Hamburger Helper was not a meal I grew up eating. That doesn’t mean I don’t eat it now, but this is all made from scratch, super quick and easy in the Instant Pot and budget-friendly too!

It’s not a joke, I’d never had Hamburger Helper until a kind neighbor served it to us one night when we were new in the neighborhood. I think it’s one of those meals where it doesn’t matter who you are or what you have going on in the day you can bust it out. With the Instant Pot, you can bust it out in 20 minutes, and it’s usually a hit with the whole family!

A photo of a serving of Instant Pot Hamburger Helper being spooned out of a dish.

Now before we get into making this delicious dish, let me tell you about our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet! Go download and print that baby off right now! It gives you all the info you need to make all the basics in the Instant Pot. We use it all the time!

Ok, back to the Hamburger Helper! It is great to take to a neighbor who just had a baby, perfect for a busy night between running kids all over the land, comfort food for staying in on a Friday night with the fam. It checks all the boxes and should be the next dish on your dinner table!

A photo of a white serving bowl full of cheesy Hamburger Helper ready to serve.

How to Make Instant Pot Hamburger Helper?

You’re going to love how easy this recipe is and how quickly it comes together.

Start with your Instant Pot in “Saute” mode. Add the oil and then the ground beef and break it up into small piece while you brown it. When it is browned, drain off as much of the grease as you can. We like to use 85% lean ground beef. It has loads of flavor and doesn’t dry out like leaner ground beef can.

Add the diced onions and minced garlic to the ground beef and saute it for a few minutes until the onions are tender.

read more: Looking for easy ground beef dinner recipes? Try our Ground Beef Rice Casserole as well!

A photo of a white serving bowl full of cheesy Hamburger Helper ready to serve.

Stir in the salt and pepper, thyme, oregano and Worcestershire sauce and then stir in the tomato paste. Pour in 1/4 cup of the beef broth and scrape the bottom of the pan so that it is clean to avoid getting the burn message. Then add the rest of the beef broth and the dry macaroni.

Press “Cancel” on the Instant Pot to turn off the “Saute” mode. Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the valve is closed. Set the Instant Pot to “Manual” mode for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes, do a quick release on the valve. Remove the lid and mix in half of the cheese. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the top and place the lid back on the Instant Pot for 2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt. Then remove the lid and serve. Dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes!

A photo of a white serving bowl full of cheesy Hamburger Helper ready to serve.


What Does an Instant Pot Do?

An Instant Pot is a magical kitchen appliance that does the job of seven different kitchen appliances in one. It is a slow cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, electric pressure cooker, sauté/browning pan, rice cooker, and warming pot. We love ours and use it often!

Can You Air Fry in an Instant Pot?

Yes, but you need to have an add-on to make an Instant Pot into an air fryer. It is a fairly new device, so we haven’t tested it yet. Apparently, it is a special lid that attaches to the top of the Instant Pot. Instant Pot also came out with a new appliance called the Duo Crisp that can be both an air fryer or Instant Pot. We haven’t tested that one either.

What Happens if an Instant Pot is Too Full?

Let me start by saying…just don’t do it! Overfilling an Instant Pot can clog the venting valve which will seriously impact your food cooking correctly. It will also always result in a huge mess. If you are worried that you have overfilled it, do the natural release so that the foam settles a little and doesn’t spill out all over the place. It’s not pretty…trust me!

Can You Substitute Ground Turkey for Ground Beef?

Yes absolutely! We do it all the time!

What Can You Substitute for Kosher Salt?

If you don’t have Kosher salt, the best substitute is coarse sea salt. If you don’t have that either, then use 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of table salt for every 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt.

Is Pasta Fattening?

If pasta is eaten in moderation, then it can be part of a healthy balanced diet. It is high in carbs. Choosing a whole grain pasta is a healthier choice. Just like all things, having a balanced diet is the key to healthy eating.

A photo of a white serving bowl full of cheesy Hamburger Helper ready to serve.

Can I Make Hamburger Helper in the Slow Cooker?

I supposed you could make it in the slow cooker, but you’ll have to brown the meat, saute all the veggies, and precook the pasta anyway. At that point, you wouldn’t be saving time or making life easier by doing it in the slow cooker.

Can Hamburger Helper Be Made on the Stove Top?

Yes, definitely! Proceed through step 7 of the instructions, then place a lid on your pan and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until the pasta is al dente. Then add half the cheese and stir it in. Sprinkle the other half of the cheese on top and place the lid on the pan until the cheese has melted.

Don’t wait until you’re an adult to enjoy the deliciousness that is Hamburger Helper! Make it all from scratch at home in under 20 minutes in the Instant Pot! I feel like this is going to become a new regular in your dinner rotation!

More INSTANT POT DINNER RECIPES you’re going to love:

Instant Pot Hamburger Helper

4.35 from 23 votes
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes


this is all made from scratch, super quick and easy in the Instant Pot and budget-friendly too!


  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef, 85% lean
  • 1/2 Onion, Yellow, diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly cracked
  • 1/2 teaspoon Thyme, dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon Oregano, dried
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 4 Cups Broth, Beef
  • 16 oz Macaroni, Elbow, dry
  • 2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded


  • Set to Instant pot to saute.
  • Add the oil
    1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • Add ground beef. Cook until browned, stirring to break up after a few minutes and then draining out most of the fat.
    1 Pound Ground Beef
  • Add in onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until soft.
    1/2 Onion, 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Season with salt, pepper, seasonings and Worcestershire sauce.
    1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper, 1/2 teaspoon Thyme, 1/4 teaspoon Oregano, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • Stir in tomato paste.
    3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • Pour in ¼ C of liquid and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom to avoid a burn message. Then add in the macaroni and remaining liquid.
    4 Cups Broth, 16 oz Macaroni
  • Press cancel to stop saute.
  • Lock lid into place and seal valve. Using manual button set time to 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes are up, quick release the steam. Remove cover and stir in half the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and place lid, not locked, back on pot for 2 minutes to help the cheese melt.
    2 Cups Cheddar Cheese
  • Remove cover and serve.


This will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 667kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 33gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 1395mgPotassium: 527mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 833IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 311mgIron: 3mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 100 + BEST Easy Beef Recipes for Dinner, 50 of our Best Easy Pasta Recipes, Main Course
Cuisine: American

A photo of a serving of Instant Pot Hamburger Helper being spooned out of a dish.


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