Hamburger Helper (from scratch)

When my hubby and I first got married almost nine years ago, I was clueless when it came to cooking/baking. My version of potatoes was a boxed instant mix, hamburger helper was considered “homemade”, and frozen dinners were my go to. Fast forward a few years, once my kids were¬†born and eating regular food, I discovered my passion for cooking. I stocked up on cook books, collected family recipes, and began learning to cook. Nowadays, thinking back to then, it makes me laugh because I rarely have anything packaged for dinner, and instant potatoes is something I have not had in many years. One of my favorite dinners back then was hamburger helper. I don’t know about you, but it is quite flavorful. I decided to try making it from scratch the other night and sure enough, this was pretty darn close to the real thing, minus about 1,000,000 ingredients I had never heard of or could pronounce. My kids went crazy over it and even my hubby, who truth be told was not looking forward to trying it, enjoyed it and brought leftovers for lunch the next day. All in all, I would call it a win! It was incredibly simple to make, so ditch the box and try this recipe!!



  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (do not add too much of this if kids are eating it as it will be spicy)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded



  1. Add beef or turkey to a skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Cook meat until no longer pink, drain fat.
  3. Add in the milk, water, pasta (uncooked), cornstarch, chili powder, garlic powder, sugar, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Stir until combined and bring mixture to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, cover skillet with lid and lower heat to simmer.
  6. Allow to cook for about 11-12 minutes, or until pasta is al dente.
  7. Add in the cheese and stir to combine.
  8. Serve and enjoy!!


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2 Comments on "Hamburger Helper (from scratch)"

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1 year 3 months ago

I can’t wait to try this one! I have been looking for a recipe for this that I “liked” when reading it :-)

Thank you!!