Homemade hamburger helper is a family favorite but you can make a cheaper, healthier, and way tastier version at home, ready in just 30 minutes. | aheadofthyme.com
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Homemade Hamburger Helper – Pasta  

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Homemade hamburger helper is a family favorite but you can make a cheaper, healthier, and way tastier version at home. This flavorful pasta dinner features tender elbow macaroni, juicy lean ground beef, and plenty of cheddar cheese to create a delicious cheesy sauce. It’s a quick and easy dinner ready in just 30 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights or when you are feeling lazy. Try this cheeseburger macaroni pasta tonight!

Homemade hamburger helper is a family favorite but you can make a cheaper, healthier, and way tastier version at home, ready in just 30 minutes. | aheadofthyme.com

Why You’ll Love Homemade Hamburger Helper

  • It’s quick and easy. Why buy store-bought when you can make it fast at home with real ingredients? This easy cheeseburger macaroni pasta dinner is ready in about 30 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights. Plus, it’s kid-friendly so you likely won’t be left with any leftovers.
  • It’s healthier than store-bought. Homemade hamburger helper is healthier than it’s store-bought alternative. We all know that processed and packaged food isn’t as good for us as fresh, whole foods. Since this homemade hamburger helper is made with lean ground beef, macaroni, and real cheese, you can feel good about what you’re eating and feeding your family.
  • It’s delicious and flavorful. Don’t get me wrong. Hamburger helper from the grocery store is good, but this homemade version is so delicious. You’ll love the creamy cheesy sauce, tender macaroni, and lean ground beef.

Homemade hamburger helper is a family favorite but you can make a cheaper, healthier, and way tastier version at home, ready in just 30 minutes. | aheadofthyme.com

Ingredients and Substitutions

To make this easy homemade hamburger helper, you will Require the following ingredients (full quantities in the recipe card below):

  • vegetable oil
  • ground beef
  • onion
  • garlic
  • tomato paste
  • seasoning – paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • milk
  • beef broth – beef broth adds extra flavor, you can also just use water.
  • elbow macaroni pasta
  • cheddar cheesefor a cheesier sauce, feel free to add an extra cup of cheese. You can also play around with different types of cheese. Try a Tex Mex cheese blend for a Mexican twist.
  • fresh parsley – optional, for serving.

You will also need measuring cups and spoons and a large skillet or shallow saucepan.

Homemade hamburger helper is a family favorite but you can make a cheaper, healthier, and way tastier version at home, ready in just 30 minutes. | aheadofthyme.com

How to Make the Best Homemade Hamburger Helper

  1. Cook ground beef. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is sizzling hot, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Break up beef into small pieces to help even browning.
  2. Sauté aromatics. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and mix until well incorporated and season with salt, pepper and paprika.
  3. Cook macaroni. Add milk, beef broth, and uncooked macaroni. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover the lid and simmer over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is tender. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add cheese. Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted and well combined. Sprinkle parsley on top and serve immediately.

Homemade hamburger helper is a family favorite but you can make a cheaper, healthier, and way tastier version at home, ready in just 30 minutes. | aheadofthyme.com

How to Serve

Homemade hamburger helper is a delicious and filling meal packed with carbs and proteins — but it’s pairs really nice with some veggies in there too. I Enjoy to add some on the side or right on top, such as:

  • Honey Roasted Carrots
  • Sautéed Asparagus
  • Roasted Cauliflower
  • Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
  • Garden Salad

Homemade hamburger helper is a family favorite but you can make a cheaper, healthier, and way tastier version at home, ready in just 30 minutes. | aheadofthyme.com

Storing Instructions

  • How to store: Keep leftover cheeseburger macaroni in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • How to reheat: Reheat leftover hamburger helper over the stove on medium-low heat until warmed through. Add a splash of water if the sauce has thickened up too much in the fridge. You can also reheat in a covered microwave-safe dish on medium heat until warmed through, about 1-3 minutes.

Homemade hamburger helper is a family favorite but you can make a cheaper, healthier, and way tastier version at home, ready in just 30 minutes. | aheadofthyme.com

More Pasta Recipes

  • 40 Best Pasta Recipes
  • Stovetop Mac and Cheese with White Cheddar
  • Baked Mac and Cheese
  • Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Ground Turkey Pasta Bake
  • Italian Meatballs

Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.

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Homemade hamburger helper is a family favorite but you can make a cheaper, healthier, and way tastier version at home, ready in just 30 minutes. | aheadofthyme.com

Homemade Hamburger Helper


4.9 from 7 reviews


  • Author:
    Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme

  • Total Time:
    25 minutes

  • Yield:
    4-6 servings

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Description

Homemade hamburger helper is a family favorite but you can make a cheaper, healthier, and way tastier version at home, ready in just 30 minutes.


Ingredients

In this space, I am always sharing flavorful, fresh, (mostly) healthy recipes that I love to make and eat in my real, actual, every day life. If I wouldn’t eat it in real life, I won’t put in on the blog. You’re cooking for yourself, your family, your roommates, or your friends. I want you to be so excited about these recipes that you eagerly await 5pm when you can go home from work and start cooking.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 + ½ cups milk
  • 1 cup beef broth or water
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni pasta, uncooked
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • fresh parsley, chopped (optional, for serving)


Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is sizzling hot, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Break up beef into small pieces to help even browning.
  2. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. 
  3. Add tomato paste and mix until well incorporated and season with salt, pepper and paprika.
  4. Add milk, beef broth, and uncooked macaroni. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover the lid and simmer over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is tender. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted and well combined. Sprinkle parsley on top and serve immediately.

Notes

How to store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

How to reheat: Reheat leftover hamburger helper over the stove on medium-low heat until warmed through. Add a splash of water if the sauce has thickened up too much in the fridge. You can also reheat in a covered microwave-safe dish on medium heat until warmed through, about 1-3 minutes.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: homemade hamburger helper, mac and cheese with ground beef, beef mac and cheese, hamburger helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper – Pasta  

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