This homemade Beefaroni recipe is a reinvented childhood favorite we all remember from when we were kids. Ready in a little under an hour, it’s easy to make, family-friendly, and completely satisfying!
Many of us remember Beefaroni in a can from when we were kids – or even now. Filling and warm and full of delicious beef and tomato sauce and noodles…the good old days!
It's similar to my chili mac recipe, with an Italian twist!
The good 'ole chef is still available on store shelves, but it’s even better tasting when you make it at home.
Whip it up in your own kitchen you can make it how you and your family like it, and keep that traditional Beefaroni flavor from when you were young.
This is a recipe for the whole family, and it’s full of cheesy, savory goodness, plus a load of seasonings that bring it close to the canned version.
And as you'll see for yourself, it's soooo much better than the canned stuff! It also uses pantry staples , which I love!
Why you'll love this recipe
There are a lot of reasons to love this Beefaroni recipe. Here are some of mine, and I’m sure you’ll agree:
Family-friendly: Even the most well-behaved kids sometimes have those foods they just refuse to eat, and I think we all categorize certain meals as for “kids” or “adults” in our minds.
Homemade Beefaroni, however, is delicious for everyone! Even my picky eaters will chow on this.
Relatively quick: It’s done in under an hour, which is always an A+ for me. We’re a busy family!
Homemade: This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you think about it…you don’t really know what’s in those cans of Beefaroni. T
That’s not great if you’re all watching what you eat, if the kids have dietary needs/restrictions, or you're trying to eat a little healthier. Just make Beefaroni at home and control what goes into it!
It’s always good when a recipe uses simple ingredients you can find at any grocery store or have in your pantry. This Beefaroni recipe is easy like that.
Olive oil, onion, and garlic – for flavoring and cooking your beef.
Dried parsley, dried basil, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried oregano, salt, and pepper – all spices/seasonings that provide a part of that traditional “Beefaroni” tastiness you know and love. You probably already have these seasonings in your spice cabinet, so use them up!
Farm Girl Tip
Spices are best when used within 6-12 months of opening. Go ahead and use them up in this recipe! Not sure if they're still good? Give them a sniff to see if they still have their fragrance.
Ground beef – lean ground beef is my preference for this recipe.
Tomato sauce and tomato paste – these are an important part of any Beefaroni copycat recipe. They add the hearty goodness to the dish.
Beef broth – you’ll use part of this as additional savory layer of flavors for your dish and the other part to cook your macaroni. You can also use vegetable broth if you wish.
Uncooked macaroni – I use elbow-shaped macaroni. Feel free to use gluten-free varieties if necessary, too or other small shaped pasta.
Mild cheddar cheese – for best results shred your own cheese. You can’t have Beefaroni without cheese!
- Use ground pork or ground turkey in place of the beef.
- For a little kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Shredded mozzarella cheese will give a milder flavor than the cheddar.
- Make it a one pot meal by stirring in frozen corn or peas when it's done cooking. The heat will thaw them quickly!
How to make homemade beefaroni
This is a simple recipe without any fancy tricks, and it’s wonderful for busy families. Heck, our college aged daughter even likes making this!
Even if you consider yourself a “bad” cook, it’s perfect. You’ll just need to know how to cook pasta and ground beef. Easy peasy.
Step 1: Prep the beef. In a large skillet over medium heat, add your oil and cook the onions for 3-5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Finally, add your ground beef. Cook it for 2-3 minutes or until it’s partially browned. Make sure to break it up with a fork or spatula as you go.
Step 2: Add flavor to the beef. Sprinkle the beef with your seasonings, salt, and pepper. Now cook it fully until it’s browned, and make sure to drain the excess grease off if necessary.
Tip: Don't pour the grease into your sink. I like to place a strainer in a bowl and pour the hamburger mixture into that. The grease will firm up after a while and you can dispose of it.
Step 3: Add your tomato products. Stir in your tomato sauce and paste. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and cook this for about 5 minutes.
After that, pour in 1 ½ cups of your beef broth and simmer it on low for another 5 minutes.
Then add the remaining beef broth, as well as the uncooked macaroni, and bring it all back up to a boil.
Cook until the pasta is tender and all the liquid is gone.
Step 4: Add cheese and enjoy! Stir in your shredded cheese until it’s melted.
Then your beefaroni is ready. Serve it immediately!
How to serve and store leftovers
Leftover beefaroni will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Keep it in an airtight container and reheat in the microwave.
FAQS for Homemade Beefaroni
A little less than an hour – 15 minutes of prep time and 40 minutes to cook everything. It’s a relatively quick and no-fuss dinner!
This makes about 6 servings, so enough for most families. If you're cooking for 2 or 3, the leftovers freeze really well.
This is a filling recipe on its own, but it's missing a key component - veggies! A simple side salad, peas, or green beans are a great addition to round out this meal.
More Ground Beef Recipes You’ll Enjoy
- One Pot Chili Mac & Cheese
- Easy Crockpot Hamburger Helper
- Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes
- See more ground beef recipes here!
Easy Homemade Beefaroni
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 can 15 oz tomato sauce
- 1 can 6 oz tomato paste
- 2 cups beef broth divided
- 1 ½ cups 8 oz box elbow macaroni noodles, uncooked
- 1 cup mild cheddar cheese shredded
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil and onions and cook for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add your ground beef and break it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until partially browned
- Add your seasonings through the salt and pepper.
- Cook until browned and completely cooked through. Drain any excess grease if needed.
- Add tomato sauce and paste and bring to gentle boil, cooking for.5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in 1 ½ cup beef broth and simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining ½ cup beef broth and uncooked macaroni. Bring the mixture back up to a boil. Cook until the pasta is al dente and the liquid is absorbed.
- Stir in shredded cheese until melted.
- Serve immediately or for a nice presentation, transfer to a casserole dish for serving.
- Use ground pork or ground turkey in place of the beef
- For a little kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes
- Shredded mozzarella cheese will give a milder flavor than the cheddar.