Homemade Hamburger Helper

Hamburger Helper is filling and hearty. A perfect dish for the family that comes together in under 30 minutes!

This tasty bowlful not only comes together quickly and easily, but it only uses one pan. You have got to love an easy clean up! For more weeknight favorites try Kung Pao Chicken, Crock Pot Spaghetti, and Chicken Flautas.

Homemade hamburger helper in bowl

Homemade is the way to go!

There is something so homey about a good macaroni dish, am I right?! It is just so hearty and stick-to-your-bones tasty.

I remember having hamburger helper growing up, and yes I was a fan, but now I am a bit more conscientious with what goes into my body. It always feels good when I can make something from scratch, and I know exactly what’s gone into the dish.

PLUS – The kids LOVE this bowl of goodness. It’s even better than the boxed version and is beyond simple to make. It comes together in one pan (a big plus), and in under 30 minutes!

Hamburger in pan

How to Make Hamburger Helper

COOK & DRAIN. Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat until no longer pink. Drain grease and return meat to the pan.

COMBINE. Reduce heat to low and add the ketchup, seasonings, macaroni and broth to the pan and stir well to combine.

SIMMER. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes until macaroni is cooked through.

STIR. Remove pan from heat and stir in the sour cream.

COMBINE & SERVE. Return the pan to the warm burner and stir in the shredded cheese until well combined. Add any more broth or water if needed to make more creamy.

How to make hamburger helper process shot

Tips, Variations, and Storage

Tips and variations:

  • Freshly grated cheese melts better than pre packaged shredded cheese.
  • Small elbow noodles are what we used for this recipe but any similarly sized noodle will also work such as cavatappi, small shells, 
  • Use Ground turkey or sausage or pork in place of ground beef.
  • Substitute cheddar cheese with a mexican blend or a pepper jack cheese.
  • Add more liquid like milk, chicken broth, or water if you feel your pasta is too dry.
  • Add spice with paprika, chili flakes, or hot sauce

Serve your hamburger helper with:

Storage: Store leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days or the freezer for 4-6 weeks. Reheat slowly over low heat on the stove. The pasta will have soaked up some of the moisture. Go ahead and add a little bit of milk to help smooth it out. 

Homemade Hamburger helper recipe in bowl

For more Pasta Dishes, try:

Hamburger Helper Recipe

4.89 from 17 votes
Hamburger Helper is filling and hearty. A perfect dish for the family that comes together in under 30 minutes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 369 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (with parsley flakes)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 c macaroni
  • 32 oz chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 2 c cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions
 

  • Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat until no longer pink. Drain grease and return meat to the pan.
  • Reduce heat to low and add the ketchup, seasonings, macaroni and broth to the pan and stir well to combine.
  • Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes until macaroni is cooked through.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in the sour cream.
  • Return the pan to the warm burner and stir in the shredded cheese until well combined. Add any more broth or water if needed to make more creamy.

Video

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    My 14 yr old son could eat the boxed hamburger helper weekly, so when I made him this, he said “no more to the boxed stuff!”

  2. 5 stars
    Not usually my favorite meal, but then again I’ve only had the boxed version. Homemade is definitly the way to go! This is a perfect recipe for busy week nights.

  3. Tastes good, but very very very runny. I’d suggest using less water/broth or reducing it on the stove before adding the sour cream/cheese.

      1. 4 stars
        Great recipe, needs a few tweaks to the cooking time. Should bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low using the same amount of water or chicken broth, covered, but vented until about a half a cup of liquid remains… about 20 minutes. Other than that, very good…very little leftovers. Will try hamburger stroganoff next. Thanks bunches for the recipe.

  4. Looks yummy (and easy)! Think I can use egg noodles instead of macaroni? Just worried the noodles will cook too fast.

      1. 5 stars
        I ended up using macaroni since that’s what my husband likes, and it came out great! WAY better than the boxed stuff. I added a half cup of diced onions to the meat, but otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing! Also I simmered a little longer to make it thicker. Yummy!!

  5. 5 stars
    Great base recipe! As simple and convenient as the boxed version, but I like that I can control the salt. (Low sodium diet here.) I took the advice in the tips section and added chili powder, smoked paprika, and chili sauce. Also browned the meat with chopped onion. Delicious!

  6. 4 stars
    Made this last night for dinner with a few modifications found in the comments. I added chopped onions when browning ground beef and reduced the amount of broth to 16 ounces. I also used gluten free lentil pasta (which I’ve substituted in many of my recipes) and it turned out delicious! My hubby is picky about sour cream, so I left it out and adding some to my plate. Was just as good without sour cream, just less creamy. Even picky toddler loved it. Will definitely make again!

    1. I’m glad your modifications worked so well with this recipe. Toddlers can be hard to please and I’m so happy it turned out for you. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I’m sorry to hear that! That’s frustrating. Perhaps there was too much liquid? It sounds like the pasta didn’t absorb enough of the liquid?

  7. This has a delicious flavor but I can’t figure out how I’ve made this twice now but it turned out more like soup both times. The second time I even added less broth and took out a half cup after the noodles were done cooking and it was still too soupy. Maybe next time I’ll add only 16 oz of broth.

    1. You could definitely try adding less broth. There is a video on the post too… is yours turning out to be much soupier than what you see in the video? That’s probably your best bet is to reduce the broth if the noodles aren’t soaking it up enough.