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Homemade Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni

This Instant Pot cheeseburger macaroni recipe will take you back to your childhood! Just 10 minutes in your pressure cooker makes this cheesy goulash hamburger helper style pasta dinner. Your whole family will love it! 

instant pot cheeseburger cheeseburger helper

I created this Instant Pot cheeseburger hamburger helper macaroni recipe the other night. Bringing this childhood favorite back into our house was great and got 10 thumbs up. One of our favorite comfort food Instant Pot recipes yet. (affiliate links present)

Instant Pot Cheeseburger Casserole

Tell me this was a staple in your home growing up too. Your mom may have used a box to make this sort of cheesy hamburger helper dish, but homemade is so much better. It is surprisingly easy to do with boxed pasta elbow macaroni and ground beef or sausage.

You don’t have to use this brand either. We have a Crockpot Express and make lots of Ninja Foodi recipes using the pressure cooker function too. Any of these will do as the function is almost identical. A fun one pot meal kids love.

If you are new to pressure cooking we have a lot of easy one pot meal recipes for you here. To begin with let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

Ninja Foodi Cheeseburger Macaroni

We made a crockpot hamburger helper recipe before and that was good. But it took quite a while to finish so we could eat. This Instant Pot hamburger helper version has a VERY short cooking time and my kids’ favorite quick and easy meal.

You don’t even have to pre cook the pasta! Just throw it all in with your onion and garlic powder and set to high pressure with a quick release at the end. BAM! It’s one of our favorite Instant Pot ground beef recipes, but you could use ground sausage too!

I do this sometimes with 1/2 pound of spicy Jimmy Dean sausage and 1/2 lean ground hamburger meat. Gives you some spicy kick but not enough where you need a glass of milk on the side. 😉

instant pot sausage

Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni

I have had comments from some that they have a harder time finding the canned Campbells cheese soup to buy. You can make it homemade like they did here if you need to do so. Here are a few questions you might have in mind before getting started on this one:

How do you make hamburger helper cheeseburger macaroni from scratch?

This is it!! NO more using that box from the grocery store. Here you can skip that, use any shaped noodles you like and adjust the seasonings as you wish.

How many calories are in cheeseburger hamburger helper?

Well we are not suggesting that it is a low calorie food by any means. Typically for a 6 oz. serving you’re looking at 500ish calories.

This depends greatly on the type of meat used.

Do you drain hamburger helper?

I do not when I am sauteeing the ground beef. We do use organic grass fed meat so it is low in fat already. You can drain if you like, either way it is a great family friendly meal.

It really is a complete meal, but you could serve it with air fryer garlic bread on the side too. I mean you don’t really need anything but if you have a larger crowd it is a great way to spread it out a bit more.

ninja foodi cheeseburger macaroni

Instant Pot cheeseburger macaroni The Typical Mom

You can of course add any other seasonings you like such as onion powder or pepper. This is what it looks like when it is just done. The longer you let it sit the thicker it gets and tastes amazing.

  1. Instant Pot or pressure cooker – the one I have is shown above
  2. Elbow macaroni – or another small pasta (if you use organic or gluten free it will take longer and you will need to add a few more minutes.
  3. Cheddar cheese soup – Campbell’s has this one in the soup aisle
  4. Hamburger meat
    1. do not use more than 1 lb. or it won’t turn out properly
    2. spicy ground sausage is great too if you like a little heat
  5. Onion – optional
  6. Sour cream
  7. Shredded cheese – we like sharp cheese
  8. Water – or better yet substitute for chicken or beef broth

Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole

If you love traditional hamburger helper but with added cheese this pressure cooker pasta dish is for you. As with all of my other Instant Pot recipes it is very easy and you only need a few ingredients. You could also use another style of noodle other than elbow macaroni but I had that in the house so that is what I used. I like to use what I already have on hand if possible.

If you like a thicker consistency let it sit in the pot for about 5 minutes after you have turned it off. Like I said, t will thicken quite a bit as it sits! If you like it a bit soupier like you see here above then serve and eat immediately.

Instant Pot Cheeseburger Casserole
instant pot cheeseburger mac and cheese

Cheeseburger Macaroni Instant Pot

Here’s a quick step by step but there is a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post too. Add olive oil, diced onions, ground beef or sausage into your pressure cooker on the saute function. Cook until meat is no longer pink on the outside.

  1. In a bowl whisk together your water (or beef broth), salt, garlic powder, & cheddar cheese soup until smooth. Pour this into your pot. Sprinkle in uncooked noodles and gently submerge.
  2. Close lid and steam valve and set to high pressure for 3 minutes. Do a slow release when done (meaning move valve slightly so steam comes out slowly).
  3. Lift lid, set pot to saute again and stir in sour cream and shredded cheese at this time. Allow to bubble, cheese to melt and contents to thicken.
  4. Turn pot off and allow to sit for 10 minutes at least to allow sauce to thicken before serving.
  5. Realize that the longer it sits and cools the thicker it will become.

When saving the leftovers you want to ensure that it has cooled to room temperature first. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you want to reheat it realize that it will be quite thick, you can thin it a bit with some broth or water, stir and get the consistency you want before heating.

You only need 1 minute or so in a microwave safe bowl to be warmed and enjoyed once again. If you want something quick here’s how to make boxed Kraft mac and cheese in a pressure cooker too

instant pot boxed macaroni and cheese 2

Cheeseburger macaroni recipe

Looking for more Instant Pot pasta recipes your family will love? We make thees all of the time. There are so many ways to change things up but basically if you have your favorite sauce and Barilla of your choice you can make a fantastic meal that is family friendly for very little money at all.

Crockpot chili mac is a great recipe too. If you want lower carb, try our Instant Pot hamburger soup.

You can pressure cook this cheeseburger helper in your Crockpot Expresss too as well as tweaking this homemade mac and cheese recipe on the stovetop. You just use a deep pot to saute the meat as directed below. Then add all the other ingredients and stay close. Bubble until the noodles are as tender as you’d like!

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the typical mom
instant pot cheeseburger cheeseburger helper
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4.55 from 31 votes

Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni

This Instant Pot cheeseburger macaroni recipe will take you back to your childhood! Just 10 minutes in your pressure cooker makes this cheesy goulash hamburger helper style pasta dinner that your whole family will love. It’s one of our favorite Instant Pot ground beef recipes.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese, cheeseburger, goulash, instant pot, macaroni and cheese, pasta, pressure cooker
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 19 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 553kcal
Author The Typical Mom



  • Turn your Instant Pot to saute and add your olive oil and ground beef. 
  • Start to brown your beef, then add your diced onions and cook together until ground beef is no longer pink.  Turn instant pot off by pushing the cancel button (important step). Drain grease and return pot.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together your water, salt, garlic powder, & cheddar cheese soup. Pour on top of your ground beef.
  • Pour your uncooked noodles in and do not stir, just push noodles down gently so they are submerged in the liquid. Close your IP lid and set to manual, pressure, high for 3 minutes. 
  • When done do a slow release – meaning barely move your steam valve so the steam comes out slowly, and carefully lift your lid. 
  • Set IP to saute. Add your sour cream and shredded cheese. 
  • Stir slowly and allow it to come to a boil and bubble.
  • Turn IP off. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes to thicken. The longer it sits the thicker it will become too. Serve! (top with more cheese if you're a real cheese lover.


Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni
Amount Per Serving (6 oz)
Calories 553 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Fat 36g55%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 90mg30%
Sodium 989mg43%
Potassium 622mg18%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 470IU9%
Vitamin C 0.6mg1%
Calcium 205mg21%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
instant pot cheeseburger cheeseburger helper
Recipe Rating

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Monday 4th of July 2022

I made this with a vegan cheese sauce that has a potato and carrot base rather than the cheddar soup. Even with 3 cups of cheese sauce and the 1 cup water, it wound up with "food burn" and I had to sautee for about 5 minutes for the pasta to finish cooking. It also had almost as much meat as pasta. I think next time I'll double the pasta and make it separate. By the time I made the cheese sauce and sautéed the meat, I could have done the pasta on the stove.

Dianna H

Monday 16th of September 2019

It was definitely delicious however I did make just a few changes since I have a 3 qt Mini. I did 2/3 of a cup of elbow macaroni, 1/4 cup of chicken broth, 3/4 lbs buffalo ground meat, no salt, used two fresh garlic cloves crushed and one teaspoon of powder, instead of cheddar cheese soup I used half a cup of cheese dip I did not use sour cream I did use one cup of cheddar cheese and added a can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies. This is a keeper thanks so much!

Danielle Spears

Thursday 22nd of August 2019

So this kind of turned out. Apparently I did something wrong. I did the manual but could get it from normal to high. I put it on for 3 minutes. When it went off there was no steam to release. The noodles were cooked at all. I tried this again 2 more times. Finally most of the noodles we ere cooked. I had to add about a cup of broth with the cheese and sour cream to make sure it wasn't all sour cream. I did saute it like the recipe called for. Half of it burnt to the bottom. But my son did like the results I ended up with. Not sure I'll make it again. What did I do wrong?

The Typical Mom

Saturday 24th of August 2019

Hard to tell if yours didn't come to pressure then your seal might be bad or was out of place. To get pot to high pressure press pressure cook again to move from low to high. On Lux versions they are always on high pressure though.

K. Frampton

Friday 16th of August 2019

Hi! We love this recipe but we noticed that your recipe lists salt and garlic powder in the ingredient list, but it doesn’t tell you when to add it in the instructions - can you help out with that? Thank you so much!

The Typical Mom

Saturday 17th of August 2019

So sorry, will fix. So glad you love it!

Tracy Cardentey

Thursday 25th of July 2019

I need to feed 5 hungry boys so would need 2 lbs of meat and 2 BOXES of elbows. How much liquid and how much time?


Monday 4th of May 2020

Great flavor but my noodles were definitely not cooked...not sure what I did wrong.

The Typical Mom

Thursday 25th of July 2019

If you have an 8 qt. you should be able to double this with no issues. Do not alter the timing, just double ingredients.

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