Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper (Copycat Recipe)
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Homemade Instant Pot hamburger helper is made with two kinds of cheese, ground beef and tender pasta. Our version is simple to make and we think it’s much tastier than the kind that comes in the box.
I doubt there is a Mom out there that hasn’t thrown together a box of Hamburger Helper or something similar and called it a night. Been there. Done that.
We’re sharing tips to help you get the best results with this recipe. If you don’t need the tips, scroll to the bottom for the full recipe, including a printable recipe card.
It’s simple and the Teens think it’s really tasty. But I hate the thought of a boxed meal and the funky seasoning mix that comes with it.
So I revamped the classic dish to be made in the pressure cooker. You thought it was easy before? Wait til you try our copycat version! And if you’re looking for another easy dinner recipe try our frequently requested Ground Beef Philly Cheesesteak Sliders.
Making copycat cheeseburger macaroni in the Instant Pot is a breeze and I love not having to keep an eye on the macaroni noodles while they cook. Wondering if they’re going to be stuck together in a gummy mess or turning my back for a second and having them boil over.
Homemade hamburger helper in the Instant Pot will become a new weeknight meal for you and your family. It’s ready in 35 minutes and is made with simple ingredients that you probably have at home.
Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper Ingredients
- Lean ground beef (93 or 97%)
- Spices: garlic powder, salt, pepper
- Beef broth – can use low sodium if you like
- Elbow pasta
- Velveeta cheese
- Cheddar cheese
How to Make Homemade Hamburger Helper in the Instant Pot
Brown the beef. Press the Saute button on the Instant Pot. Add the ground beef and cook until it’s browned completely. I use a meat chopper to break up the ground beef. Select Cancel, then drain the grease if needed.
Add spices. Stir in the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Pour in broth and noodles. Add the beef broth and elbow noodles. Push the noodles down so they are submerged in the broth. After you’ve added the broth, scrape the bottom of the pot with a large spoon to remove any bits that may be left from browning the meat. Failure to do this may lead to the dreaded burn notice.
Cook. Lock the lid in place and push the valve to the Sealing position. Cook on High manual pressure for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, release the pressure manually by switching the valve to the Venting position.
Add cheese. Stir in the cheddar and Velveeta cheeses until they have melted. And now you’re ready to serve this tasty comfort food.
Tips for Making
- Use a lean ground beef to reduce the amount of grease.
- Freshly shredded cheese will melt better than pre-shredded.
- Substitute ground turkey for the ground beef if preferred.
- You can swap out some of the beef broth for water if you’re a little short on broth. You can also use all water in a pinch but the broth gives additional flavor to the dish.
- If the mixture is too thick you can thin it our with a little milk or cream.
- Substitute with other pasta shapes if preferred, just use a small variety (like shells) as larger pieces may take longer to look.
- If you like sour cream, green onions, or chives use these as toppings and to add more flavor.
Storing and Reheating
Leftover copycat cheeseburger macaroni can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container. You can reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.
You may want to add a little water or milk so it’s less dry. Once the pasta and sauce cools, it does tend to thicken up.
You can also freeze hamburger helper after it has cooled. You may want to cook your noodles a little less if you know you are going to freeze the meal, just so they won’t be soggy when thawed.
Place cooled leftovers in a freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Instant Pot Recipes
**Save Homemade Instant Pot Hamburger Helper Recipe for Later**
Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper
- 1 pound lean ground beef, 93 or 97%
- ½ Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 5 cups reduced sodium beef broth
- 16 ounces elbow pasta
- 16 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- Set the Instant Pot to Sauté mode and add the ground beef. Cook until meat has browned, using a meat chopper to break up the ground beef. Cancel Saute mode and drain grease if necessary.
- Add garlic, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Add beef broth and pasta, pushing the pasta down into the broth. Close the lid and turn the steam release valve to Sealing. Pressure cook on High for 5 minutes.
- Manually release the pressure by turning the pressure valve to Venting. Carefully open the lid after the pressure has released.
- Add cheeses and stir until melted and combined. Serve immediately.
- Substitute ground turkey for the ground beef for a lighter option.
- If mixture is too thick thin with a little milk or water.
- Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.