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Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper

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Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper has tender ground beef and elbow macaroni in a creamy cheese sauce, all done in the instant pot in 4 minutes. The easiest meal to make that all the kids will love.


I know what it is like to have kids and need to have a quick and easy meal. This homemade version of hamburger helper is delicious. Still, if you have a limited budget, you may like Boxed Hamburger helper, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and Boxed Rice a Roni is all easy meals in the instant pot.


 Ingredients for homemade hamburger helper

  • Ground Beef: A lean ground beef 90/10 is what we use, but you can use any ground beef. You can also use ground turkey.
  • American Cheese: For this, we used Land O’Lake from the deli I had them cut it into large chunks and shredded it at home.
  • Cheddar Cheese: I used shredded cheddar, but for a different flavor, you can use a pepper jack or even monetary.
  • Garlic Powder: You can use minced garlic instead of garlic powder.
  • Onion Powder: Replace with half of a white onion chopped.
  • Beef Broth: I use Better than Boullion; however, you can use your favorite broth.
  • Elbow Macaroni: Large elbow macaroni is what we used, but any pasta you have will work in this recipe with the same cooking time.

Step by Step Directions for Homemade Instant Pot Hamburger Helper:

Step 1:

  • Place Instant Pot on Saute.
  • Add Ground Beef and cook until no longer pink and crumbled.
  • Drain excess fat.

Step 2:

  • Add garlic and onion powder to the ground beef.
  • In this order, so you do not get the dreaded burn message.
  • Add pasta over ground beef. Pour the beef broth into the instant pot.
  • Place the instant pot on Manual High Pressure for 4 minutes.

Step 3:

  • Do a Quick Release by pushing the button to release the pressure quickly.
  • Stir in the Milk and Cheeses.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks for Instant Pot Hamburger Helper

  • Cheese | Reach for deli-style cheese that is quality. I used American cheese. You don’t want to use shredded cheese or pre-sliced as it has a higher oil content, and you won’t get that creamy texture you are looking for. 
  • Toppings | Feel free to add a few toppings to elevate the flavor like some fresh parsley, a dollop of sour cream, green onions, or even more cheese! 
  • Ground Beef | One key is to help break up any meat on the bottom of your Instant Pot since this will help prevent you from getting the burn notice. That being said, Some people skip this and then get a burn notice and think about what happened. Ensuring the bottom of your pot is free of stuck-on beef will help prevent your chances of a burn notice

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to Store leftovers

Store in an air-tight container for 4 days in the fridge.

Can You Freeze Homemade Hamburger Helper 

Yes, you can freeze homemade hamburger helper. One tip I always share is to cook your pasta until it is al dente and then scoop it into containers or freezer bags. However, if you overcook your pasta, you will find it can become mushy when you reheat it. 

How to Reheat

Reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes or on the stovetop. You can not reheat in the instant pot since you will get a burn notice because you will not have enough liquid.

Can I Double The Homemade Hamburger Helper Instant Pot Recipe

Yes, you can double the instant pot recipe, but you do not need to double the cooking time. You would still cook for 4 minutes on high pressure.


More Recipes

Give this Instant Pot homemade Hamburger Helper a try, and let me know what you all think! 



Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper has tender ground beef and elbow macaroni in a creamy cheese sauce, all done in the instant pot in 4 minutes. The easiest meal to make that all the kids will love.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz American cheese
  • 1 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 16 oz elbow macaroni
  • 8 oz milk or heavy cream


  1. Saute ground beef until brown and crumbled.
  2. Add in seasonings.
  3. Pour in uncooked pasta and broth.
  4. Place pot on manual high pressure for 4 minutes.
  5. Do a quick release.
  6. Add milk.
  7. Stir in both kinds of cheese.


Serve. I hope you enjoy this.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 355Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 619mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 24g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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Scott Poingdestra

Saturday 4th of February 2023

If you grew up in the 80's eating HH, does this recipe taste similar/same to that?, if you grew up in the mid 90's on, don't answer, you only know the tasteless HH now and have no clue how great this stuff used to taste before the recipe change

Adventures of a Nurse

Saturday 4th of February 2023

Yes it tastes the same

Cindy Campbell

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

hello can I make with box thank you

Adventures of a Nurse

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

Yes I have the directions for that on my site

Heather Scott

Thursday 25th of February 2021

I tried this recipe and my husband was impressed because he doesn't like the real hamburger helper at all. Thumbs up, great recipe

Instant Pot Cheesy Hamburger Helper | LifeWithTheLumpees

Sunday 16th of August 2020

[…] recipe is based off of this Pinterest post. Because there are only two of us, we only use half a pound of ground beef and have adjusted […]

Kathleen Gauger

Saturday 18th of July 2020

This was delicious. Made it with heavy cream. I wasn't sure the noodles were cooked but once you add the cheese it all melts into cheesy goodness. I love any meal I can make in 4 minutes. Crazy. Thank you for posting this!

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