Hamburger Mac And Cheese Casserole

Hamburger mac and cheese casserole is a hearty and very tasty meal. The best part is that the entire meal is homemade and super easy to put together. And believe me, the kids will come running for this dish. It’s like a hearty Hamburger Helper but so much tastier for the whole family.

Baked mac and cheese with hamburger meat on a plate with a roll and broccoli. The casserole dish is in the background.

What I Love About This Cheeseburger Casserole

Cheeseburger casserole can come in so many forms, and this is a great way to get a filling meal on the table.

  1. It’s a family favorite, and it’s definitely one of my favorite things to make and eat. It has the classic cheeseburger taste.
  2. It’s super easy to make, even for beginners. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to make from start to finish.
  3. You know what ingredients are in the dish. No hidden stuff here. It’s almost all basic ingredients out of the pantry.
  4. It’s very versatile. You can make it however you like. If you want lean ground beef or ground turkey, you can switch it out. If cheddar is not your favorite cheese, you can use Swiss or your favorite cheese. Add some veggies to the dish, as well.
  5. Kids love hamburger mac and cheese because it’s pure comfort food. It’s hard enough to get them to the table without a bunch of complaints. But this recipe is like mac and cheese on steroids. You know you’re feeding them good food for dinner, and they will go to bed full and satisfied.
  6. You can freeze the meal and pull it out when you’re ready to reheat and eat.
A picture of ground beef casserole with broccoli and a roll.

Ingredients For Hamburger Mac And Cheese Casserole

Cheese Sauce

  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Evaporated milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Beef broth
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (I buy pre-shredded cheese to make life easier).
  • Grated parmesan

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

Four pictures of making hamburger mac and cheese.

Before you get started on the ground beef, cook the macaroni noodles according to directions. However, stop cooking the noodles a few minutes early so they are al dente.

The hamburger mac and cheese recipe takes about 20-25 minutes to get ready and get into the oven.

  1. Add the ground beef, salt, pepper, onion seasoning, and garlic to a skillet and cook on medium heat. Drain the grease and set the meat aside.
  2. Add the ground beef and noodles to the baking dish.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. The flour will be lumpy. Pour in the evaporated milk and beef broth and whisk until the lumps are gone. Once the sauce is hot, add the cheese and cook until melted.
  4. Pour the creamy cheese sauce over the meat and pasta and stir to combine. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10-15 minutes.
Cooked hamburger mac and cheese in a baking dish.

Tips for Adding Variety to Your Hamburger Mac and Cheese Casserole

  • Add some diced green bell peppers or jalapeños for some color and spiciness.
  • If you like things hot, add some hot sauce or crushed red peppers to the casserole.
  • Try different types of cheese, such as Monterey Jack or Gouda, to create your own unique twist on this classic dish.
  • Add some frozen mixed vegetables to the dish to get even more nutrition into the pan.
Mac and cheese with hamburger on a plate with a roll and cooked broccoli.

Substitutions for Hamburger Mac and Cheese

If you’re looking for a healthier version of this classic comfort food, there are a few substitutions you can make:

  • As mentioned above, use some lean ground beef, turkey, or shredded chicken to reduce the fat content.
  • Use whole wheat flour or gluten-free noodles to increase some of the fiber.
  • Use some lower-fat milk for the recipe.
  • Use lower-fat cheese to cut down on some fats, as well.
  • Use a different type of pasta if you don’t have elbow macaroni noodles on hand.
Mac and cheese with hamburger on a plate with a roll and cooked broccoli.

What To Serve With Hamburger Mac and Cheese

There are a lot of side dishes that go great with this casserole dish. You can have some broccoli cheese casserole to get those veggies in the kids, or if it’s a more laid-back night, add a side of moist Jiffy cornbread.

Homemade dinner rolls are a good side dish to serve with ground beef mac and cheese along with some oven baked potatoes wedges. You can also add a side of green beans and bacon or a simple salad from Love and Lemons for some greens.

Optional Ingredients

You can add a few things here and there if you want some different flavors with this dish. Here are a few ideas:

  • Diced onions
  • Green peppers
  • Italian seasoning
  • Chili powder
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder

Hamburger Mac And Cheese Casserole

Hamburger mac and cheese casserole is the ultimate comfort food because it brings together some classic ingredients. Whether your family is big or small, it’s a great recipe for the entire family and an easy weeknight meal.

Hamburger mac and cheese on a dish with a biscuit and broccoli.

Hamburger Mac And Cheese Casserole

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Hamburger mac and cheese is perfect for those busy nights. It's an easy dinner recipe and great for the pickiest eaters.


  • 16 ounces of elbow macaroni cooked al dente
  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of onion seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic

Cheese Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 5 ounce can of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 2 cups + handful of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Cook the noodles according to the package, but remove a couple of minutes early while they are al dente. Drain the water and pour into the baking dish.
  3. Add the ground beef, salt, pepper, onion seasoning, and minced garlic to a large skillet and cook on medium until brown.
  4. Drain the grease and add to the baking dish with the noodles.

Cheese Sauce

1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat.

2. Add the flour and whisk. It will be lumpy.

3. Next, pour in the evaporated milk, heavy cream, and broth while whisking. Whisk until the lumps are gone.

4. Once the sauce is hot, add the parmesan cheese and whisk until combined. Then, add the two cups of cheese and cook until it's melted.

5. Pour the cheese over the ground beef and noodle mixture and mix to combine.

6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes.

7. Remove the foil, sprinkle the handful of cheese on top, and bake for another 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


Store any leftovers in an airtight container or cover them with plastic wrap and keep them refrigerated.

You can sprinkle some fresh parsley on top after it comes out of the oven for a pop of color.

You can freeze the recipe for up to three months. Be sure to wrap it up well in an airtight container. Let it thaw for 24 hours before cooking.

If you freeze it before cooking, cook it following the instructions above.

If you cook it first and then freeze it, let it thaw and cook for at least 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until it is hot. Cover with aluminum foil while reheating.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1141Total Fat: 78gSaturated Fat: 40gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 286mgSodium: 1532mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 73g

Nutrition is approximate.

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  1. Made this tonight and it was delicious and it makes a ton so great dinner for leftovers! I did add some worcestershire sauce to the meat because we love it. Made a salad and cresent rolls, will make again for sure.

    1. Julie Pollitt says:

      Great to hear! So glad you liked it. Worcestershire sauce is always a good thing. 🙂

  2. Liz Wasch says:

    Can I make a couple of hours ahead of time? And then pop in oven an hour before company comes

    1. Julie Pollitt says:

      I think that would work fine!