Cheeseburger Pasta

filed under: Food + Drink on May 24, 2019

Cheeseburger Pasta is unlike any pasta you will ever try. It’s loaded with flavor and coated in the lightest cheese sauce that perfectly complements every ingredient. This is going to be one of your new favorite recipes, I promise! You might even be tempted to call it Gourmet Cheeseburger Pasta! #originalrecipe If you love cheeseburgers, don’t miss my classic recipe or my Air Fryer Cheeseburger Hand Pies!

Cheeseburger Pasta from Overhead in a White Bowl

Cheeseburger Pasta

I need to talk to you about this Cheeseburger Pasta recipe. It’s unlike anything you have ever tried, and that is my sincere promise to you. It’s almost a contradiction in your brain. When we think of cheeseburgers we think heavy, greasy, giant mouthfuls of delicious beef and toppings. And when you think of most pasta dishes the same can apply… heavy sauces and gluten overload.

But this… this is not like that. We tested recipes for days trying to come up with the perfect combination of ingredients and the best cheesy pasta sauce. It’s like something you would think a highly trained professional chef would make. But nope! Just me and hubby in the kitchen for days. 🙂 If you try any savory recipe from my blog, please let it be this one! (If I ever see this recipe on another recipe site I might die inside a little, we spent SO LONG perfecting it!)

Cheeseburger Pasta Recipe in a White Bowl

Cheeseburger Pasta Recipe

There are 3 main components to this recipe:

  • Pasta
  • Ground Beef
  • Cheese Sauce

Pasta: I chose Cavatappi pasta. I love how it looks and love how the sauce and seasonings coat the noodles so perfectly. I got mine at the country grocery store, but if you can’t find any I think rotini, rigatoni, and macaroni would all be good options.

Cheeseburger Pasta in a Bowl

Ground Beef: So, full transparency, this recipe was born out of having too many hamburgers in my fridge. I wanted to make a pasta dish with chopped up cooked hamburger and that is where the brainstorming began. And while that’s a great option in this dish, it was easier just to make the ground beef fresh and crumbled in a pan. The recipe reflects all the ingredients I would add to my hamburger recipe (you can see that here in my Classic Cheeseburger post) except the egg. Because we are basically making a hamburger with the ground beef,  all of those flavors and seasonings add another flavor component to this pasta recipe.

  • Lawry’s seasoned salt
  • McCormick Hamburger Seasoning
  • salt & pepper
  • yellow onion
  • garlic
  • ground beef
  • Worcestershire sauce


How to Make Cheeseburger Pasta

Cheese Sauce: Because this sauce is so light you might not even believe that there is cheese in it! We sampled many versions of cheese sauces and settled on one that didn’t have any thickening agent (like a typical pasta sauce or goulash). The ingredients (like chicken broth!!) might seem controversial at first, but they really do work beautifully together.

You will need:

  • butter
  • red onion
  • chicken broth
  • whole milk
  • cheddar cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • tomato

If you are super observant you will notice that we make the hamburger with yellow onion and the sauce with red onion. While I found that this combination produced the best final product, you can certainly just use all yellow onion or all red onion in the recipes.

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add in the chopped onions and cook over medium heat (about 5 minutes) or until the onions are fragrant and translucent. Add in the chicken broth, milk, salt, and pepper, and whisk until boiling.

Reduce heat and slowly add cheese. This is important! If you add the cheese when the sauce is too hot, it could curdle. Whisk constantly until the cheese is completely melted.

Finally, add the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine. After a quick stir, remove from heat. You don’t want the tomatoes to cook and break down, just to be warmed through.

Gourmet Cheeseburger Pasta on a Spoon

How to Make Cheeseburger Pasta FAST

As I mentioned above, you can just make extra hamburgers next time you grill and use chopped up leftovers. You can also make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. When you are ready to make the recipe, boil your pasta, heat up the hamburger, and reheat the sauce. Drain the water from the pasta and mix all the ingredients in the warm pot you boiled the noodles in. This method takes about 10 minutes and still tastes amazing!

Love Cheeseburgers? Me too! Check out more of my fantastic cheeseburger inspired recipes!

Classic Cheeseburger

Cheeseburger Sliders

Cheeseburger Soup

Cheeseburger Salad

3.8 from 5 votes
Cheeseburger Pasta
Cheeseburger Pasta
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins

Nothing short of spectacular. This Cheeseburger Pasta is unlike anything you have ever tried!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheeseburger Pasta
Servings: 12
Calories: 324 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 box (16 ounces) cavatappi noodles
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's season salt
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Hamburger seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup yellow onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Cheeseburger Sauce
  • ¾ cup butter
  • cup red onion, diced
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup mild cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ½ cup dill pickles, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced
  1. In a large pot of salted water, cook noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the seasoned salt, hamburger seasoning, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

  2. Add oil to a non-stick pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook about 1-2 minutes. Add the ground beef to the pan. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon. Add the Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle with seasoning mixture.

  3. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until no pink remains in the meat. Remove from heat.

Cheeseburger Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter.

  2. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are fragrant and translucent.

  3. Add chicken broth, milk, salt, and pepper and whisk until boiling.

  4. Reduce heat to low (This is important! Be sure to let the mixture cool down.) and slowly add cheese. Whisk constantly until the cheese is completely melted.

  5. Add tomatoes and stir to combine, remove from heat.

Assemble the Pasta
  1. Add the cooked hamburger, chopped pickle, bacon crumbles, and cheese sauce to noodles, and stir combine. (If serving in a different bowl, transfer pasta now)

  2. Top with any extra chopped pickles, chopped tomato, (both optional) and green onions.

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  • Jen says:

    Have you tried this cold? Or does it reheat well? You are for sure selling it!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I have not eaten it cold, and it does reheat well! Even better the next day. 🙂

  • Donna says:

    What is the serving size, 1 cup or 3/4 cup ?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      About a cup.

  • Sheree says:

    The ingredients do not include the tomatoes. How much do you add?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      The tomatoes are listed under the Cheeseburger Sauce.

  • Susan Kalin says:

    I made your Cheeseburger Pasta last night. The sauce calls for 3/4 cup of butter. Is this a typo? It was too buttery and I had to add more cheese and even then it still seemed like to much butter. Otherwise I loved this recipe.

  • Renee says:

    I made this for an office lunch. It was just OK. Recipe was time consuming and too much effort for an OK result.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      So disappointed to hear that! We have made it at least 10 times in the last 3 weeks and I think I love it more every time. What exactly were you disappointed with?

  • Leann says:

    Make this last night and unfortunately, the dish simply fell flat. Followed recipe to a tee with the exception of using campanella rather than cavatappi. While understanding the cheese sauce was light in texture, it lacked in both flavor and ability to cling to crevices in the pasta. Perhaps adding a bit of Dijon mustard to the cheese sauce would elevate the flavor profile. Sorry, I had high hopes for this entree but it missed the mark.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Thanks for the feedback! Sorry you didn’t like it.

  • Joanne Piper says:

    I am always looking for quick dinner and came across this recipe and your mushroom/swiss one. After reading the comments I think the objections to them are most often the expectations of a heavier/ creamier sauce that clings to the pasta. Maybe you should consider labeling these “light ” or something like that to give the impression from the beginning the sauce is not the center of these recipes and it is more like a seasoning. They look good to me and I will try them.

  • Andrea Sheen says:

    This recipe is OUTSTANDING!! However, I did double the pickles & only made 12 ounces of pasta, then reduced the butter to 1/2 cup & used sharp cheddar instead of mild. SO FLAVORFUL!! My hubby loved it too! He just asked me when we are having it again!!

  • Cynthia Hoffman says:

    Send. recipes to me.

  • Kathy Urich says:

    I was excited to make this looked delicious. I was disappointed. It was way to salty for me. I think the hamburger seasoning would be enough and skip the bacon. I used more cheese in the sauce and that was tasty. I don’t think I will make this again.

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.