food · foodie · recipe · Uncategorized

Better Than the Box: Homemade Hamburger Helper

Whether you are in college, a parent in need of a quick weeknight meal for the kids or on a budget in general, you have probably eaten a skillet of Hamburger Helper. I remember Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper being a staple in our household growing up. My dad would cook it for my brother and I whenever my mom was at her weekly “Mother’s Club” meeting (which was basically my mom and her mom friends getting together to drink wine, go to dinner and have a break from us kids!) I definitely ate a fair share of Hamburger Helper during my college years too, and to this day, I still crave it! It’s cheesy, beefy and hands-down one of the easiest meals to whip up.

Don’t get it twisted…I am not trying to knock the boxed Betty Crocker royalty, but what the F is all that stuff on the ingredients list? It just made me wonder why I had never tried making it myself. I decided to do a bit of research and I have compiled what I feel is the best recipe for homemade Hamburger Helper. Plus, it is still affordable! Read on to see my take on this quick weeknight favorite…

Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

1 lb. ground beef

1 small onion, diced

2 cups of uncooked macaroni pasta

1 1/2 cup beef broth

2 cups of milk

2 cups of cheddar cheese

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

To start, get that cast iron skillet nice and hot! Add in the hamburger meat and brown until no pink remains. Toss in the diced onion and sauté until translucent. Drain off any excess fat.

Next, add the beef and onions back into the skillet. Stir in the beef broth, milk, pasta, corn starch and spices until combined.

Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until the pasta is cooked through.

Last, but never ever least, thoroughly mix in the cheddar cheese.

Serve up a heaping bowl and dig in! Mmmm…way better than the boxed stuff…sorry Betty!

What’s your favorite easy weeknight meal?

2 thoughts on “Better Than the Box: Homemade Hamburger Helper

  1. Looks delicious and definitely brings back colleges for me too. I do have one question though. What is the purpose of adding the sugar? Going by your ingredient list, it doesn’t seem like there would be anything bitter that the sugar would need to offset?


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