Easy Cheesy Hamburger Skillet: Ready in 30 Minutes

Work, work, work. Come home. Chores, chores, chores, take care of the kiddos, take care of the significant other, more chores.

Top down view of the Easy Cheesy Hamburger Skillet Recipe showing both the cooking pan full of the pasta mix along with a white porcelain serving bowl full of the completed recipe.

“Mom/Dad, I’m starving. When’s dinner?” The absolute last thing you want to do is cook.

You start reaching for your phone to order in a pizza. But you’ve got that pound of hamburger meat sitting in the fridge that needs to be used up (from when you where on the “I’m going to make everything from scratch” kick over the weekend).

Oblique view of a porcelain bowl full of the Cheesy Hamburger Skillet mix with a spoon stick out. A corner of the cooking pot is in the upper right.

But what to do? What to make? Grilling off gourmet hamburgers will take up way to much time.

The solution? Easy peezy. Brown some hamburger in a skillet, throw in some onions, pasta, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and a can of diced tomatoes, and voila! You are the next Gordon Ramsey. All in 30 minutes.

A close up view of a cooking vessel full of Cheesy Hamburger Skillet Mix.

Name it something that sounds delicious, like, I dunno, an Easy Cheesy Hamburger Skillet. Tell no one that you were just throwing in the ingredients based on what was in the icebox and pantry. Let them believe you are a cooking genius.

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Top down view of the All-Clad Weeknight Pan and a white, porcelain bowl full of the Cheesy Hamburger Skillet mixture.

Easy Cheesy Hamburger Skillet

  • Author: Mike Quinn
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


A super easy 30-minute weeknight hamburger meal free of the usual additives and preservatives found in the boxed stuff.


  • 1 pound elbow pasta (use gluten free if needed)
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped mild onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (or 1/4 cup gluten free flour mix)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
  2. Cook ground beef in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to brown.
  3. Add onion, and continue cooking until meat is done.
  4. Drain well, then return to the pan.
  5. Add basil, oregano, and garlic powder, and stir well.
  6. Add cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and flour to the pan.
  7. Pour in milk and tomato sauce. Stir well.
  8. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture comes to a low boil and begins to thicken.
  9. Add the can of diced tomatoes.
  10. Add the pasta to the pan and stir well to coat with sauce.
  11. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
  12. Serve hot.


This can also be made without the can of diced tomatoes, but the sauce will be a bit rich. The tartness of the tomatoes help to tame the richness of the cheese blend.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep the Onions and Measure Ingredients

Onions being chopped with a Japanese chef's knife on a brown cutting board.
I love this chef’s knife. It’s a Gyuoto made by Misono. A Guyoto is a type of Japanese kitchen knife.

Dice up your onions. Measure your other ingredients.

Step 2 – Establish Your Mise en Place

All of the ingredients required for the Cheesy Hamburger Skillet in on place.

Lay out all of your ingredients so that you can easily get to them.

Step 3 – Boil the Pasta

Elbow macaroni added to a a Made-In stockpot.
This stockpot is an interesting new brand that we’re in the process of testing. It’s made in the USA by Made-In, a small company headquartered in Austin, Texas with manufacturing facilities and partners within other parts of the USA.

Boil the pasta in a medium-sized stockpot according to the instructions on the package.

Draining the macaroni pasta with an Oxo brand colander.

Once it’s done, drain well in a colander.

You can also use your electric pressure cooker to prepare the pasta.

Step 4 – Brown the Meat

Hamburger browning in a All-Clad Weeknight Skillet
I’m using the beautifully made All-Clad Weeknight Pan that we featured in this article.

Add your hamburger to a large frying pan. I prefer to use stainless rather than nonstick when browning meat as the Maillard Reaction works much better – meaning it gets browner easier and has a better flavor.

I typically like to use a lean cut of burger meat, but not extra lean. If it is too lean, you’ll actually have to add extra oil to the pan to fight sticking.

Onions being added to the partially browned hamburger meat inside of the All-Clad Weeknight Skillet.

Add the onions and fry over medium heat until they are translucent. Drain any excess oil.

Step 5 – Build the Sauce

Spices being added to the hamburger and onion mixture.

Add the spices and then add the cream cheese and cheddar. Add the flour, tomato sauce, and milk, and stir well.

The remainder of the ingredients including tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, flour, milk, cream cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese being added to the pan.

Once the flour is well incorporated and the sauce is well mixed, add the can of diced tomatoes.

Step 6 – Build the Sauce

Cooked macaroni noodles being added to the pan and stirred to be covered in sauce.

Stir in the cooked macaroni and voila! Dinner is served.

This big pan should serve up to five people, maybe six if stretched with a side salad and some bread on the side.

A close up view of the completed cheesy hamburger skillet recipe inside of the All-Clad Weeknight pan.

And all without out the preservatives, MSG, artificial colors, and other additives typically found in the premixed boxed stuff.

Top down view of the All-Clad Weeknight Pan and a white, porcelain bowl full of the Cheesy Hamburger Skillet mixture.

What about you? Do you have any tips or recipes to quickly turn a pound of hamburger into a complete meal on a weeknight? Let us know in the comments below and please give this recipe a rating down in the comments area.

Don’t forget to Pin It!

A collage of photos showing different views of the completed Easy Cheesy Hamburger Skillet recipe.

Photos by Mike Quinn, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.

*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Mike Quinn

Mike Quinn spent 20 years in the US Army and traveled extensively all over the world. As part of his military service, Mike sampled coffee and tea from all virtually every geographic region, from the beans from the plantation of an El Salvadorian Army Colonel to "Chi" in Iraq to Turkish Coffee in the Turkish Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. He spent nearly a decade in the Republic of Korea where he was exposed to all forms of traditional teas. Mike formerly owned and operated Cup And Brew, an online espresso and coffee equipment retail operation.

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