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I like some of the Hamburger Helpers. I have noticed though, that if made according to the directions on the box, the sauce thickens before the pasta can completely cook and it comes out a little "pasty". The overall flavor tends to have little starchy taste to it, so I make it my own way. With the ones that call for milk, they come out so nice and creamy if made this way. I use half the meat that the ingredients list calls for, because I find that 1 pound tends to be a little too much meat for my taste. You can use a whole pound if you want. You can also use any ground meat in this recipe. I have found that this "flavor" tastes really good with Italian Sausage. It is my favorite. This is really good with green beans or corn. You can use milk instead of the half and half if you are watching your fat and calories. I had to use a prep time in order for 'Zaar editing to accept the recipe, so it, as well as cook time, are approximate. This can be done with any of them. Just make adjustments where needed. The amount of milk and/or water used may be different with the other Hamburger Helper "flavors"
- Brown the meat in a medium sized skillet.
- Do not add water to it unless there isn't enough fat in the meat.
- If water is needed, add very little.
- Bring the 3 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan.
- Add the packet of macaroni.
- Boil until the macaroni is done and tender.
- When the meat is done, drain the grease from the skillet and return skillet to the burner.
- Don't remove the meat from the skillet.
- Drain the water from the macaroni and rinse with hot water.
- Add the macaroni to the meat and stir.
- Lower the burner to medium.
- In a shaker bottle or large cup, mix the half and half and the 1/2 cup water.
- Add the packet of sauce mix/powder and shake vigorously or stir in cup very well, until sauce mix/powder is completely dissolved and there are no lumps in it.
- With one hand, slowly add the sauce mixture to the hamburger mixture, while stirring constantly with the other hand.
- Stir constantly so that it doesn't start to stick to the bottom of the skillet.
- Sauce will start to thicken.
- Continue stirring constantly.
- You might need to lower the heat again.
- Once sauce has somewhat thickened, remove from heat and let stand.
- The sauce will completely thicken on its own.