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One-Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta

When the weather's too chilly to grill burgers, I whip up a big pot of this cheesy pasta. Believe it or not, it tastes just like a bacon cheeseburger, and it's much easier for my young children to enjoy. —Carly Terrell, Granbury Texas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 35 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 8 bacon strips, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 12 ounces uncooked spiral pasta
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped dill pickle
  • Optional: Chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sliced pickles and sliced red onion


  • In a 6-quart stockpot, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 6-8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings.
  • In the same pot, cook ground beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, breaking into crumbles, 6-8 minutes; drain. Add the next 10 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in 1 cup cheese, pickle and bacon; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Serve with remaining cheese and, if desired, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and red onions.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Take the extra time and shred cheese from a block for this recipe; it will stir in with a smoother texture than pre-shredded cheese.
  • Use Dijon mustard to give this dish a little bit of a "grown-up" taste.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1-1/3 cups: 390 calories, 18g fat (8g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 1023mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 3g fiber), 25g protein.

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    Click stars to rate
    Average Rating:
    • seanpa
      Sep 3, 2020

      Had hopes for this dish, sadly it was very, very soupy; not what I expected at all.

    • figureina
      Jul 6, 2020

      After reviewing the ingredients and amount, I believe that this recipe was written wrong for some reason. I would recommend that the pasta should simply be boiled according to the package directions and rinsed in cold water; set aside. Instead of using a 8oz. can of tomato sauce, use a 8 oz. can of tomato paste. I believe that this was the main error when written. Also, do not add the water until all of the ingredients are added and mixed together, minus the pasta. Mix and toss well. If the sauce is thicker than what you would like, add just a little bit of the water at a time to thin sauce to your preference. Add the pasta to the heated sauce dish and combine well. the 3 stars are for the recipe it self which is bound to be a 5 star when correctly put together.

    • Fireflies827
      Aug 29, 2019

      I so wanted to love this recipe. It was on the front cover of a special family favorites issue and I had high hopes. It was way saucier than in the pic; I even let it boil off without the cover to try to thicken it. There is so much liquid in the thing to took the pasta in order to make it a one pot meal. It ended up being soupy and reminded me of American chop suey. My kids loved the hamburger topping part though. So if I make this again, I’ll be making it a two pot meal, cooking the pasta separately in order to scale way back on the liquids.

    • Dawn
      Aug 10, 2019

      Prepared 6/19/2019. I'd scaled back on the beef, broth, tomato amounts and used spicy brown mustard. I used chopped KOSHER-style pickle chips, 8-oz. Italian-style tomato sauce. I found this dish to be quite good, but to me, it didn't taste too much like a bacon cheeseburger would!

    • Allison
      Jun 24, 2019

      This has excellent flavor and really does taste just like a bacon cheeseburger. I halved the recipe for two of us and there were still plenty of leftovers which tasted just as great. A definite keeper!

    • bunny99
      Mar 19, 2019

      Really liked the flavor in this dish. And leftovers to take to work!

    • Sheryl
      Jan 19, 2019

      DISCARD BACON DRIPPINGS? are you crazy? use them in other meals!

    • justmbeth
      Oct 3, 2018

      This made a quick weeknight dinner. I cut in half for 4 of us but there were barely any leftovers.