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Vegan Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper

Vegan Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper

This Vegan Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper recipe is a one pot dinner recipe that can be made in under 30 minutes!

Hamburger Helper was a weeknight staple in our home, and the Cheeseburger Macaroni was always my favorite flavor. So I created a vegan-friendly Hamburger Helper copycat recipe that tastes every bit as comforting, nostalgic, and delicious as the original but without the animal products.

I like to serve this pasta alongside a simple salad, or the Garlic Roasted Broccoli recipe in my new cookbook, Vegan Party Planning. It’s a big crowd pleaser and such a tasty meal. Hope you enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

Vegan Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper

Nicole Vranjican
A vegan cheeseburger macaroni recipe – aka Homemade Hamburger Helper! Making a meaty, cheesy, homemade Hamburger Helper can be easier than you think, even without the animal products!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz vegan ground beef crumbles such as Gardein or Abbot's Butcher
  • ¾ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 lb fusilli or penne pasta
  • 2 vegan chicken or veggie boullion cubes
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp pickle juice
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

For the Cheese Sauce

  • 1 cup frozen butternut squash thawed
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ¾ cup unsweetened soy milk
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp onion granules
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • tsp cayenne pepper
  • cup nutritional yeast



  • Make things easy on yourself by taking a moment to gather up all of the ingredients. Doing this first makes for smooth sailing later on!
  • Next, place the cashews in a bowl and pour boiling water on top. Allow them to soak while you make the vegan ground beef.

Brown the Vegan Ground Beef

  • Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a large pot like this one and bring the heat to medium -high. Add the vegan ground beef and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add 3/4 tsp of chili powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper, and 3 tbsp of tomato paste to the pot and cook for two more minutes, stirring as it cooks to encourage even browning.
  • Then transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.

Cook the Pasta

  • Return the pot to the stove (heat off) No need to wash off the caramelized bits at the bottom, that's flavor!
    Add 6 cups of filtered water and 2 bouillon cubes. Raise the heat, and bring to a boil, then add the pasta. Cook for 10 minutes, or 1 minute shy of the package cook time.

Make the Cheese Sauce

  • While the pasta is cooking, drain the water from the cashews and place them in a blender with 1 cup of butternut squash, 3/4 cup soy milk, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp onion granules, 1/2 tsp garlic granules, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/3 cup nutritional yeast. Blend for 20-30 seconds until super smooth and creamy.


  • Ladle out 1¼ cup of the pasta water and set it aside for later. Then drain the remaining liquid from the pasta. Return the noodles to the pot and return the pot to the stove.
  • Add 1 cup of the reserved pasta water along with the Cheese Sauce, 1 cup of vegan cheese, and the reserved vegan ground beef. Set the heat to medium and cook for 3-5 minutes, mixing well to emulsify the sauce.
    Tip: if the pasta sauce gets too thick, add the remaining 1/4 cup of pasta water. If it seems to runny, continue cooking and stirring until a thick, glossy sauce is formed.

Finishing Touches

  • Just before serving, add 2 tsp of pickle juice and 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice to the pasta and stir to combine. Serve immediately and enjoy the delicious and nostalgic flavors of this hearty Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper!
Keyword dinner recipes, pasta recipes

Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

Find me on: Instagram


  1. Eve
    January 15, 2024 / 1:01 am

    5 stars
    When I saw the YT video go up I knew I had to make this asap. I’m pregnant and this hit the spot! This recipe is perfect, so delicious!

  2. Jennifer Jacobs
    January 16, 2024 / 1:04 am

    5 stars
    We loved it! Really rich and decadent. I can’t believe there’s squash in there, lol

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