Hamburger and Macaroni
Hamburger and Macaroni

This easy hamburger macaroni recipe is the best for weeknights! Some call it goulash or American chop suey, but it’s nothing more than ground beef cooked with onions, tomato sauce, and macaroni. Comfort food heaven!

Rachael Ray has nothing against my mother. As far as this family is concerned, my mom invented healthy, delicious home cooking that you can make in 30 minutes or less.

This hamburger and macaroni dish is one of my mom’s recipes that has been served around 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”.

Many names for hamburgers and macaroni

Many culinary traditions have a version of hamburger and macaroni. It’s similar to the Central European dish goulash, but this hamburger and mac doesn’t have the paprika powder common in goulash. It’s also often called American chop suey, although it doesn’t closely resemble traditional Chinese or Sino-American chop suey. Some may call it a slumgullion, although that name also refers to an inexpensive stew made from leftovers.

Some of our readers know it as Hamburger Hotdish, Mulligan or Johnny Marzetti. Whatever it’s called, it’s comforting and so easy, you’ll never think of buying a premixed box of pasta and seasoning to “help” you remake hamburgers and macaroni.

Variations and Add-ins

  • Up the veggie factor by adding finely chopped veggies like carrots, celery, zucchini, or mushrooms.
  • Add corn or peas.
  • Add a can of diced green chilies.
  • While sautéing the onion, add a cloves or two of minced garlic.
  • Replace the beef with ground turkey or ground chicken.
  • Top with shredded cheese like cheddar or mozzarella.

Make this vegetarian/vegan

Make it meat-free by adding veggie meat crumbles and using vegan Worcestershire sauce (many Worcestershire sauces are made with anchovies).

How to store leftovers

Refrigerate: Refrigerate leftovers, tightly covered, for 3 to 5 days. Heat on stovetop over medium-high until bubbling and ground beef reaches 165°F.

Freezer: Freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe zip-lock bag or container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge. Heat on stovetop over medium-high until bubbling and ground beef reaches 165°F.

What to serve with hamburger and macaroni

  • Caesar salad
  • Make-ahead dinner rolls
  • Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan
  • Classic glazed carrots
  • Hot air fryer Crispy cauliflower

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Hamburger and macaroni

preparation time
8 minutes

cooking time
20 minutes

total time
28 minutes

4 servings


  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni

  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • 1 yellow Onionchopped (or mixed chopped scallion greens and yellow onion)

  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

  • prize chili flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed

  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoon Worcester sauce

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Start cooking the pasta:

    Bring a large pot of hot salted water (1 tablespoon salt to 2 liters of water) to a boil and begin cooking the macaroni according to the instructions on the macaroni package.

  2. Fry the beef and onions:

    While the water is heating and the macaroni is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a skillet, brown the ground beef in a tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Stir rarely to give the ground beef a chance to brown.

    When the beef is mostly browned, add the onions to the pan and mix. Cook until onions are soft, about 4 to 6 minutes.

  3. Add spices and tomatoes:

    Add the celery seeds, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and seasoned salt. Pour in canned tomatoes, add the Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes.

  4. Drain noodles:

    drain pasta, Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

  5. Add the cooked pasta:

    Mix in the drained and cooked macaroni and parsley. Cook for another 5 minutes. If the dish is too dry, add some pasta water.

    Add freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.

nutritional information (per serving)
487 calories
24g Fat
30g carbohydrates
36g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!