Homemade Hamburger Helper: A Delicious and Easy Recipe

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper is a delicious and easy-to-make dinner option that combines ground beef, pasta, and a creamy cheese sauce. This recipe is a healthier and more flavorful version of the popular boxed version that is often high in sodium and preservatives. With just a few simple ingredients, you can have a homemade meal on the table in less than 30 minutes. The dish can be customized to your liking by using different types of pasta or adding in vegetables such as chopped bell peppers or mushrooms.

To make this recipe, you start by browning ground beef in a skillet, then adding in uncooked pasta, chicken broth, and seasonings such as garlic powder and paprika. The mixture is simmered until the pasta is cooked through, then a creamy cheese sauce is added to the skillet to coat the pasta and beef. The result is a comforting and satisfying meal that is sure to become a family favorite.

This recipe is a great option for busy weeknights when you want a homemade meal but don’t have a lot of time or energy to spend in the kitchen. It’s also a great way to use up leftover ground beef or pasta. You can easily double the recipe to have leftovers for lunch the next day, or freeze the leftovers for an easy meal later on. Give this recipe a try and enjoy a homemade twist on a classic dish.


Before we get started, let’s go over the ingredients you’ll need to make Homemade Hamburger Helper. You’ll need:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Now that you have your ingredients ready, let’s get started making Homemade Hamburger Helper. Follow these steps:

1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain any excess fat.

2. Add the diced onion and minced garlic to the skillet and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

3. Stir in the milk, water, elbow macaroni, diced tomatoes (undrained), tomato paste, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper.

4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through, stirring occasionally.

5. Once the pasta is cooked, stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted and well combined.

6. Serve and enjoy!


There are many ways to customize Homemade Hamburger Helper to your liking. Here are some tips and variations to try:

Use a different type of pasta, such as rotini or penne. Add vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini to the skillet. Use a different type of cheese, such as pepper jack or mozzarella. Spice it up with a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Use ground turkey instead of ground beef for a healthier option.


Homemade Hamburger Helper is a classic comfort food that’s easy to make and always satisfying. With this recipe, you can have a delicious meal on the table in no time. Plus, with so many ways to customize it, you can make it your own. Give it a try and see why it’s been a favorite for generations.


1. Can I make Homemade Hamburger Helper ahead of time?
Yes, you can make Homemade Hamburger Helper ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just be sure to reheat it thoroughly before serving.

2. Can I use a different type of meat besides ground beef?
Yes, you can use ground turkey, ground chicken, or even ground pork in this recipe.

3. Can I make Homemade Hamburger Helper without cheese?
Yes, you can omit the cheese or use a non-dairy cheese substitute if desired.

4. Can I use gluten-free pasta in this recipe?
Yes, you can use gluten-free pasta if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy.

5. Can I double the recipe?
Yes, you can double the recipe to feed a larger crowd or to have leftovers for later.

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