Homemade hamburger helper. I know what you’re thinking– Wow, Pristine is really coming up with some fancy recipes these days. While I love cooking dishes like Japanese Curry from Scratch or Peremech, with Peter and I both working full time and a baby on the way– I need to have a mental log of go-to easy recipes for busy weeknights or we end up spending a lot of money on takeout and delivery.
A couple of months ago, I found a box of Hamburger Helper at a shop in Hong Kong that imports and sells American goods (with a hefty mark up) and it spurred a new pregnancy craving. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Hamburger Helper — it’s a prepackaged food product that usually comes with dry pasta and some sort of powdery, dry “cheese” or sauce mix.
Sounds delectable doesn’t it? Okay okay so it doesn’t sound that delicious but, actually it kind of is…
Homemade Hamburger Helper
Luckily the homemade version is just as quick as the boxed version and is made without the MSG, partially hydrogenated soybean, etc. Instead it’s made with real cheddar cheese and ingredients you actually have in your pantry (and not in a chemistry lab).
And in all honesty, it tastes even better. Taste is usually Peter’s main concern over anything health related and we both love this recipe. In less than 20 minutes you can have a savory, cheesy dinner for two (plus some leftovers for the next day).
I love cooking with ground beef on weeknights because it’s so quick to prepare, even if you don’t pull it out of the freezer until after work. Since any dish that doesn’t require any extra chopping scores extra points with me, I don’t usually brown the ground beef with onions, but you could certainly add them to the recipe.
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup beef broth or water
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 2½ cups dry, uncooked macaroni
- 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large pan, heat oil over medium high heat
- Brown ground beef then drain extra oil from pan
- Add spices, milk, broth/water, diced tomatoes and macaroni
- Mix well
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for ~10 minutes until macaroni is cooked through
- Add cheese and stir until melted and well incorporated
- Serve with hot sauce