If You’re Not Making Homemade Hamburger Helper Yet, You Should Be

Hamburger Helper Cover


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Hamburger Helper Cover

Family-Friendly and Fast

If there's any reliable way to stretch your family's grocery budget and get the most out of a pound of ground beef, it's Hamburger Helper. The product was launched in 1970 and became a hit thanks to its convenience and low price tag, not to mention its deliciousness. Since then, the company has also launched other Helpers products for tuna and chicken.

Considering how many people grew up eating Hamburger Helper, it's undoubtedly an American comfort food. But if you'd like to try your hand at making it from scratch, here are easy one-skillet recipes your family will love just as much as the boxed stuff.

Cheesy Hamburger and Macaroni Dinner

1. Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet

This is the classic cheeseburger macaroni Hamburger Helper, but homemade. It includes simple spices like paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder, but you can doctor it up however your family likes. Everything is cooked with milk in addition to water or broth to make it extra creamy. Two full cups of shredded cheddar added at the end will please even the most hardcore cheese lovers.

Recipe: House of Nash Eats

Related: Tacos, Pizza, and More Meals Masquerading as Easy, Cozy Casseroles

Beef Stroganoff

2. Homemade Beef Stroganoff Hamburger Helper

If you were anything like us, then your favorite variety of Hamburger Helper was stroganoff. You just can't beat that tangy, creamy sauce on eggs noodles, and that's just what you'll get with this one-skillet recipe. The worcestershire sauce is essential for that unmistakable stroganoff flavor. If you want to punch it up even more, add a little Dijon mustard.

Recipe: Hungry Foodie

Related: Cheap and Easy Beef Recipes You Can Make for Dinner

Cheeseburger pasta skillet

3. Bacon Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper

How do you improve upon the classic cheeseburger version? By adding bacon, of course. This one-pot recipe includes six slices, so you're going to actually taste it under all that beef and cheese. Some people even add a squirt of ketchup and mustard to this dish to play up the cheeseburger aspect.

Recipe: Bake It With Love

Related: Cast-Iron Skillet Recipes for an Easy Fall Meal

Chili Lasagna

4. One Pot Hamburger Helper Lasagna

Everyone loves lasagna, but it's way too time consuming for anything but a special occasion. Enter: skillet lasagna. Jarred marinara sauce makes this super easy, but be sure to use a high quality brand like Rao's or Trader Joe's. If you can't find mini lasagna noodles, feel free to use macaroni or break regular lasagna noodles into small pieces.

Recipe: Jo Cooks

Skillet shell pasta

5. One Pot Cheddar BBQ Shells and Beef

If your favorite Hamburger Helper variety is sweet heat BBQ, then this recipe is for you. The pasta and ground beef soak up all the flavor of your favorite barbecue sauce. A little half and half makes it creamy, and of course there's plenty of cheddar melted on top of the whole thing.

Recipe: Meatloaf and Melodrama

Homemade Chili Mac and Cheese

6. One Pot Chili Mac

Chili mac is an absolute classic comfort food, whether you grew up with the Hamburger Helper version or not. This one-pan recipe includes all the essentials: onions, garlic, chili powder, and tomatoes. Plus plenty of cheese on top and mixed in at the end to make it just a little bit creamy.

Recipe: Budget Bytes

Related: Chili Casserole and Other Creative and Unexpected Chili Recipes

beef rice cheese skillet

7. Homemade Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper

Some Hamburger Helpers use rice instead of pasta, including this crunchy taco variety. A packet of taco seasoning makes this one fast and easy, while jarred salsa gives it some extra flavor. The "crunchy" part of the name comes from tortilla chips that you crush all over your bowl.

Recipe: Iowa Girl Eats

Related: Delicious and Inexpensive Mexican Dishes

Skillet mexican rice beef dish

8. Cheesy Enchilada Rice Skillet

This recipe is similar to the taco version, but it gets most of its flavor from canned enchilada sauce instead of taco seasoning. Besides rice, it also includes corn, black beans, and bell pepper, though you can leave any or all of those out if you wish. 

Recipe: 12 Tomatoes

Related: 20 Rice Bowls for Quick and Delicious Meals

Italian shell pasta dish

9. Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells

This Italian(ish) skillet is a crowd pleaser, because who doesn't love shell pasta? Canned diced Italian-seasoned tomatoes give it some texture and a boost of flavor all in one. Herbs are added all at once with Italian seasoning, so you don't have to measure as many individual ingredients.

Recipe: Mindy's Cooking Obsession

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Creamy Tuna, Vegetable and Noodle Casserole

10. Tuna Noodle Skillet Casserole

For all the Tuna Helper fans, this one-pot homemade recipe is for you. It includes a can of cream of mushroom soup for an easy shortcut. The recipe calls for frozen peas and carrots, but you can use whatever frozen veggies you have on hand, like green beans or broccoli. Crushed garlic croutons on top give it crunch and make it more like classic tuna noodle casserole.

Recipe: I Wash You Dry