Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper

"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!"
photo by Applebuttchick photo by Applebuttchick
photo by Applebuttchick
photo by witchitah photo by witchitah
photo by Natasha Despres J. photo by Natasha Despres J.
photo by Natasha Despres J. photo by Natasha Despres J.
photo by ShoogieB photo by ShoogieB
Ready In:




  • 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.

Questions & Replies

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  1. CoCo Ann
    Absolutley wonderful!!!<br/>I followed the recipe exactly. I did use whole wheat macaroni pasta and the kraft american/cheddar cheese blend. Excellent, Excellent, Excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<br/>I am making up baggies with the "sauce packet" blend for future use.
  2. DungeonDeb
    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 :)
  3. awestevez
    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.
  4. sunnydee130
    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.
  5. hesetmeglutenfree
    Yay!!!! I have been craving this for SOOOO long!! Because I've given up so many things I can't even have the gluten free boxed version anymore! (Gluten, corn, casein, soy and all preservatives) Tried it tonight and it was AWESOME!!!! My hubby said it was even better than the original stuff! Here are the things I swapped around...<br/>Grass-fed ground beef<br/>Silk Original Almond Milk<br/>Sheep Cheese (1 1/2 C. of equal parts 3 month Manchego and Cordobes)<br/>Tinkyada Organic Brown Rice elbow pasta (needs to cook a few min. longer than recipe)<br/>Bob's Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch<br/><br/>I also doubled the onion powder, added some extra paprika, and a tsp. of black pepper. <br/><br/>I will be making this again!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!


  1. Norah
    I used egg noodles instead (hubby doesn't like macaroni). I added 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of cayenne pepper. I used 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp paprika and left out the sugar. Thank you, MDMama, for this tasty recipe! I will make this again. Basically, I just tweaked it to our personal taste. We loved it!
  2. 3RiversCook
    I added 1/2 onion minced and 1 large clove garlic minced. I added some Jane's Crazy spice about 1/2 tsp. I replaced 1 cup of beef stock for 1 cup of milk. I added 1/4 cup tomato sauce.
  3. Elizabeth C.
    Added: a 1 tsp of oregano, 1/2 tsp parsley, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/8 tsp black pepper, 1/8 tsp cayenne and 1/16 tsp nutmeg
  4. Kinako
    real onions instead of onion powder
  5. Lin P.
    Great recipe to inspire your own creative version of hamburger helper. I used 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk and 2 cups of chicken broth with 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce instead of regular milk and water. Also added 1/4 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes to give it some kick. Used spiral noodles (serpentini) and 1/2 lb ground beef with one small red bell pepper and 1/2 cup of green peas. Thanks for the great starting point! :)



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