Hamburger and Macaroni

QuickBudgetComfort FoodGround BeefMacaroni

American comfort classic hamburger and macaroni! Browned ground beef cooked in a tomato onion sauce, mixed in with elbow macaroni. One of my family's favorite hamburger recipes.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Hamburger Recipes from Mom

Rachael Ray has nothing on my mother. As far as this family is concerned, my mom invented healthful, delicious comfort food that one can cook in 30 minutes or less. And hamburger recipes were a staple in our household.

This hamburger and macaroni dish is one of my mother’s hamburger recipes that has been served in our house at least once a month for the last 45 years. We even have a special name for it—HMO (Hamburger Macaroni Onions). I’ve also heard it called “goulash” or “American chop suey” or “Hamburger Noodle Casserole.”

My father gets a song in his voice when he announces that we’re having HMO for dinner. You make brown the meat and make the sauce while the water is coming to a boil and the macaroni is cooking. So it takes less than half an hour to make. So easy!

Hamburger and Macaroni Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni (use rice pasta or gluten-free pasta for gluten-free version)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped (or mixed chopped green onion greens and yellow onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • Pinch chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 large can (28 oz) of diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt  and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

1 Start cooking the pasta: Get a large pot of salted hot water (1 tablespoon of salt for 2 quarts of water) heating and begin cooking the macaroni as per the directions on the macaroni package.

2 Brown the beef and onions: While the water is heating and macaroni cooking, prepare the sauce. In a skillet, brown the ground beef in a tablespoon of olive oil on high heat. Stir only infrequently so that the ground beef has an opportunity to brown.

When the beef has mostly browned, add the onions to the pan and toss to combine. Cook until the onions are soft, about 4-6 minutes.

3 Add seasonings, tomatoes: Add the celery seed, a dash of crushed red pepper and seasoned salt. Pour in canned tomatoes, add the Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes.

4 Add cooked pasta: Reserve a half cup of the pasta cooking water. Mix in the drained and cooked macaroni and the parsley. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add in some of the pasta water if the dish is too dry.

Add freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.

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Products We Love

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Links:

Rhode Island 'Chop Suey,' from The Perfect Pantry

Creamy Taco Mac, from Annie's Eats

Cheeseburger Mac, from Ezra Poundcake

Hamburger Macaroni - what to make with hamburger meat

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

205 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Jo

    Love this! Quick and easy to make. Don’t have to buy ingredients that you would probably use again. I had everything in my cupboard!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Debra

    We loved it! I will definitely make this again. Next time though I will go easier on the chili peppers….lol

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • DeeDot

    Love Love Love this recipe!!!! A+++++

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Pete

    I wish you still had you older recipe. I have it, and I’ve been making it for years. A favorite for my 6 year old, I freeze portions and send it to school for her lunch. Your original specified Vegesal seasoned salt, which I bought online, and it really makes it. Also, I like to saute the onions separately, after cooking the ground beef, then adding back the ground beef. The onions are much better this way. It is more work.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Kimie

    Not a goulash fan but I gave this a try. Very pleasantly surprised! Quick and easy to make and the kiddos claimed I was the best cooker ever!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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