Healthy Hamburger Helper

Love that classic childhood boxed favorite, but want to make it all homemade and healthier? This Healthy Hamburger Helper recipe is your solution, and it’s all made in one pot and so delicious!

Healthy hamburger helper in a pan.Healthy Hamburger Helper

We are all about quick and easy dinners, using minimal ingredients and this Homemade Hamburger Helper is definitely a winner. It’s made all in one pot, with items you likely already have in your pantry and will surely be a hit with everyone. It is reminiscent of that version you might remember as a kid, only it uses real ingredients so it tastes so much better! Did I mention it takes about 30 minutes to cook?  Save this recipe and hang it on your fridge for the next time you need dinner fast.

Healthy hamburger helper in a pot.

Ingredients Needed

  • Ground Beef
  • Elbow Macaroni (we use gluten-free!)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Spices
  • Canned Diced Tomato
  • Beef Broth
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese

What Type of Pasta to Use

We tested this one pot pantry pasta with a different types of gluten-free pasta and with traditional wheat pasta as well. It all worked the same! 

When you are cooking this, the recipe calls for you to cook the pasta as long as the package directions call for so be sure to check for that information on the pasta package.

Two servings of homemade hamburger helper.

How One Pot Pasta Works

If you are new to the concept of cooking pasta all in one pot, let me explain how it works! Typically pasta is cooked separately in lots of boiling water, then drained before being used in whatever dish you are making. But a one pot pasta instead boils the pasta directly in whatever “sauce” you are using. Instead of just filling the pot with water, a precise amount is added to ensure that when the pasta is finished cooking, there is just enough liquid leftover to make your sauce. The resulting sauce is “creamier” because any starch that is leftover in the cooking liquid is left in the pot, instead of being discarded when draining the pasta. Because it’s all cooked in one pot, follow the directions and ingredient amounts precisely to ensure the correct amount of sauce leftover at the end.

Also note that when the pasta is finished cooking, the sauce might look like it is too watery. It will thicken in about 5 minutes to be the perfect amount, so have patience.

Watch the video:

If you like this pasta recipe, check out these others:


5.0 rating
18 reviews

Healthy Hamburger Helper

Love that classic childhood boxed favorite, but want to make it all homemade and healthier? This Healthy Hamburger Helper recipe is your solution, and it's all made in one pot and so delicious!


Yield 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Recipe Type: Dinner
Cuisine American
Difficulty: Easy
Author: Lexi's Clean Kitchen
Scale This Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 15 ounce can diced tomato
  • 3-1/2 cups beef broth
  • 12 ounce gluten-free elbow macaronia
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Parsley, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the beef and cook until no pink remains. Remove any excess fat.
  3. Add in the salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, diced tomatos and broth and bring up to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, add the pasta to the pot and cook for as long as the package instruction states (if package says to cook pasta for 10 minutes, cook for 10 minutes), stirring every few minutes to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked through, shut off the heat and add the cheese. Stir together, then let the pasta sit for 5 minutes while the sauce continues to thicken up.
  6. Garnish with parsley, and serve!

Nutrition

Loading nutrition data...

32 comments
April 8, 2020

You Might Also Like

Join The Discussion

32 responses to “Healthy Hamburger Helper”

  1. Jackie says:

    So are we cooking the pasta right in the beef tomato mixture?

  2. Jackir says:

    Lol sorry Lexi! I tend to scroll straight to the recipe. Now I see that yes everything goes in one pot!🤷🏻‍♀️

    • Lexi's Clean Kitchen says:

      We always give relevant information within the body of the post ALWAYS, so if ever in doubt about something, definitely check out what we’ve written above it 🙂

  3. Steve says:

    Could this be made in an Instant Pot ?

  4. Corinne says:

    Hi Lexi, I really hope to make this tonight! I don’t have beef broth though. Do you think using water would still make it ok? Extra seasonings? Or I do have chicken and vegetable broth but I don’t want to change the flavor too much.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Did you happen to have anything as a side dish or item? I have this on my meal plan for this week and just wanted to see if you had any serving suggestions for a side. Thanks!

    5.0 rating

  6. Ashley says:

    Made this tonight as a quick dinner and it was delicious! My young kids that love pasta gobbled it right up. Simple ingredients and easy instructions. Will definitely be going into regular rotation at our house.

    5.0 rating

  7. Good to know that works too! I learn so much from you as well! Keep it up great post.

    5.0 rating

  8. Crystal says:

    Made this last night. SO GOOD. It was a total hit with my boyfriend, too, who said “I feel like I’m being cooked for by a professional chef” Ha! In all seriousness, this recipe was great & a perfect way to use things that we already had in the pantry/fridge! I did use rigatoni, just because we didn’t have macaroni. And chicken broth, because we didn’t have beef broth. Both subs worked great! Can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch today.

    5.0 rating

  9. Lori says:

    So good! Only change I made was used chicken broth instead of beef broth (didn’t have it). Adding this recipe to my weeknight dinner binder. Thanks, Lexi. 🙂

    5.0 rating

  10. It really looks delicious. I want to do the same. Thanks.

    5.0 rating

  11. Elyssa McCormack says:

    Do you have the nutrition facts for this recipe??

    5.0 rating

  12. Christina F says:

    OH MY GOD THIS WAS SO GOOD. Made this gluten free and used dairy free cheese. Didn’t have a can of diced tomatoes so I just diced up some fresh tomatoes. Also didn’t have paprika so used red chili powder. Also didn’t have enough beef broth so I did 2 cans beef broth and one can tomato sauce. Quarantine am I right?! This was honestly such a feel good recipe and will be making this often, might add some mushrooms next time!

    5.0 rating

  13. Vanessa says:

    Lexi, I want to make this but all the gluten free pasta I have indicates it must be rinsed well after cooking. Would using this kind of pasta make the mixture too startchy since I know it’s all cooked together in one pot?

    • Lexi's Clean Kitchen says:

      What brands do you have? We’ve tried many different brands and it hasn’t turned out badly! The starch helps it thicken up! But happy to discuss if you let us know what brands you have!

  14. Vanessa says:

    I ended up using Catelli Gluten Free (mix of rice, corn and quinoa) because it was the only one my hubby could find at the grocery store since I usually only use a rice pasta, and it worked out perfectly! I doubled the recipe and started with 6 cups of beef broth (instead of 7 the doubling called for) and it was actually just the right amount. It looked too liquidy but Lexi is right, when it sits for 5 min it thickens right up! It was delicious and all three kids approve! Thank you for another winner!

    5.0 rating

  15. Lauren says:

    Do you think this would work with Banza chickpea pasta??? Looks so good!!!

  16. Rachel says:

    My husband just said…tasted like childhood but it’s not from a box! It was so good! We will be putting this into the dinner rotation!

    5.0 rating

  17. Katrina says:

    This recipe is so good!! It truly hit all the spots – comfort, taste, texture, etc. I used regular Barilla elbow macaroni and chopped up some extra celery and bell pepper to add in. I drained the tomatoes and also added in a second can. Spinach would be a good addition too! My husband and I practically scarfed half of down, it was just perfect for our chilly and wet Chicago weather.

    5.0 rating

  18. Allison W says:

    Soooo yummy. Soooo easy. And made lots for leftovers which I very much appreciate these days!

    5.0 rating

  19. Ruma says:

    Cooking every night during this coronavirus lockdown is exhausting! A friend told me about this website, and when I found the Homemade Hamburger Helper, and it not only looked easy but I also had all the ingredients, I knew I had to try it. This was soooo good. My husband had three servings and I had to tell him to stop eating LOL.
    Adding to my meal rotation for sure.

    5.0 rating

  20. Tessa says:

    ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! And so so so easy. My entire family loved this, Lexi’s recipes never disappoint!

    5.0 rating

  21. Julaine Stanonik says:

    Made this recipe this evening, loved that it is made in one pot, super easy and tastes delicious. I threw in green pepper & mushroom since they were about to go bad! Husband loved it and got up for seconds!

    5.0 rating

  22. Melissa Cheney says:

    Made this last night! So easy and delicious. My husband went back for seconds!

    5.0 rating

  23. Devon says:

    This was amazing! My bf who’s is a meat and potatoes and a hamburger helper(eye roll)fan said this was soooo good!

  24. Christina says:

    This is SO good! I made it a few weeks ago and my family begged me to put it on regular rotation. I shared the recipe with a friend, she made it that night, and she commented that her teenage son hadn’t inhaled food like that in forever! I asked my family for meals they wanted this week and THIS one was the one my son begged for. MAKE THIS! You won’t regret it! I doubled it (had to use two pans) and I’m glad I did so we had some leftovers. Two teenagers can devour this!

    5.0 rating

  25. Stacey says:

    Made this tonight.. picky toddler and picky husband approved! I don’t like tomatoes so I used a can of tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes. So so good!

    5.0 rating

  26. Jocelyn says:

    I can’t wait to try this. Will doubling the ingredients mess with getting the sauce right? I love to have leftovers.

    • Lexi's Clean Kitchen says:

      I think with this recipe you should basically double everything, in order to make sure there is enough liquid. Let us know how it goes! We too love leftovers 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How to Make a Parchment Paper Sling

How to Make a Parchment Paper Sling

Want to know the secret to perfectly cut brownies or bars? We’re showing you How to Make a Parchment Paper
7 Tips for Having the Best Beach Day Ever

7 Tips for Having the Best Beach Day Ever

Nothing says “summer” quite like going to the beach — whether you’re packing up the family for a week in
How a Nutritionist Decodes a Nutrition Facts Label

How a Nutritionist Decodes a Nutrition Facts Label

A nutrition label can be a useful tool to evaluate how healthy (or not) a food can be, but it

Subscribe to Lexis Clean Living

Join our email list to get instant updates and weekly summaries of our top content and special exclusive offers along with our free clean eating kickstart guide!

This website may at times receive a small affiliate commission for products that we shared with you in our posts. Although we may receive a commission for linking certain products, there’s no additional costs to you and all of our opinion and suggestions are 100% our own and unbiased. That’s our promise to you!

logo
AdBlocker Detected
Some elements of this website will not work correctly while your adblocker is enabled. Please disable your adblocker and reload the page.