June 14, 2020

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Hamburger Helper will always have a soft spot in my heart. When my husband and I first lived together before we were married we were pretty economical and not terribly creative when it came to food. One summer during a grocery-store run we bought several boxes of Hamburger Helper mix at something unbelievably cheap like three boxes for a dollar. I might have gotten a little sick of it, eating it at least once a week after that thrifty purchase. But I felt surprisingly grown-up, making it and eating it together after finishing what felt like the never-ending mowing required at our summer rental.

One Sunday afternoon last winter when the contents of the fridge were getting sparse and I was trying to figure out what we could eat that night, I was craving something warm and filling and found myself googling "homemade hamburger helper." I was so glad I found this. One-pan pastas are so easy and good in general and we've come to rely on this one when we are out of fresh produce and down to pantry staples-- pasta, meat from the freezer, spices, and cheese (we always have cheese). Unsurprisingly, it's a big hit with the kids. It's guilty-pleasure comfort food at its best. Sometimes if I'm feeling a little inspired, as in the photo at the end of this post, I toss in a can of diced tomatoes or a chopped-up carrot or onion to increase the vegetable intake and it still goes down very easily.

One-Pan Homemade Hamburger Helper
slightly adapted from The Salty Marshmallow

1 lb. ground beef
1 T ketchup
1 t Dijon mustard
1 t hot sauce
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1/2 t seasoned salt
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
12 oz. pasta
4 1/2 C broth or water
optional: can of diced tomatoes, chopped onion and/or carrot
 1/2 C sour cream
2 C shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain grease from pan if needed.

Reduce heat to low and add all remaining ingredients except sour cream and cheese. Stir well to combine. Cover and simmer 12 - 15 minutes.

Turn off heat and stir in sour cream and cheddar cheese.

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