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homemade hamburger helper recipe

Homemade Hamburger Helper

  • Author: Johnniemay McDonald
  • Total Time: 40 minutes


Delicious and creamy homemade hamburger helper recipe complete with lean beef, elbow macaroni pasta, and a flavorful cheese sauce.


Units Scale
  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 tbsps of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsps of flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 16oz elbow macaroni (or your favorite pasta)
  • 12oz shredded cheese (I shredded 1 1/2 blocks of 8oz cheese blocks)
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream (added 1/4 cup at a time)


  1. Start by filling a pot with water for the pasta. Heavily salt the water.
  2. Brown the ground beef and use a fork to break apart the chunks. Once the beef is browned, set it aside while leaving about 2 tbsps of oil in the pan. (I normally set the ground beef in a strained over the sink and let the rest of the grease drain).
  3. Add the diced onion to the pan and saute until the onion is tender.
  4. Add the minced garlic to the pan and saute for one minute. Then add the flour. Stir continually and do not the flour or garlic burn. Pour the beef broth into the pan and whisk until a sauce forms. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Gently pour the tomato sauce and seasonings into the pan and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil then cover and lower the heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  6. If the salted water is boiling, add your pasta and cook according to the directions on the pacckage.
  7. Add shredded cheese to the sauce in 2-3 batches so it has time to melt. Whisk in the heavy cream until the cheese is melted, and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  8. Finally, fold the ground beef and cooked pasta into the sauce. (I transferred everything to a large pot at this stage. The recipe made a large meal)
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: hamburger helper, macaroni and cheese, ground beef