Hamburger and Macaroni

BudgetComfort FoodGround BeefMacaroni

Hamburger and Macaroni! Others call it goulash or even American chop suey. Whatever you call it, it's great for a midweek meal. Browned ground beef cooked in a tomato onion sauce, mixed in with elbow macaroni. So good!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

This hamburger and macaroni dish is one of my mother’s 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

  • 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

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

226 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Linda

    This was amazing! Topped with cheese and sour cream. Make it again, please!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Carol

    My Mom made this when we were growing up. She called it American Chop Suey! She always used spaghetti noodles & no cheese! Delish!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. MaryLou

    I am planning on making this but need to know the nutrition count Hope someone can help

    Show Replies (1)
  4. low and slow

    My mother`s (rip) potluck casserole is similar to this but uses tomato sauce, chili powder,cheddar cheese and kidney beans.I like the idea of the tomatoes and will give them a go ! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Lucy

    I’ve burned off my taste buds over the years so I can’t say if it was me or the recipe that seemed to need a little kick ( at taste test) I sautéed my green peppers and onions together in butter with garlic and we will be adding cheese I’ll let you know what my other half thinks my monies on loves it, adds hot sauce. I’m very light handed with salt and feel some parmesan might feel that void.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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