Cheeseburger Deluxe Pasta
Picture your favorite diner or coffee shop. Now, picture a cheeseburger deluxe, loaded with all the fixin’s, being placed right in front of you. And finally, picture that burger being deconstructed into a pasta. What you’re about to experience is pure magic; you won’t even be upset you missed out on the classic diner accompaniment of a milkshake (which I’ve yet to learn how to pressure cook).
Servings Prep Time
4-6servings 10minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4-6servings 10minutes
Cook Time
  • 3tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red oniondiced, divided, plus more for serving
  • 1 1/2lbs ground beefthe less lean, the better
  • 3cloves garlicminced or pressed
  • 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3cups beef broth
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes(28 oz)
  • 1 can tomato sauce(8 oz)
  • 1/2 – 1tbsp hot sauceoptional
  • 1tsp liquid smokeoptional
  • 2tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2tsp seasoned salt
  • 1tsp black pepper
  • 1lb large elbow macaroni
  • 1/2cup thousand Island dressing
  • 1/4cup diced dill picklesplus more for serving, optional
  • 2tbsp sweet relishoptional
  • 2tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 1tbsp yellow mustardoptional
  • 1lb shredded Cheddar cheese
  • fried onionsfor serving
  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), Italian seasoning, seasoned salt, and black pepper. Stir everything together well.
  5. Add the pasta but do not stir. (Why? Well, there’s lots of meat in there. If you stir the pasta in, you run the risk of clogging the pot when it tries to come to pressure.) Just smooth the pasta out so it’s slightly submerged in the sauce.
  6. Secure the lid and move the valve to the sealing position. Hit Cancel and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook for 6 minutes on High Pressure. Quick release when done.
  7. Add the remaining red onion, the Thousand Island dressing, pickles (if using), relish (if using), barbecue sauce, mustard (if using), and Cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese is melded into the pasta. Serve topped with additional red onion, dill pickles, and fried onions, if desired.
Recipe Notes

Lighter comforts: Try a low-fat cheese instead of the Cheddar here.

JEFF’S TIP: If you only like your onions cooked and don’t mind missing out on the nice crunch of raw onion, add all the diced onion in Step 1 while sautéing.