The Best Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper

This recipe for homemade hamburger helper is a crowd-pleaser that will have everyone coming back for seconds. Made with simple and wholesome ingredients, it’s a healthier and more flavorful version of the classic boxed version. Ground beef is browned with onion and garlic, then simmered with beef broth, milk, and a blend of spices. Macaroni is added and cooked until tender, and then the dish is finished off with shredded cheddar cheese for a creamy and cheesy finish. The result is a comforting and hearty meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights or when you’re craving some comfort food.

Not only is this homemade hamburger helper delicious, but it’s also easy to make and can be customized to your taste preferences. You can add vegetables like bell pepper or zucchini for extra nutrients, or switch up the type of cheese for a different flavor. This recipe is also great for meal prepping, as it can be made ahead of time and reheated for a quick and satisfying meal. Give this homemade hamburger helper a try and you’ll never go back to the boxed version again!

If you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner, look no further than homemade Hamburger Helper. This classic comfort food has been a staple in households for generations, and for good reason. It’s simple, delicious, and can be customized to suit any taste. In this article, we’ll show you how to make the best homemade Hamburger Helper from scratch.


Hamburger Helper is a boxed dinner mix that was first introduced by Betty Crocker in 1971. The original version was made with ground beef, pasta, and a powdered sauce mix. Today, there are dozens of different flavors and varieties available, but the basic concept remains the same.

While the boxed mix is certainly convenient, making your own homemade version is easy and can be much healthier. Plus, you can customize the recipe to suit your own tastes, adding more or less spice, or substituting different types of pasta or meat.


Here’s what you’ll need to make our version of the best homemade Hamburger Helper:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat until fully cooked. Drain any excess fat.

2. Add the diced onion and minced garlic to the skillet and cook until the onion is soft and translucent.

3. Add the paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper to the skillet and stir until the beef and onions are coated in the spices.

4. Add the can of diced tomatoes and beef broth to the skillet and stir to combine.

5. Add the elbow macaroni to the skillet and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the macaroni is fully cooked and the sauce has thickened.

6. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until fully melted and combined.

7. Serve hot and enjoy!


Use lean ground beef to reduce the fat content of the dish. Feel free to adjust the spices to suit your own tastes. Add more chili powder for a spicier dish, or leave it out altogether for a milder flavor. If you don’t have beef broth on hand, you can substitute chicken or vegetable broth instead. You can use any type of pasta you like in this recipe. Try using penne, rotini, or bowtie pasta for a fun twist. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days, or frozen for longer storage.


Homemade Hamburger Helper is a delicious and easy-to-make dinner option that is sure to become a family favorite. By making your own version from scratch, you can customize the recipe to suit your own tastes and dietary needs. Give it a try tonight and see for yourself why this classic dish has stood the test of time.


1. Is homemade Hamburger Helper healthier than the boxed version?
Yes, making your own Hamburger Helper allows you to control the ingredients and reduce the amount of preservatives and artificial flavors.

2. Can I use a different type of meat in this recipe?
Absolutely, you can substitute ground turkey, chicken, or even vegetarian meat alternatives for the ground beef.

3. Can I use a different type of pasta?
Yes, you can use any type of pasta you like. Just adjust the cooking time according to the package directions.

4. How can I make this recipe more kid-friendly?
Try adding some grated carrots or zucchini to the sauce for some extra nutrition. You can also let kids help with the cooking process to make it more fun and engaging.

5. Can I make this recipe in advance?
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it when you’re ready to eat. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

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