Hamburger Helper. Do you love the stuff? I confess that I’ve never had it…at least I don’t think so. Maybe my mom made it for us when we were kids, but I don’t remember it. When I grew up, moved out and started cooking for myself, I never made it because well, I didn’t actually cook much and when I did, it was smaller meals as I was cooking for 1. Then I got married and still never made it as I was out to impress my husband with my wonderful-to-be cooking and it never occurred to me to use it. Then we had kids and I barely kept my head above water, much less branched out to new things.
But…I found this recipe via Pinterest and it piqued my interest. There has to be a reason that Hamburger Helper has been around longer than I have. (I’ve been around since 1979, but Hamburger Helper has making its mark on the world since 1971!) It has staying power – it’s simple and easy.
This homemade version is just that – simple and easy. And family friendly! Sure, it probably takes more time than buying it in a box. BUT…it has the huge bonus of being homemade. Being homemade has its perks, most notably: 1) You can control the flavor and 2) You can make it even when you didn’t think ahead and buy a box of the mix! It has super common ingredients that are likely in your pantry. You can add some spice to it if you want. You can use a different pasta shape if you want. You can do whatever you want to gosh.
I asked my husband if it tasted like Hamburger Helper. His response: “I dunno. But it’s good!” So…maybe it doesn’t taste like Hamburger Helper. Maybe it does. But it’s good!
One Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper
- 1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth (or 1 1/2 cups of water with 2 bouillon cubes)
- 2 cups uncooked macaroni (or other small pasta shapes)
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large skillet, brown the ground beef/turkey, onion and spices. Drain grease.
- Add milk, broth, tomato sauce and macaroni. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Stir in cheddar cheese until melted.
Jayme is a wife to 1 and a mother to four little boys. She tries to coupon, builds a smart stockpile, and always meal plans. While she likes to cook, she’s in the stage of life where simple is usually better – she never knows how many hands she’ll have free at dinner time! You can find her at No Regrets Living.