This easy pasta recipe is great for feeding the family on busy weeknights! One-pot cheeseburger pasta is like 2 comfort foods in one… a definite win!
My oldest child is currently going through a somewhat picky phase. She not only gave this pasta recipe her extreme seal of approval, she looked forward to eating it for 3 days while we worked through leftovers! Can I get a high-five from the parents? I’ll take one from the not-parents too. We can all use a little comfort food.
We have pasta about once a week or so at our house. It’s easy to prepare, budget-friendly, and everyone likes it. Sometimes, I get to change up the recipe a bit.
This one pot cheeseburger pasta is a variation on an old clipping I had stored away in one of my recipe folders. I’ve held on to it forever even though I’ve never seen one of the ingredients at the store. It also wasn’t a one-pot dish.
So with a little tweaking and a couple of tests, I’m so excited to share this recipe with you. But also so I have it stored in a safe place for when I need it, haha.
A few recipe notes…
Before I leave you with the bacon cheeseburger pasta recipe, I have a few notes I think you’ll find helpful. These are things learned over making this recipe a few times.
First, you have some flexibility with the exact quantity of ground beef used in the recipe. A packet that’s somewhere between a pound and pound and a half seems to be the best balance for us. You can use ground turkey or chicken as a substitute too.
Depending on your available time, use precooked bacon! Since the bacon is mixed right in with the pasta, it won’t stay super crispy. Using pre-cooked bacon saves you a step.
The best pasta shape for this recipe is a shorter pasta. Like one used in a pasta salad. Ruffles, penne, elbows, mini shells, or twists are perfect. Your long string kinds of pasta are better used in something like my easy spinach fettucini recipe.
Finally, feel free to change up the cheeses to whatever you’d like. Anything you would put on your burger is fair game!
I also mention optional sauce toppings in the recipe. These are super fun! The pasta is great without any added sauce, of course. But I like experimenting.
Our favorites were barbecue sauce, hot sauce, and mustard! These are also some of our favorite burger toppings, so it makes sense.
What do I serve with one-pot cheeseburger pasta?
Because this recipe really has just about everything for a full meal, pair with a simple salad. There is a lot of flavor in this dish, so a simple lettuce and tomato salad is perfect to round out the meal.
I hope you love this recipe, darlings! After you try it, let me know how you made it your own!
- 1-pound dried pasta (see notes)
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 5 cups water or broth
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 8-12 strips bacon (see notes)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- green onions for garnish
- Optional burger topping sauces: ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, barbecue sauce
- If you need to cook the bacon, cook it in the large skillet where you will be cooking the pasta. Set aside to drain and reserve the bacon grease for another recipe. Skip this step if using pre-cooked bacon.
- Brown the ground beef in your skillet, then transfer to a bowl and set aside. Chop the cooled bacon and place it in the bowl with the ground beef.
- Drain any remaining juice and fat from the skillet. Pour in the diced tomatoes, water or broth, tomato paste, and pasta.
- Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is al-dente and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Stir occasionally during cooking. Lower the heat.
- With the pot over low heat, stir in the beef and bacon. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Top with the shredded cheese and wait until the cheese has melted.
- Garnish with green onion and serve immediately. Drizzle with hot sauce, ketchup, mustard, or barbecue sauce if desired - or your favorite burger toppings!
- You may use whatever pasta shape you'd like, but a smaller shape that works well for pasta salads is perfect here. The recipe works with regular or whole wheat pasta. I haven't tested with gluten-free pasta, so the liquid measurement may not be accurate.
- You may substitute ground turkey or chicken for the beef if you'd like. Anywhere between a pound to a pound and a half of ground beef works for this recipe.
- To keep things simple, use the pre-cooked bacon! Since those strips are smaller, you'll want to use 12. If you are cooking thick-cut bacon, 8 slices might be enough. There's a lot of flexibility here in the measurement.
- To make this bacon cheeseburger pasta an easy well-rounded meal, pair it with a simple salad.
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