Sunday, March 26, 2017

Homemade Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper (One-Pot Wonder)


I can remember, back in the early 1970's when Hamburger Helper first hit the supermarket.  My mother, being born and raised in the Bavarian Alps, had a limited repertoire of  American cooking. We were both shocked and surprised when Mutti brought this home to make for our dinner. My two brothers and I absolutely loved it!    I think Mutti loved how inexpensive and easy it was, since she also worked full-time, while raising the three of us.



Today, the times have changed, as many families are becoming more health conscious (thus, moving away from "processed foods). However, I still have great food memories of Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper, but now I can make my own with ingredients from my pantry and refrigerator, and I can control what's in it!

When I spotted this recipe on "The Daring Gourmet", it was a windy and rainy day and I was transported back to my childhood. I especially loved that this recipe is a One-Pot meal, and I had all of the ingredients on hand.

The main ingredients are ground beef and cheddar cheese...of course. You can use medium or sharp-- whatever you prefer.


I keep avocado oil, on hand, because I can find it at my local Trader Joe's. I like it, because it has a high smoke point-- but you can certainly use olive or vegetable oil  I started the ground beef to browning in a 12"skillet, with a little oil.

In the meantime, I prepped the spices: paprika, onion & garlic powder, salt, sugar, chili powder, flour on the side. I measured out whole milk, beef broth and elbow macaroni.

This is just too easy, folks!  So the ground beef is cooked, and I add the chopped onion, then tomato paste and a little Worcestershire sauce. Now, for some flour...

I pour in the milk, beef broth and noodles and give it a stir. Cover, bring to boil and cook for about 12 minutes-- just enough time for me to tidy up my kitchen and throw a salad together (gotta have some greens).  I lifted the lid, and tasted a piece of pasta. Ha! It was cooked! So I added shredded cheese and gave it a nice stir. Dinner was ready in less than 30 minutes!

Gotta love it!

What a fun twist on Mac 'n Cheese! 

TASTING NOTES:  My husband immediately remarked that this brought him back to his college years. He said it tasted exactly as he remembered! Win!   I had plenty of leftovers, so I packed it up in a container for my adult son to take home (who was grateful and raved about how good it tasted).
I took a serving for my lunch, the next day.  I thought it tasted even better!

If you love pasta, cheeseburgers, mac 'n cheese, and want a fast recipe to make for your family-- please give this one a try.  This one will be a repeat recipe, for sure.

I recall that there was a Mexican version of Hamburger Helper that was my favorite so I made a version of that by adapting this recipe. It was bomb!

For another super simple "One Pot" pasta dish click here.

As always, a printable recipe card is at the end of this post.
 










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4 comments:

Lorrie said...

My hubby John still talks about Hamburger Helper and college days...He is soooooo going to love this!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I've never eaten hamburger helper, but your homemade version sure looks scrumptious. I'll have to try it.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Hahaha, Lorrie. I'm sure John will love it. Linda, I realize this isn't "gourmet" eating, but it is comfort food without all the scary ingredients. I love that it's fast to make!

Anonymous said...

I certainly know what this is... don't we all? but I won't eat the packaged edition. Just like frozen Mac (baked) Mac & Chez, If I make it myself, I know what is in there. For a large pot luck, I may use a large AL pan. but the contents are my own. Never had any trouble with a pan of mac & chez. If I'm asked to make it, I 100% real chez. If it sets too quickly, I add a little EVOO, but decline that Yellow Food Substance called Velveeta. (Not on your life!) I like a good, well-browned crust, so I turn the heat UP for the last few minutes. The empty pan tells me what I need to know. I am not a vegetarian, but many friends are, so I omit animal derived ingredients and my friends appreciate it.

Ha! it is difficult to make a Hamburger Helper substitute without real meat and I do not even try. My friends understand and I've never had complaints. Your's looks wonderful. If I change anything the first time through, I might use a slightly different pasta.
!!What a FUN BLOG. I've seen your July post about the some of the frustrations. I understand... The Big Food Bloggers offer little for me (no need to name them.) but I'll stick with the small kitchens, thank you.
-Craig - thje othjer one