Homemade Hamburger Helper
With a new school year just around the corner, I thought it would be helpful if I shared my flavor-packed Homemade Hamburger Helper recipe. It takes just 30 minutes to make (from start to finish) and is loved by all!
I think my favorite part about this meal is knowing exactly what I’m putting into it. Store bought hamburger helper has never been a favorite of mine. I think I tried it once many moons ago and I never purchased it again. The store bought version was flat, a bit dull, and bland. However, I recently recreated the recipe. When approaching it I knew I wanted it to be everything the store bought version wasn’t. This recipe has a lot more depth and flavor. My husband and 2 boys gave it a big thumbs up!
Quick & Easy Dinner
With two littles in the house dinner has to be quick and easy, taste good, and be easy enough for a toddler to eat. This recipe is a winner in all of those areas! Not to mention it’s made in 1 skillet. Don’t you love one-pot meals? Honestly, they’re a lifesaver most days. Here’s what you need to make this recipe.
- Ground beef – I like to use a lean ground beef, 96/4. You could also use ground turkey or ground chicken.
- Tomato paste – this is one of the secret ingredients I use to add more depth to the recipe. The tomato paste really rounds out the whole dish.
- Beef Broth – use low-sodium beef broth. If you don’t have beef broth you can use water, however the dish will lack some flavor.
- Elbow macaroni pasta – really any pasta form will work, but I like regular macaroni or the large macaroni noodles for this recipe.
- Cheese – can use sharp cheddar, mild cheddar, Colby Jack cheese, Monterey Jack.
For the seasonings you’ll need: cornstarch, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
How to make Homemade Hamburger Helper
In a small bowl combine the dry seasonings.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Use a wooden spoon to get the meat broken up into small pieces. Drain any excess fat.
Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the meat and add the tomato paste. Stir to combine.
Stir in the beef broth, milk, and pasta. Bring to a boil, cover the pan with a lid, reduce to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
Sprinkle the grated cheese over the pasta, stir to combine so that it gets all melty. Remove from the heat.
Let pasta stand for a minute or two to thicken slightly. Garnish with fresh parley and serve warm.
Recipe Tips & Adaptations
For a healthier meat option you can substitute ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef.
You can reduce the amount of cheese to 1 cup for a lower calorie meal, but keep in mind the pasta won’t be as cheesy.
Use a low-sodium beef broth however, if you use regular beef broth eliminate the salt in the recipe.
Can use regular or whole grain pasta.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
- Easy Baked Ziti – another super delicious and easy meal. Really cheese and crazy good!
- Mexican Lasagna – traditional lasagna noodles are replaced with tortillas. A protein loaded meal that will have everyone wanting seconds!
- Italian Grilled Chicken – grab your grill, this flavorful chicken is marinated in a simple Italian dressing marinade.
- Easy Kid Friendly Dinner Recipes – a list of approachable dinners that kids of all ages will not only eat, but devour!
Homemade Hamburger Helper
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cups elbow macaroni pasta - uncooked
- 2 cups cheese - shredded
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- In a small bowl combine the seasoning ingredients.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain any excess fat.
- Sprinkle the seasoning mixture and the tomato paste. Stir in the beef broth, milk, and pasta. Bring to a boil, cover the pan with a lid, reduce to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
- Sprinkle grated cheese over the pasta, stir to combine so that it gets all melty. Remove from heat.
- Let pasta stand for a few minutes to thicken. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve warm.