Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe – This simple homemade Hamburger Helper recipe includes ground beef, macaroni, and a delicious cheesy cheddar sauce that both kids and adults will enjoy! In approximately 30 minutes, you’ll have total comfort food. I wanted to keep things as basic as possible. I utilized items I always have on hand in my pantry. Some recipes ask for milk, but I didn’t have any on hand and wanted to check whether I could make it without it. Two cups of cheddar, in my opinion, is more than enough dairy, plus the starch produced by the pasta as it boils makes the dish suitably “creamy.” This flavorful dish is the feast of your dreams! Pasta and ground beef are sautéed and topped with a creamy tomato and cheese sauce in this delicious take on a traditional supper concept. Growing up, my favorite hamburger helper was cheeseburger macaroni.
Healthy Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe:
I have a soft spot in my heart for Hamburger Helper. It was one of the first things I learnt to cook when I was 19 and moved out on my own. It was something we could buy, and I enjoyed doctoring it up and adding more flavor to the packaged version. Nowadays, we create Homemade Hamburger Helper, which my kids refer to as Cheeseburger Pasta! It’s creamy, flavorful, and loaded with cheese pasta and ground beef bits. We occasionally sprinkle additional cheese on top and melt it for a few minutes under the broiler! One of our kids’ favorite weekday dinners is this homemade hamburger helper. It also doesn’t hurt that this dish is inexpensive and simple to prepare.
- Ground Beef: To vary the flavor, replace lean ground beef for another ground meat, such as chicken or turkey.
- Chopped Onion: To balance out the savory tastes in this meal, I add a sweet yellow onion.
- Garlic, minced
- Flour for All Purposes
- You may also use another broth of your choosing instead of beef broth.
- Tomato Sauce
- Italian Seasoning
- Paprika, smoked
- Powdered Garlic
- Pasta Shells: This recipe also works with elbow pasta.
- Heavy Cream
- Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste: At the end, season with salt and pepper to taste.
How To Make Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe?
- Brown the ground beef in a large sauté skillet with a cover over medium high heat.
- Remove the cooked ground beef from the pan and put aside, saving 2 tablespoons of the pan’s oil.
- Cook the onion for 5 minutes, or until tender. For the last 30 seconds, add the garlic.
- Cook for approximately 1 minute after adding the flour, then gently whisk in the beef stock and bring to a boil.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, seasoned salt, smoky paprika, garlic powder, and pasta. Cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender, tossing occasionally.
- Stir in the cream and cheese until the cheese is completely melted. Return the ground beef to the pan, cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer to re-heat the ground beef, and serve immediately!
Tips And Tricks:
- Adjust Broth Amount: This meal should be thick and creamy. If your spaghetti needs additional liquid, add a splash of water or beef broth. This is useful if you’re using a bigger noodle, such as penne.
- Use Freshly Shredded Cheddar: While there are many high-quality shredded cheeses available, for the greatest flavor, I always recommend shredding it myself.
- Season to taste: Feel free to experiment with your preferred spices or modify the ones given! If it seems to be lacking anything, check sure it has adequate salt. Sometimes all you need is a bit extra salt to bring out the best in a dish like this!
- Garnish with parsley, pickles (it is cheeseburger pasta after all!) or roasted red pepper flakes as desired.
- If your family does not like red pepper or spinach, feel free to substitute other vegetables that your family loves, such as mushrooms, shredded carrots, zucchini, or whatever else you have in the fridge.
- Maintain the red pepper and spinach, but add extra vegetables! Shredded veggies cooked with ground beef are an excellent method to include more vegetables in anyone’s diet.
- Instead of normal white macaroni, use high fiber white or whole wheat macaroni. I do this every time since that’s what I have on hand, but the recipe only calls for dried macaroni, which can be any kind.
- For a dairy-free version of this Homemade Hamburger Helper, omit the milk (and cheese) and replace it with more broth.
- Skip the ground beef in favor of more vegetables, and replace the beef stock with vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.
- If you don’t have ground beef, substitute ground chicken or ground turkey.
What Type Of Pasta Should I Use?
This dish works well with shells or elbow pasta. If you don’t have either, any little noodle will suffice. If you really wanted to, you could create this hamburger helper using penne. I prefer to use the shells because they absorb the creamy tomato sauce well.
Why Is It Described As Hamburger Helper?
The idea for this traditional family-friendly recipe came about as a means to “help” use ground beef in a cost-effective and delightful way. It has remained a very helpful tool for extending a family’s ground beef supply.
Why Make It At Home?
On hectic weeknights, boxed Hamburger Helper is handy, but this homemade version is just as quick to make and packed with more flavor and freshness. You will also have greater control over the spices and will be able to avoid all of the added preservatives if you make it from home.
Oh! Real cream and real cheese are also used in the from-scratch method. You know that alone is worth it! If you truly want the authentic hamburger helper flavor without the fake cheese, mix in some Velveeta with the shredded cheddar cheese! I assure you that your secret is secure with me.
If you want to prepare a hearty and delectable meal, you might as well go all in on the genuine thing! My family can’t get enough of this homemade hamburger helper, and I’m sure you will too!
What Goes Well With Homemade Hamburger Helper?
- Salad as a side dish
- Buttered bread with butter
- Biscuits with buttermilk
- Green Beans Roasted
- Key Lime Fruit Salad with Creamy Key Lime Dressing
Make This Hamburger Helper Ahead Of Time And Freeze It For Later Use:
I’ve prepared this hamburger helper twice, freezing half and bringing the other half to a neighbor or acquaintance in need.
If you plan to freeze and reheat the pasta, reduce the cooking time by a couple minutes so it remains somewhat firm and does not become mushy when reheated.
Simply spread into a foil or freezer-safe baking dish and cover with a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a lid or a layer of tin foil to freeze. The plastic wrap helps to prevent freezer burn (thanks, Grandma!).
It’s a good idea to let a glass dish hang out at room temperature for a couple hours before transferring it from the freezer to the oven.
Can I Cook This Recipe Ahead Of Time?
I would not recommend making this homemade hamburger helper recipe ahead of time. This recipe is best served hot, straight from the stove. When it sits and cools, the pasta absorbs the extra liquid and becomes less delicious than when it is fresh. The leftovers are still tasty, but not as much as they are when they are hot off the stove.
If you want to meal prep ahead of time for a busy week, you can always sauté the ground beef and onion/garlic first. Store them in ziplock bags in the fridge and have them ready to go for a quick dinner later in the week!
- To keep. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- To heat up again. Reheat Hamburger Helper in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave on low power.
- To put a stop to. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
MORE DELICIOIUS RECIPES HERE:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 medium sliced onion
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a soup saucepan, combine the meat and onions. Cook the beef over medium-high heat until it has browned (approximately 7-10 minutes), breaking it up with a spoon as you go. Spoon out the majority of the extra fat if there is a lot of it.
Combine the tomato paste, garlic powder, and chili powder in a mixing bowl.
Increase the heat to high and add the beef broth. When it begins to boil, add the macaroni.
Reduce the heat so that it isn't frantically boiling (a rapid simmer is good). I cooked mine over medium heat in the end. Cook, uncovered, until the pasta is cooked and the majority of the liquid has been absorbed (about 13-15 minutes). Every few of minutes, I give it a good stir.
Grate the cheese while it's cooking (this saves prep time at the start of the recipe).
Take the saucepan off the heat and whisk in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I let it to soak in the sauce and spices for a few minutes before serving, but you may serve it right away.
This meal is quite filling. If your pasta need extra liquid, you may add a little water or beef broth. You might use another variety of pasta, but try to choose one that is comparable in size so that the liquid ratio works.
If you're using whole wheat elbow pasta, you might need to add a little more liquid while it's boiling.
This recipe is for elbow pasta; if you use another variety of pasta, the liquids may need to be adjusted.