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This easy Homemade Beefaroni is a hearty and delicious take on the childhood classic. Made in just one pan (no boiling noodles separately!), it comes together quickly and the entire family will enjoy it!

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Plate with beefaroni.

One night a couple years ago, Zach texted me and told me he would be in charge of supper and would have it ready when I got home. He said he’d pick a recipe from my favorite cookbook (the cookbook with my grandma’s family recipes) and make something we haven’t tried yet.

When I got home, he told me he had made the “Beefaroni” recipe in the book. It smelled and looked good, so we dove in. As we enjoyed the meal, he told me he had a couple roadblocks in the process…

  • First off, he didn’t see any crushed tomatoes in the cupboard, so he took the tomatoes off the counter and literally peeled and crushed them.
  • Second, he couldn’t find the Worcestershire sauce, so he looked up a substitute online and made a huge batch of “homemade Worcestershire sauce” haha! (Funny thing was, we had two bottles of Worcestershire sauce in the cupboard…)

So don’t be like Zach and make this easy homemade beefaroni recipe overly complicated! 😉 It’s super easy, has layers of flavors, uses simple pantry ingredients, and is made all is one pot! It’s a great comfort food meal when there’s cold weather, too!

Ingredients needed for beefaroni.

What do you need to make Homemade Beefaroni?

Ingredients Needed:

  • Butter (to cook the onions in) – Can also use olive oil
  • Small onion (about ¾ cup chopped)
  • Ground beef (I like to use lean ground beef, 93% lean) – You could also use ground pork or ground turkey. Either way, it beats the “textured vegetable protein” in the canned version! 😉
  • Canned crushed tomatoes
  • Seasonings (salt, black pepper, sugar)
  • Worcestershire sauce (I know, seems like an odd ingredient for a pasta dish, but just trust me on this one!)
  • Dry elbow macaroni noodles
White plate with beefaroni and asparagus.

Kitchen Supplies Needed:

Here’s what I love about this childhood favorite recipe – there are very few kitchen utensils/pots/pans needed and thus very few dishes (who wants to clean that crusty casserole dish anyway?!)!

  • Skillet – Ideally a 10″ skillet or larger with a lid. If you don’t have a skillet with a lid that fits, you can simply use aluminum foil tightly fitted over the skillet too!
  • Wooden Spoon – Basically, just something to stir the beefaroni. I don’t recommend using a metal utensil, because you don’t want to scratch the bottom of the skillet.
Homemade beefaroni being stirred with a wooden spoon.

How do you make this easy beefaroni recipe from scratch?

We’ve all had beefaroni from a can, right? It’s a classic canned food (macaroni, beef and tomato sauce mix) and is often a go-to for teen and college kids when in a pinch for a quick, filling meal. However, this homemade recipe is much more satisfying than the canned stuff and requires very little time and effort for those busy weeknights.

Onion being sauteed in a skillet.

To make the homemade beefaroni, you’ll start by sauteing onions in a large skillet over medium heat. Once they’ve been cooked a few minutes, you’ll add the pound of ground beef, cook until done and drain off the fat.

Ground beef being cooked in a skillet.

Next you’ll add a few seasonings, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, water and noodles, stir, and cover the skillet. The mixture will cook covered for 15 minutes and uncovered for an additional 5 minutes. The skillet is ready when the tomato meat sauce is thickened and the noodles are tender.

Give the beefaroni a try and season to taste. I typically keep it simple and just add a little more salt and pepper, but adding a little chili powder and/or Italian seasoning would also add good flavor.

Beefaroni being cooked in a skillet.
Can you use anything in place of the crushed tomatoes?

If you don’t have crushed tomatoes on hand, there are a couple options. You can use plain tomato sauce (24 ounces) + tomato paste (4 ounces) OR you could use a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes and put them through the food processor to cut them into smaller pieces (crushed vs diced). In a real pinch, you could use some spaghetti sauce or tomato soup in place of the crushed tomatoes.

How should you store leftovers?

This recipe will feed about five people. If you do end up with leftovers (lucky you!), you can certainly store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. I don’t recommend freezing this dish as the noodles will likely become quite mushy when frozen and thawed.

Can you use other noodles?

I like to use the elbow noodles, but if you don’t have any, you can certainly use other small shapes such as shells. Though I haven’t tried it, I also think a whole wheat pasta, veggie pasta or chickpea pasta would work, too. You might just have to boil them a little longer for them to be tender.

Can you make this ahead of time?

For sure! Here’s what I recommend.. follow the recipe and then pour it into a greased 9×13″ baking dish. Top with some shredded cheddar cheese (just for looks!), cover with foil and refrigerate. When you’re ready to enjoy, pop it in a 350F oven and bake until nice and bubbly.


I like to serve this simple recipe with a side of cooked vegetables (such as asparagus, green beans, or Brussels sprouts) and garlic bread.

And because I’m a dessert fanatic, you better believe I love to finish any meal on a sweet note! If I’m looking for something super quick, the Best Ever Scotcheroos are my go-to, but if I’ve got a little more time, my Chocolate Cobbler is always a hit!!

Beefaroni and asparagus on a white plate.

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Beefaroni on a fork.
beefaroni on a white plate.
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Beefaroni

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
This easy Homemade Beefaroni is a hearty and delicious take on the childhood classic. Made in just one pan (no boiling noodles separately!), it comes together quickly and satisfies appetites of all ages!


  • 1 Large Skillet


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup onion chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup dry macaroni


  • Melt the butter in a 10" skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about three minutes.
  • Add the ground beef and cook until done. Drain off the fat.
  • Add salt, pepper, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, water and macaroni; stir. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the lid and continue cooking until mixture is thick and macaroni is tender.


Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8.5g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 681mg | Potassium: 371mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 13g | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 5mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Linda Gent says:

    I don’t always have crushed tomatoes on hand. Do you think tomato sauce would work in a pinch?

    1. Although I haven’t tried it, I think it would work but would have a little less texture to it. I’d recommend using the 28 oz can of tomato sauce and omitting the water in the recipe. If it runs out of moisture before the noodles are done cooking, you can add a couple tablespoons of water at a time. Hope that helps!! 🙂

  2. Sandy Hunter says:

    A great recipe for a busy day!

  3. Jennifer Osterholt says:

    5 stars
    Everyone in my family loves this recipe! We will definitely make it again!

  4. 5 stars
    This is way better than the simple list of ingredients would lead one to believe. We thoroughly enjoyed it.