a meal my whole family would love!
Definitely a family favorite!!
I know my family would love this for dinner!
This is about the only thing my Dad and Husband ask for now!! Tonight is the 3rd time in three weeks we’ve had it. I had to use bacon bits tonight as I forgot to thaw some bacon out. Lol! Still YUMALICIOUS!!!!
Haha, that definitely sounds like a winning dinner then. I’m glad you all enjoy it so much!
This looks like one of those satisfying family favorites I have come to love on your site.
Thanks Sandi! I love when everyone in the family is able to enjoy the meal….I know how hard it can be with picky eaters at times.
This is so my kind of meal! I’m pretty sure the kids would love it too 🙂
I love that I will know exactly what my family is eating! Love the bacon too!
Bacon makes everything amazing 😉