Homemade Hamburger Helper

This weather is the absolute craziest thing. Today, I saw a rainbow! It was raining and I was heading out to get my hair cut. There was a break in the clouds and a rainbow appeared! I almost stopped to get a picture and wish I had because it was not as bright for this shot:

rainbow rainbow2

Never in my life have I ever seen a rainbow in December. Anyway, on to the subject at hand. 

We used to eat a lot of Hamburger Helper growing up. I actually liked it a lot. Especially the cheeseburger macaroni.  For whatever reason, I got thinking about that again – even though I haven’t had it in probably 20 years. I don’t think John and I ever made an HH meal.  Of course, I realized that it would taste totally processed and not at all like I would remember it tasting. But what if I could recreate that at home? Turns out the internet is pretty handy to find stuff like that 😀  There is a section on food.com dedicated to these knockoffs. I found my cheeseburger hamburger helper. The great part is this is a 1 pot meal! 

  • 1 pound of ground beef (I used Morningstar Crumbles to make it veggie for John)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1-1/2 cups of elbow macaroni (or any pasta of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (I used a couple tablespoons of of minced onion)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Brown the meat in a large saucepan and drain the fat (if there is any). Add all of the rest of the ingredients except the shredded cheese to the pot, mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes  (larger pasta may need more time). Mix in the cheese and cook for another 2 minutes covered. Remove from the heat and let the pot sit for 5 minutes.  Then serve!

cheeseburger helper

Okay, maybe not super attractive, but this was really tasty! You could sub in any type of meat like ground turkey or pork (or the veggie crumbles), vary up the cheese or the pasta shapes. That site also had versions of the other kinds of Hamburger Helper as well like the stroganoff, so we will have to try those as well! 

Any other people grow up with Hamburger Helper? 

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8 thoughts on “Homemade Hamburger Helper

  1. Susan

    I never had HH growing up my mom always cooked from scratch. When I moved out
    not knowing much about cooking I discovered this “help” from the store shudders at the memory. I like that you made your own version and you know what all the ingredients are.
    I still eat meat but not the pasta since I have to be gluten free and the substitute pastas make my waist fat literally.

  2. Shelley B

    I used to make a homemade version of HH’s beef stroganoff using a jar of beef gravy, worcestershire sauce, and ranch dressing. Ladle it over egg noodles and it was delicious. Nice calorie bomb, too…ahhh, the olden days!

  3. Helen

    When I lived in Zambia, there were some very smart American women – mostly missionaries and embassy staff – who came up with recipes like this since there were literally no convenience foods there. I made their version of hamburger helper many times from 1979-1983. Then it just sort of went away. I bet if I pulled that recipe out and made it, Mr. Helen would love it because he loves pretty much anything hamburger.

    We are not fortunate to see rainbows – while mild we’re only experiencing rain, fog, and grey skies. Blech!

  4. Leah

    I love the idea of making Hamburger Helper at home; it was always a favorite of mine when we were newlyweds. I think I had it growing up once in a while and my mom didn’t make it often — she preferred cooking from scratch — so when I was married I would buy it a lot. 😀


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