Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper–with just a little more effort than making a boxed meal you can have a homemade creamy tomato basil beef pasta meal. And with the help of your Instant Pot it takes just a few minutes.
Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper
When I was growing up my mom would always make homemade foods. She never used processed boxes of stuff. However one time when we were camping at Yellowstone she made a box of hamburger helper on the camp stove. I was probably about 8 years old and I still remember it. I thought it tasted so good! Haha!
Isn’t it funny how kids love their white wonder bread, twinkies, pasta roni, boxed mac and cheese etc.??? They’d choose that over homemade food that actually tastes good.
A while ago I tried to make a bunch of boxed foods in the Instant Pot just to see if I could. One of them was hamburger helper. I tried it after I made it and it was not good. Overly processed and just gross. It looked good but every time I tried a bite I was disappointed.
This recipe for instant pot homemade hamburger helper tastes 1000 times better than the boxed stuff. My family and I couldn’t get enough. We were all sad that I didn’t double the recipe. The funny thing is that it doesn’t take much more time than using the boxed stuff. It’s a little more effort but well worth it.
This pasta reminds me a little of lasagna. It has the ground meat, the tomatoes, the creaminess and the cheesiness. I’d way rather make this than lasagna since it takes a lot less effort! And I’m all about efficiency. Add the ingredients of this instant pot homemade hamburger helper to your shopping list and make it for dinner this week. I know you’ll love it!
More recipes you’ll love…
Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Instant Pot Creamy Sausage Parmesan Pasta
Instant Pot Creamy Turkey Sausage Penne
What Pressure Cooker Did You Use?
To make Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. I love this Instant Pot because it has the yogurt making function which I use almost weekly. It has two pressure settings (high and low), and there are also little slots in the handles so that you can rest the lid there instead of putting it down on your counter-top.Print
Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 minutes (plus 5 minute NPR)
- Total Time: 18 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
With just a little more effort than making a boxed meal you can have a homemade creamy tomato basil beef pasta meal. And with the help of your Instant Pot it takes just a few minutes.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 8 ounces (1/2 pound) cavatappi noodles, uncooked
- 1 3/4 cup beef broth (or 1 3/4 cup water + 2 tsp better than bouillon beef base)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Optional: 1 Tbsp cornstarch + 1 1/2 Tbsp milk
- Turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting. When the display says HOT add in the beef. Break it up with a spoon (I use this tool*). Add in the onion. Sprinkle in the salt, pepper, garlic powder and basil. Brown the beef and saute the onion.
- Once the beef is browned, add in the uncooked pasta. Then pour the broth over the top. Dump the canned tomatoes over the top. Don’t stir.
- Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 3 minutes.
- Once the time is up let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then move the valve to venting.
- Remove the lid and stir in the sour cream and mozzarella. If you want to thicken up the sauce you can stir in a cornstarch slurry (stir the cornstarch and milk together until smooth and then stir it into the pot). Salt and pepper to taste.
- Scoop onto plates and enjoy!
You can easily double this recipe. Just double all the ingredients and keep the cooking time the same.
I used 90% lean ground beef so there was no grease to drain off. If you’re using ground beef that’s not quite as lean you may need to drain off some of the grease. You can also use ground turkey for this recipe.
I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*.
To make gluten free: Substitute for gluten free noodles. Check the broth for wheat. Swanson’s Organic Beef Broth says gluten free and no msg right on the front of the box. Reduce the IP cook time by one minute when using GF pasta.
- Category: Beef
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
- Calories: 609
- Sugar: 5 g
- Sodium: 1118 mg
- Fat: 25 g
- Carbohydrates: 50 g
- Protein: 43 g
Keywords: instant pot
Send Me Free Recipes
Like this recipe for Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper? Get all my new recipes delivered to your email inbox by signing up below.
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
HI Karen, I just checked my IP box, I have a IP Duo Plus. Steam in labeled as one of the functions, but I do not have a steam button. Box also says it’s a 9-in-1, but also says it has 15 cooking programs! I could only count 12, as those are the number of buttons on my IP… Would I cook at 0 for 15 min. in order to steam? Thanks for all you help and the great recipes. I’ve happily made lots of them! 😃
Sorry, I meant cook for 3 min, with a 5 min wait b4 venting…
Yes that is what I would do!
Would cooking time, etc. be the same if elbow macaroni were used instead of the cavatappi?
I would use a 4 minute pressure cook time for macaroni.
Sandy Gotter says
Hi Karen I tried your hamburger helper and it was awesome!!!!! Much much better than the box!!! Ha ha My husband loves it and he is picky. Thanks and keep the recipes coming .
yay! So glad to hear it! Thanks!
This recipe was easy, fantastic, and is SO versatile! I wasn’t in the mood for Italian seasonings, so I used Cracker Barrel’s Campfire seasoning, along with some tex-mex seasoning, and a mix of cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. Everything else as is. It was fantastic, as I’m sure the original seasonings would be! You could really use any cheeses/seasonings in this recipe. We LOVED it, and it will be in regular rotation. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Campfire seasoning sounds great! I’ll have to get some of that!
What can I use instead of sour cream?
Thank you !!
Plain Greek yogurt would be great!
Amber Neely says
I made it in my pressure cooker, so had to adjust the times a bit, but it turned out wonderfully! Also substituted the Italian spices for Tex-Mex ones: 1.5 teaspoon ancho chili powder, 1 tsp. cumin, halved the salt, used fresh minced garlic and a red onion (it was all I had) and Mexican cheese instead of mozzarella – and it turned out amazing! My wife was so happy she said “You’re saving this recipe, right?!”
Love all those changes!
Thanks for this great recipe! One pot pasta meals in the IP are favorites around here so this one will get added to rotation and eaten often. I’m thinking of adding some frozen chopped green peppers along with the onion but other than that haven’t thought of any other tweaks I’d make. I really enjoy your blog!
Great idea on the green peppers!
I doubled it since our college kids are living at home. It turned out so delicious !! I try to reduce sodium as much as possible so I used the low sodium tomato cans, low sodium broth and reduced the amount of sour cream and cheese just a bit. I used pasta I had at hand, large macaroni elbows. So very good, like all your masterpieces!!
Sharon Johnson says
Everyone loves this recipe and it is so easy to make. I do use medium shells, a little ketchup, and a few drops of Tabasco Sauce to give it a little more flavor. I am always asked for the recipe. Thanks for the good recipe. I hope you are including this in your new cookbook because it is a winner.
Yes it will be in there for sure!! Thanks so much Sharon 😊
I’ve made this several times now. It’s awesome. We’re vegetarian and gf, so I use Beyond Burger and gf penne. I brown the BB with the onions on the stove just because I’m short and can’t see in my IP without standing on a stool. I find my gf pastas actually takes longer so I set it for the time I ordinarily cook the penne and it works great. Thanks for this!
Cool! I’m glad you could adapt it for your needs. Sounds awesome!
Kathy Coy says
So good! Reminded me exactly of the lasagna hamburger helper from a box I used to make when I was young and poor, ha.
Haha! That’s great 😊
Made this upon request for healthy hamburger helper. Used Ground Turkey and spiced it up a little by using canned diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers – any spicy diced tomatoes would work. Everyone loved it – thanks for the recipe!
Yay! so glad you all enjoyed it Patty!
Making again today. For dinner and lunches for work tonight. Quick fam fav always have ingredients on hand. Tweek to your’re liking.
Glad you’re liking this recipe Valerie!
Kristina H. says
I made this and it was delicious, even my picky 3yo ate it! It was a little meat-heavy for me though. How would I adjust the recipe to use 16oz of pasta (double the pasta)?
I would double the liquid, tomatoes, sour cream, and possibly the seasonings.
Kari Galloway says
What about for cooking in a 3 quart?
Yep you can do that. Keep everything the same!
Jo Con says
I made this in double batch. I left out the tomatoes because my family doesn’t really like them. I put the onion in a food processor because again my family is sensitive to onion pieces. Very good outcome, definitely a lot better than store bought hamburger helper and slot less salty tasting.
Good! I’m glad it worked out with your changes!
Mollie Anderson says
What if we don’t have canned diced tomatoes or fresh? Can we put in tomato sauce?
Yes I think that would be okay! Let me know what you think of it 🙂
Hi, do you know if this will freeze okay?
I haven’t tried it myself but I think that it would be okay. I’d try to get the pasta to be more al dente if freezing. So perhaps do a quick release instead of the 5 minute natural pressure release.
Sharon Johnson says
I always freeze leftovers and they work very well. I add some water (2 T) before I heat it in the microwave at a lower power. Works well every time. The water would depend on the size of container…I am using smaller ones that serve two people. Stir before serving and the water disappears.
Good tip! Thank you.
Mrs. R says
Thank you for this! My husband and daughter love the boxed stuff, but like you, I can’t stomach the cheese powder. Yuck. Made this tonight and it was so fast and easy and very good! Had some ground Italian sausage I had to use up so used half that and half ground beef. Everyone loved it! Will make again!
Glad you all liked it!
This looks delicious! How long would you need to cook this on the stove?
I’d cook the pasta noodles separately. Then brown the beef with seasonings. Stir in the noodles and the rest of the ingredients. Warm through and serve.
This was so good! I used egg noodles cause that is what I had in pantry!!!
Oh great. Did they get overdone?
Still making this again in nov 2019. Cant wait till its ready. Wonderful recipe that u can tweet to your taste.
Glad you still like it! It’s a great recipe I agree!
This was fantastic! I decided to make it last-minute so I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand. I substituted chicken broth, used cheddar instead of mozzarella, and did 1 tsp each of chili powder and paprika instead of the basil. It tasted just like the boxed stuff, only better. My kids are three helpings each! Next time I can’t wait to try it with the mozzarella and basil instead! Thank you for a definite keeper of a recipe!
Glad you all liked it!
Just got my instant pot last weekend, and tried your recipe as the first thing I cooked in the pot. It was so delicious. My daughter loved it too..
So glad you and your daughter enjoyed it!!
My first usage of my new instant pot, and it was delicious! Thank you for recipe.. Now to find more good recipes. Loved the quickness of this pot!
oops.. didn’t mean to add two replies.. LOL
Made this last night, using mini farfalle noodles (bow tie). Then once done, we garnished with a dollop of ricotta cheese mixed with parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper. Literally polished off the pot and made another one, we loved it that much! Like deconstructed lasagna. You’re our new bff Karen!
Curious, you state that you use a 6 Qt. pot, is there any difference in ingredients or time if using and 8 Qt.?
Hi Denise, read these two articles as they will help you understand this question in general. https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/how-to-halve-instant-pot-recipes/ and https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/how-to-double-instant-pot-recipes/
This was delicious. Made just a few changes based on what was available. Used a bit less ground beef, added 3 chopped mini peppers (placed raw on top of the pasta), and used cheddar cheese in place of mozzarella. The two of us managed to finish off the entire pot in one sitting. I topped mine with hot pepper flakes. Will definitely make again.
Wow that sounds super yummy! I’m glad you liked it!
Karen, once again, your recipe was my base recipe hero! For the second time I used your great starter as a springboard for seriously tarted up chili-cheesy mac. Delicious.
Thumbs up from me and my 2 picante lovin’ dudes.
20 C in Vancouver – who cares?! This warm, easy, comfort food is still a pre-lacrosse game hit!
Yay for you Jennie! I love this recipe too 🙂
Hi there, thanks for the recipe!! I made this today with Beyond Meat, whole wheat macaroni and bell peppers in the IP, turned out perfect! This is my first time making pasta in IP, your instructions were great!
Wow how great! I’m so glad to hear this.
Love this except first time I made it a little less flavour than desired from my hubby. Second time I used the canned diced tomatoes with the spicy peppers instead and added pepper flakes when done. Gives a little kick that satisfies his flavour need but still not too hot for me. Also used gluten free Catelli macaroni because I am celiac and worked great!
Thanks for the recipe!
Great tips! Thanks Hilary!
Made this as a double recipe today. It came out really yummy. I used the frozen cubed garlic. I’m always looking for ways to get veggies in meals so I put some zucchini in right before pressure cooking. It pretty much disintegrated. Any tips for adding veggies? I’m totally fluid with my crockpot but the instant pot still baffles me.
for tender veggies like zucchini and peppers you’ll need to add them after the food is pressure cooked. They’ll cook quickly with the steam and heat of the food.
You nailed it, spot on. So good it instantly took me back to my childhood! Wow you rock👍
no you rock! thanks!
Glad you liked it Sarah!
This was the first of 5 recipes I made for the week and my husband ate 2 big plates of it. I recommend this to anyone! It’s so good!
This was a hit! I used an Italian blend cheese & my kids loved it. Easy & quick week night meal
Glad you liked it!
LuAnn Bowen says
We found the meal to be bland and the noodles over cooked. Will not attempt this again.
Can I use whole wheat pasta? Thanks
Great recipe! My 3 year old son loved it. We do not have a pressure cooker so I made it on the stove, and it was super simple for a week night dinner. Thanks!
Awesome Amber! I’m so glad you could make this recipe work for you 🙂
ShaRon E Conway says
This recipe looks so yummy!
Can I freeze this meal?
I made this recipe tonight and it was fantastic! I subbed the pasta for another that we had on hand and Greek yogurt for sour cream and it was great! Next time I’ll try it with ground chicken!
Valerie Lamb says
I love your recipes and my instant pot. My husband must eat gluten free and the pasta just doesn’t hold up as well as wheat pasta. How can I make these pasta recipes work?
I’ve heard that gluten free pasta disintegrates. But I haven’t tried it myself so I don’t know! I would be nervous!!
I love this recipe! My family loved it too! I used Rotel for the tomatoes and it was quite yummy!
Do you have a crockpot version of this recipe? Please? Thank you!
no, mostly pasta gets weird in the crockpot. you could definitely make this on the stove though.
Diane DiPrete says
CAN YOU USE ANOTHER TYPE OF PASTA? THANK YOU
Yes you can. Rotini, cellentani, penne or macaroni would all be good.
Diane DiPrete says
CAN YOU USE GREEK YOGURT INSTEAD OF SOUR CREAM
Yes, I don’t think it would taste as good but it will still work.
I made this with Greek yogurt and it was fantastic! 🙂
Have you tried this recipe in a slow cooker? Wondered if everything the same just longer cooking time. Looks delicious
No I haven’t. Pasta gets weird in the slow cooker. I would just make it on the stove if I didn’t have an instant pot.
We made what could only be called a blonde version with ground turkey and chicken stock and it was amazing! It will definitely make the meal rotation. Thanks for another great recipe!!
Nice Leslie! I like your ideas. I will have to try that next time.
3rd time making. Cooking now for dinner tonight. I always add extra spices to recipies. But this has been an hit so far! Much better than the box!!!
So fun Valerie! I’m glad to hear it.