Instant Pot Hamburger Helper

5 from 10 reviews

The cheesy, creamy Instant Pot Hamburger Helper is one of the simplest, most satisfying meals you can create on a busy night. Cooking it in the Instant Pot not only saves on dishes since it’s all cooked in one pot, but it also takes no time at all.



1/2 Tablespoon olive oil (or avocado, grape seed, etc.)

12 oz. (3/4 lb) ground beef

salt, ground black pepper, to taste

dry herbs, to taste (Italian seasoning, paprika, dry parsley, thyme, basil, rosemary, chives, granulated onion/garlic, pepper flakes, etc)

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups chicken broth 

3/4 cup half n half (equal amounts whole milk and heavy cream)

1/2 cup tomato sauce

8 oz elbow pasta (you can also use small shells, corkscrew pasta and similar shapes)

68 oz grated cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, colby, provolone, gruyere, etc.)

1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley


  1. Heat the oil in the Instant Pot chamber using the “Saute” function, adjusting the heat to high. Add the ground beef, sautéing it for 3-5 minutes, until it is browned. 
  2. Add the onion and garlic, seasoning with salt, ground black pepper and any combination of dry herbs and spices that you like. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and tender. 
  3. Add the pasta, tomato sauce, chicken broth and half n half to the Instant Pot, mix to combine, making sure all the pasta is submerged in the liquid. (You can add a few pinches of salt, depending on how salty your broth and tomato sauce are. If they are salty enough, you may not need to add any additional salt.)
  4. Cover the Instant Pot lid, making sure the sealing ring is in place and the sealing valve is turned to “Sealing”. Cook on High Pressure (Manual mode or the Pressure button) for 4 minutes.
  5. Slowly and carefully release the pressure by turning the sealing valve to “Venting”. (Do not wait for the pressure to release naturally, on its own because the pasta will be way too overcooked by that point).
  6. Add the grated cheese to the pasta, mix everything to combine until the cheese is melted. Add a few Tablespoons up to 1/4 cup water, milk or broth to the pasta if it seems to be too thick. The additional liquid will loosen it up and make it creamy again. This is a great idea when reheating this dish.
  7. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve hot.  

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