Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper
adapted from Cooking Meat

I have fond memories of eating Hamburger Helper when I was a kid. So much so that I bought a box to enjoy as an adult. Some memories are best left in the past. However, I still like the idea of a quick and easy meat sauce that can poured on top of short pasta, so here’s my version of Hamburger Helper. You and your kids will notice a difference!

Serves 6


1 Tbsp + 1 tsp salt (divided)
1 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut in medium dice
½ tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 pound ground beef
1 Tbsp paprika
1 pound pasta of your choice (small noodles work best)
1 (10 ounces) can chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ bunch green onion, chopped


  1. Fill a large pot with water, add the 1 Tbsp of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. While the water is coming to a boil, set your biggest frying pan over medium heat and add the oil. When it’s hot, add 1 tsp of salt, the onions, and pepper. Turn down the heat to low, cover the pan, and allow the onions to cook, stirring every minute or so, for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cover, and cook for 5 more minutes.
  3. Add the beef, then turn up the heat to medium. Using a spoon, mash the beef with a spoon so it browns all over. Stir in the paprika and cook, uncovered, for 8 minutes or until the beef is no longer red.
  4. When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta, stir, and cook according to the directions on the package until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  5. Stir the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste into the beef mixture and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir the sour cream into the beef mixture and turn down the heat to low. Stir until the beef is well coated and saucy, then add the drained pasta and cheese, stirring well to allow the cheese to melt into the sauce.
  7. To serve, scoop the hamburger helper into a large serving bowl and sprinkle with chopped green onions. Ta-dah!

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