Everything you love about the best burger combined with a cheesy pasta. Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta is a creamy bowl of comfort that you need in your life.
The Cheeseburger Pasta recipe I have for you today came to me thanks to an epiphany I had this week: In a world full of uncertainty, there are a few things you can count on beyond death and taxes.
I submit the following . . .
- Every time we think our schedule is now clear, it will fill up. Overnight.
- If you serve cheeseburgers to your five sons for dinner, you automatically win.
- If you serve bacon for dinner, you automatically win.
- If you serve pasta for dinner -unless it is a frou-frou concoction with artichoke hearts, brined olives and slices of garlic*- you automatically win.
- If you find a way to combine cheeseburgers, bacon and pasta, you not only automatically win, but you are the Queen of the World, the Best Mom Ever In the History of the World, and the Prettiest Mom Who Smells Like Bacon and will be told so in no uncertain terms.
- It’s nice to be The Prettiest Mom Who Smells Like Bacon. I can live with that title.
*Don’t get me wrong. I would like that. In fact, I’d eat the heck out of that. I’d probably even hide the last little bit in an ugly bowl in the back corner of the refrigerator so no one else would get it, but it would not be a universally pleasing dish. That’s all I’m saying.
We are talking about comfort food writ large as a one-pot wonder. Yes. Let’s take a deep breath together and think about that beautiful thought for just a moment. It only dirties one pot.
Does anyone else get weepy when they only have one pan to wash after dinner? Anyone? Please?
Back to this Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta recipe, though . . .
It is all that is good about cheeseburgers, bacon, pasta and comfort food all rolled into one. Part mac and cheese, part cheeseburger skillet, part bacon lover’s dream, this pasta checks all the boxes for my family.
During this unexpectedly busy week, Cheeseburger Pasta just about saved my life and my sanity. It came together easily with ingredients I had ready to go and, in case I didn’t emphasize it enough before, only dirtied ONE pan.
Then, there’s the taste. Even during the weeks that smack me upside the head I need meals that taste good. Life’s too short to eat food you don’t like if you can help it.
A bowl of this pasta brimming with juicy ground beef, crisp bits of bacon and cheesy tomato sauce makes any day exponentially better. Sitting down to a big helping of cheeseburger pasta was just what I needed to restore my sanity at the end of the day.
Even if your menu is planned for a month solid, I encourage you all to lay the ingredients for this dish in your pantry as insurance against traveling spouses, busy weeks, standardized testing (yes, we’re doing THAT this week, too), field trips, and juvenile poultry. I guarantee that one of these nights you’re going to be so glad you have it available. And when you do make it, it’s going to knock everyone’s socks off.
Are you looking for more delicious and economical ground beef recipes? Try out our Ground Beef Fried Rice a.k.a. Cheeseburger Fried Rice as well as our 15 Minute Korean Style Beef and Cheater Sesame Beef.
Cheeseburger Pasta Recipe
After cutting the bacon into thin strips, cook it in a large stock pot over medium low heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot to drain onto paper towels.
Brown the ground beef in the same stock pot along with the onions. Over the beef, pour the broth whisked with ketchup, garlic, Worcestershire, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir well and bring to a boil before adding the dried pasta.
Cover the pot with the lid and adjust the heat to low. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring every so often to keep the pasta from sticking. Add the bacon and grated cheddar cheese and stir to combine until the cheese is melted.
What kind of pasta should I use in Cheeseburger Pasta?
The crispy bacon and browned ground beef filled cheesy tomato sauce seeps into the spaces of whichever pasta you choose, so I recommend one that can hold a little bit of everything. We prefer to use small shells for maximum sauce hold-age. Elbow noodles, penne or bow tie noodles will do just dandy, but the shells are like little tiny pasta cups full of goodness.
What kind of ground beef should I use?
Lean ground beef or venison work best for this recipe. Choose beef that’s at least 90% lean or even leaner–too much fat will make the pasta greasy. We’ve also made this a few times with ground venison and it was just as delicious!
Can you substitute chicken broth?
Chicken broth works just fine in this recipe if you don’t have beef! Personally, I prefer the rich flavor of the beef broth, but feel free to use either one.
Cheeseburger Pasta is best served immediately! It’s so delicious that you’re unlikely to end up with any leftovers, but if you do have any you can store them covered in the fridge for a day or so.
Psssst. . . for more cheeseburger inspired recipes, you also need to save this Cheeseburger Salad recipe and these Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburger Bites. You should probably also try our Meatball Pasta Bake if you’re a pasta lover!
Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
An easy cheeseburger skillet pasta that everyone loves, this is the kid-friendly comfort food you need on your meal plan this week!
Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
- 1/2 pound sliced bacon
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 onion peeled and very finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove peeled and pressed or finely minced
- 1 can 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1 cup ketchup
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder preferably granulated onion
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder preferably granulated garlic
- 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more, to taste depending on heat tolerance and preference.
- 1 pound dry small shell or elbow pasta
- 2 cups Cheddar cheese grated
Optional, but tasty:
- thinly sliced green onions for garnish
- Stack the bacon strips and cut down through the stack at 1/4-inch intervals. When done, you should have a pile of thin bacon strips. Put these into a large stockpot over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the bacon is crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the crispy bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Pour the remaining bacon grease out of the pan (and hopefully into a jar to use in tasty things later.)
- Return the pan to the heat, break up the ground beef over the bottom of the pan and add the onions to the pot. Use a sturdy wooden spoon to continually break up the beef and work the onions into the meat until the meat is no longer pink but brown. If there is a great deal of fat in the pan, carefully pour most of it off. If there’s just a small amount of fat in the bottom of the pan, keep it. It’s full of flavour! Return the pan to the heat again.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, tomato paste, ketchup, beef broth, water, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and onion and garlic powders. Pour this over the browned beef. Stir well, raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. When it is boiling, gently stir in the dry pasta, add a lid to the pan and drop the heat to low. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes to prevent the pasta from sticking. When the pasta is tender, turn off the heat, add all of the grated cheese and the the crispy bacon and stir gently until the cheese is melted in completely and the bacon is evenly distributed.
- Serve hot or very warm.