This easy instant pot hamburger helper recipe gets dinner on the table in 30 minutes! It’s perfect for a busy weeknight, uses minimal ingredients and is a healthier option for a much loved family favorite! With an option to make this gluten-free and dairy-free, you can feel good about serving this instant pot ground beef recipe as a go-to staple made with real ingredients.
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Instant Pot Hamburger Helper Ingredients
What’s so great about this recipe is that it’s got really minimal ingredients and minimal prep work! For fresh ingredients, you’ll just need a pound of ground beef, a yellow onion, and shredded cheddar cheese.
The rest of the ingredients are common pantry type ingredients. These include canned diced tomatoes, beef broth, milk (or almond milk), tomato paste, macaroni noodles and spices. There are no fancy or specialty ingredients needed to make this family favorite!
How to Cook Hamburger Helper in the Instant Pot
There are only a few easy steps to follow to make hamburger helper in the instant pot. The instant pot is an awesome cooking method for this recipe because it’s all done in one pot, and you don’t need to stand over it like when it’s on the stovetop.
To start, you’ll add the onion and ground beef to the instant pot on sauté mode and brown the beef until it’s no longer pink. Then you’ll mix in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes and all of the spices into the crumbled beef.
Once the spices are mixed in, simply pour in the broth, milk and dry noodles. You’ll want to stir it around so the pasta is mixed in and covered with the liquid. Then place the lid on, set it to sealing, and cook on manual high pressure for 4 minutes.
That’s right! Only 4 minutes. The instant pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, which is time that the noodles are cooking, too. Then you’ll do a quick release, remove the lid, and stir in your cheese until it’s melted into the sauce.
Give it a taste and add any additional salt and pepper as desired. Garnish with some chopped parsley or more shredded cheese and that’s it!
Making Hamburger Helper Gluten Free
This is a very easy recipe to make gluten free because you only have to choose a pasta that is made without gluten! There are many popular brands now that offer their noodles in gluten-free varieties. You can also use a brown rice pasta, but I would avoid using chickpea pasta.
Chickpea pasta does not work well when it’s not boiled and cooked on it’s own. It gets too foamy and doesn’t give you the end result for the noodles or hamburger helper sauce we want. For gluten-free hamburger helper, use any type of gluten-free noodle except those made from chickpeas.
Making Hamburger Helper Dairy-Free
If you want to keep this instant pot hamburger helper totally dairy-free, there’s only a few simple changes to make. First, you can use almond milk in place of dairy milk, which is the way our family always makes it. Or you can just replace the milk option completely by swapping it with additional broth. It just won’t look as “creamy” as it would with dairy-free milk.
The only other substitution you need to make for making this dairy-free is to use a nondairy shredded cheese. There are quite a few options for vegan cheese out there that are quite good and melt well. Or simply omit altogether.
How to Serve and Store
This recipe is great served all on it’s own, but if you’d like to pair it with a vegetable, roasted or steamed green beans are our favorite. You can also serve with roasted broccoli, or a simple side salad.
Instant pot hamburger helper can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The noodles will absorb some of the sauce, so if you want to thin out the sauce a bit, add a splash of milk (or almond milk) to the container prior to reheating.
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PS. If you’ve made this recipe, don’t forget to rate this recipe and let me know in the comments how you liked it!
- 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- ½ cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 1-pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1.5 cups elbow macaroni pasta, uncooked
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 cups milk (almond milk, or regular dairy milk)
- 1 to 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese (omit for dairy-free)
- Optional: garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley
- Turn your instant pot onto sauté mode and heat the oil. Add in the diced onion and ground beef. Break up and brown the ground beef. Once no longer pink (about 3-4 minutes), drain excess grease and return the beef and onion mixture to the instant pot
- Add in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes and all seasonings and mix into the ground beef well. Turn off sauté mode
- Add the pasta, broth and milk to the instant pot and stir to mix so the pasta is covered by the liquid
- Place the cover on the instant pot and set the valve to “sealing”. Cook on manual high pressure for 4 minutes
- Once done, do a quick release and open the lid. Stir the beef and pasta, and then add in the shredded cheese. Stir it in until it has all melted
- Serve and top with optional parsley garnish
- Gluten-free elbow macaroni noodles work for this recipe, with the exception of chickpea noodles (they do not turn out well when not cooked on their own)
Keywords: instant pot recipes, ground beef recipes, gluten-free instant pot recipes, gluten free, hamburger helper
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