Instant Pot Cheeseburger Deluxe Pasta

Picture your favorite late-night burger loaded with all your favorite fixin’s. And then picture it transformed into a pasta featuring jumbo-sized macaroni. Cheeseburger Deluxe Pasta has arrived. No hangover required.

I’m real proud of this new one-pot, cheesy and easy sensation. Burger lovers everywhere will flock to this recipe that puts a box of “Hamburger Assistant” (let’s call it that) to shame.

Cheeseburger deluxe pasta
Red onion
Take a red onion…
Diced onion
…and dice it up. The separate into two piles: one that’s 3/4 of the onion and the other with 1/4.
Adding olive oil to pot
Add some olive oil to the pot and heat it up.
Adding onion to the pot
Add 3/4 of the onion to the pot…
Sautéing onion.
…and sauté for a few minutes until softened.
Adding ground meat to pot
Add ground meat…
Adding garlic to pot.
…along with some garlic…
Crumbling and sautéing meat.
…and sauté, breaking up the meat so it’s crumbled and lightly browned.
Adding Worcestershire sauce
Add in some Worcestershire sauce…
Deglazing pot
…and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot so nothing’s stuck on. (TIP: Worcestershire sauce is miraculous at doing this).
Adding broth to pot
Add in some beef broth…
Adding crushed tomatoes to pot
…a can of crushed tomatoes…
Adding tomato sauce to pot
…a can of tomato sauce…
Adding hot sauce to pot
…some hot sauce (a little just gives it more flavor and won’t make it spicy)…
Adding liquid smoke to pot
…liquid smoke…
Adding seasonings to pot
…and some seasoned salt, Italian seasoning and pepper.
Stirring the pot.
Give the pot a good stir so everything’s combined.
Large macaroni
Now gear up for the pasta! I prefer LARGE elbows for this one. They’re like giant-sized macaroni!
Adding pasta to the pot
Add the pasta to the pot…
Smoothing out pasta in pot
…but DO NOT STIR! Simply smooth them out with a large wooden spoon or spatula…
Pasta submerged in sauce.
…so they’re just submerged in the sauce. Secure the lid and pressure cook.
Cooked pasta
When done cooking, you’re gonna find yourself with some perfectly cooked pasta!
Stirring pasta.
Give the pasta a good stir.
Adding Thousand Island dressing and barbecue sauce to pot
And now it’s time to deluxe-ify this dish! Add in some Thousand Island dressing and barbecue sauce…
Adding mustard to pot
…some mustard (it won’t be overpowering – I promise).
Adding relish to pot
I also like to add in some sweet relish…
Adding pickles to pot
…and diced dill pickles.
Adding red onion to pot
Remember that remaining 1//4 cup of the red onion? Add it now.
Looking at food in pot
And now it looks like how you’d top the ultimate burger, but in a pasta instead! But wait, we’re missing one more thing…
Adding cheese to pot.
…THE CHEESE! Add a bunch of shredded cheese of your choice to the pot!
Stirring pot so cheese melts into sauce
Stir it around until all the cheese is melded into the sauce…
Plated pasta in bowl
…put some in a bowl and top with additional pickles, onion and cheese, if desired.
Man showing pasta
Now show off this comforting masterpiece…
Man trying pasta
…give it a try…
Man reacting to pasta
…take a moment to react…
Man enjoying pasta
…and be blown away! With Cheeseburger Deluxe Pasta, you’ll never look at the late-night drive-thru the same way again! A huge win for all burger lovers! Goes great with Stuffed S’mores Cake as dessert!
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Cheeseburger Deluxe Pasta

Instant Pot Cheeseburger Deluxe Pasta

Picture your favorite late-night burger loaded with all your favorite fixin's. And then picture it transformed into a pasta featuring jumbo-sized macaroni. Cheeseburger Deluxe Pasta has arrived. No hangover required.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced and divided (see Jeff’s Tip)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (the less lean, the better)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce (not the same as pasta sauce)
  • 1/2 - 1 tablespoon hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound large elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup thousand island dressing (I like Ken’s Steakhouse)
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish (optional)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup diced dill pickles, plus more for topping (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard (optional)
  • 1 pound shredded cheddar cheese
  • Fried onions, for topping (optional)


  1. Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté and Adjust so it's on the More or High setting. After 3 minutes of the oil heating add half the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, until lightly softened.
  2. Add the ground beef and garlic and, using a mixing spoon or spatula, break up the meat until it begins to crumble and lightly brown - about 3 minutes. It shouldn't be fully cooked at this point (that's what the pressure cooking is for). Do not drain any juices released - we want them in there for more flavor!
  3. Add the Worcestershire sauce and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot to free it of any browned bits. 
  4. Add the broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, hot sauce (if using), liquid smoke (if using), seasoned salt, Italian seasoning, and black pepper. Stir everything together well.  
  5. Add the pasta but do not stir. (Why? Well,there's lots of meat in there already. If you stir the pasta in, you run the 6risk of clogging the pot when it tries to come to pressure.) Just smooth it
    out so it's lightly submerged in the sauce.  
  6. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Keep Warm/Cancel and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook for 6 minutes on High Pressure. Quick release when done.
  7. Add the thousand island, relish (if using), pickles (if using), barbecue sauce, mustard (if using) remaining red onion, and cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese is melded into the pasta and serve topped with additional red onion, dill pickles and fried onions, if desired.

Jeffrey's Tips

If you want more of that burger sauce experience, add up to 1 cup of Thousand Island.

If you only like your onions cooked
and not raw for some crunch, add the whole onion in Step 1 while sautéing.

However crazy you like your burger is how crazy you can get with this recipe. Be it black olives, sliced jalapeño or even Pastrami, add whatever toppings you love in Step 6!

To give it a cheesy finish, add some more shredded cheese to the top after stirring in Step 7. Add the air fryer lid and hit Broil and for 3-5 minutes and then hit Start. Once the cheese is melted, serve!

Reader Interactions


  1. ShaneHill

    Looks delicious but definitely not a light recipe, as you mentioned. MyFitnessPal calculates this north of 800 calories per serving if divided by 6 servings as you indicate.

  2. Jen

    I was able to make this for dinner last night as I had everything (but pickles) in the house. Thought the sauce was a little runny when I opened the instant pot, but the sauce soon thickened up. The mixing of thousand island and bbq sauce sounds weird, but really works. So delicious, and even my picky kid loved it. Thanks for another winner recipe. Looking forward to your new cookbook!

    • Ted and Fred

      Made this tonight per recipe except pickles (we didn’t have any). Delicious! It’s our cheat day so we thought we’d give it a try, and glad we did. Thank you!

  3. Kat

    I Can’t wait to make this tomorrow! Me and hubby have been thinking about this since we watched your video yesterday XD… What kind of hot sauce do you use? We were thinking about Frank’s Red Hot Sauce or Sriracha but idk? Also if it’s a smaller elbow macaroni will the time need to be different? I couldn’t find the bigger one… and thank you for posting all these delicious looking recipes!

  4. Rob

    Tried this recipe today–AWESOME! I’ll definitely make this one again. Keep up the good work with these recipes!

  5. Lori Sari

    I made this tonight and it was so delicious! The only thing I left out was the hot sauce. I did split it into 9 servings (I could have done 10 if we didn’t have seconds)! 😂 The only addition I think I might make next time is some crispy bacon! So yummy.

  6. Jeffrey

    Hi Jeffrey,

    While I love all of your pasta recipes the only caveat for me is that they don’t make for very good leftovers as the pasta keeps cooking in the hot sauces until it’s way past al dente. When I do make the pasta dishes I must pare down the ingredients to suit the number of people that I will be serving at that time.

  7. Jay Viescas

    Love this recipe, being diabetic I kind of automatically make substitutions in my head for high sugar/carb ingredients and mentally decide what better sides to go with the main dish. I have your original cook book and can’t wait to get my hands on your lighter recipe cook book. Mazel and much love to you and Richard!

  8. Judie Nestler

    I owned an Instant Pot for two years and had the most unremarkable meals from it. I was so disappointed. I put it away in the basement and forgot about it. And then we found Jeffrey and his AMAZING IP recipes and our meals haven’t been the same!! We tell everyone about your website. Thank you for introducing us to Better Than Bouillon, Boursin and Sweet Baby Rays. It has been, and IS, a most enjoyable adventure! Thank you! 👍🏼

  9. Mary

    Made this today and it was great! So easy and quick, which is what I need on a week night. This makes quite a lot, so we’ll have this for lunch tomorrow too! Thanks for the recipe, Jeffrey!

  10. Aimee McBeth

    I made this for dinner tonight. For my toppers I added fried onions, ranch secret sauce and old El Paso queso cheese. It was so good

  11. Micah

    Wow! This is so good! Jeffery, I use your IP recipes the most because you’re the most consistent. I haven’t had to adjust anything yet. You can tell you really take pride in what you do! Such an amazing flavor and the versatility of toppings and the option to add or not is great! Thanks again for a delicious, easy, hearty, meal.

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