Homemade Hamburger Helper

I know I’m not alone when I say that I grew up on Hamburger Helper. As a child of the 80s, I inevitably witnessed the massive wave of instant food gain popularity. It wasn’t the healthiest of times (we ate this boxed, preservative-fill deliciousness minimum once a week), but our parents didn’t really know any better. People were only just realizing that smoking cigarettes could kill you. Do you think instant food was on their health-risk radar? Hell no. And before you peg me as a holier-than-thou mom who feeds her kids nothing but kale smoothies and homemade granola, I’d like to clarify that my gremlins eat KD and hotdogs just like everyone else. Anyway, a friend and I were going down memory lane, discussing which Hamburger Helper was our favourite, and it inspired me to cook a copycat version of the original. Ladies and gentlemen, it did not disappoint. Its thick, creamy and cheddar-cheesy sauce was everything I love about the original and more. Its like Hamburger Helper on steroids, if you will (minus the sudden outbursts of rage). While it may not be as instant as the boxed meal, this awesome copycat takes under 30 minutes and is worth the (minimal) work required.

Scroll below for the Homemade Hamburger Helper and don’t forget to subscribe! 😉

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper, ground
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 1 ½ cup beef broth
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8oz)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Over medium heat, brown ground beef, onion, garlic, paprika, cornstarch, cayenne and salt and pepper in a large skillet.
  2. Stir in milk, beef broth, macaroni and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for approx. 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until pasta in tender.
  3. Stir in cheddar cheese until melted.
  4. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve. Enjoy!

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