Homemade hamburger helper is my latest go-to meal for my busy family. It’s a simple creamy, cheesy, and hearty meal that will satisfy any picky eater. It’s the perfect quick dinner idea for when you’re short on time or ingredients.
Homemade Hamburger Helper
Growing up, it always overjoyed me to stroll into my mom’s kitchen after school and discover a hot skillet of fresh hamburger helper. I always considered it a comfort dish. Now that I’m a mom of three and a half little humans, I want them to experience the same comfort.
However, I would rather not expose them to unnecessary chemicals, artificial flavors, and preservatives that the boxed hamburger helper contains. So I put my brain to work and started creating my recipe for homemade hamburger helper.
The boxed stuff leaves a lot to be desired. It’s high in salt content but it lacks a range of flavors. My hamburger helper recipe has layers of flavors and will leave you wanting more and more.
What Ingredients Do I Need?
This dish is basically macaroni and cheese with ground beef. It’s not just any regular old macaroni and cheese. It is well-seasoned ground beef and macaroni noodles in a creamy cheese sauce that has a burst of delicious flavor that just won’t quit.
- Lean Ground Beef– I like to cook with lean beef because I don’t like too much grease. Of course, the fat adds flavor but we don’t want the recipe to be too oily.
- White Onion– Maybe it’s me, but I love starting a meal with a good onion sizzling in the skillet.
- Minced Garlic– Sauteed garlic and onions go together like two peas in a pod. I rarely cook one without the other.
- Unbleached Flour– I used a little flour as the base of my cheese sauce. Some recipes don’t create a cheese sauce but I think that’s what makes this recipe a little better.
- Tomato Sauce– A little tomato sauce goes a long way in this recipe. It adds a sweet and savory layer of flavor.
- Beef Broth– I found the recipe to be a little dry, so I added broth to loosen the sauce.
- Seasonings– I used Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, and a little black pepper.
- Pasta– Macaroni shells are my go-to for this recipe
- Heavy Cream– The recipe called for fat and heavy cream is my go to
- Cheddar Cheese– I shredded blocks of cheese to avoid the extra preservatives in pre-shredded cheese. Sharp cheddar is my favorite.