Prep 5 mins
Cook 17 mins
We like Hamburger Helper but we don't like the MSG or other icky ingredients! You can prepare "sauce packets" ahead of time to save time. Increase/alter seasonings and/or cheese to suit your tastes!
- 1 lb 92% lean ground beef (or your preferred type)
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1⁄2 cups elbow macaroni
- 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded, plus more for topping, if desired)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Drain.
- Add hot water, milk, pasta and "sauce packet" ingredients.
- Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 12 minutes or until pasta is tender.
- In the last few minutes of cook time, add cheese, stir and re-cover.
- When pasta is tender and cheese is melted, remove heat and uncover.
- Let stand about 5 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it stands.
- Top with additional cheese if you like.
This is delicious! It's also just the right consistency. My youngest son is a terribly picky eater, but he asks for this at least once a week. I have only tried it with cheddar, but I think swiss or an Italian blend would also be good :)
Made this tonight and I thought it was pretty good. I used fresh onion instead of powder and left the salt out of the seasoning packet mixture since I used some Lawrys and salted to taste. Also added black pepper. I used whole wheat macaroni, skim milk, and reduced fat cheddar cheese so it wasn't as creamy as normal hamburger helper but it was still pretty good, especially for being really quick and easy and much healthier. I think next time I might add cayenne and some sour cream.
To all those who say it's too bland, try adding different cheeses. I personally can't stand cheddar alone so I always add some american, asiago, or romano. Something to add a more complex flavor and break up the greasy, dullness I taste with cheddar alone. Just my suggestion. Nice and easy recipe.