Ditch the Mix Main Dish Meat Pasta

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper on Whisk Together

Books I’ve read:  Since the move, I really haven’t had the time to read many books.  I did just finish “Wonder” by RJ Palacio.  It has nearly 4,000 five star reviews and with good reason.  The characters are great, the plot is moving and the message is one that every adult and child should hear.  Unless I find something better, this will be my pick for book club.  Here are some favorite quotes below:

“When given the choice between being right and being kind. Choose kind.”
“Jack, sometimes you don’t have to be mean to hurt someone.”
“…your deeds are like your monuments. Built with memories instead of stone.”
“Kinder than is necessary. Because it’s not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed.”
“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”

Homemade Hamburger Helper on Whisk Together 2


This recipe was a hit with kids and adults.  Easy, fast and delicious.  I really think it tastes better than the box Hamburger Helper.  Is it an exact match?  No – the ingredients are real here and not chemical lab concoctions.  But, I agree with other commentators on the recipe that it does taste better than the box mix.  And, of course, it is much cheaper, too!  Bonus!  Plus those allergic to yellow #5 can eat this version!  The box version includes artificial colors like yellow # 5 and #6.  Oh, did I mention the box version contains MSG and partially hydrogenated soybean oil?  Hmmmm… yeah, let’s stick with the real stuff that tastes better.  If you need to actually make this mix ahead of time, please do!  Simply mix all the seasonings up yourself ahead of time, add a baggie of pasta and you have your own “box mix” version.

Homemade Hamburger Helper


  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2-1 cup water (I like mine thick and use 1/2 cup water)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. parsley
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. In a great big skillet (12" or so), heat to medium heat. Cook onion and meat together until the meat is brown. Drain on paper towels if desired.
  2. Add the meat back to the pan with the milk, water, pasta and seasonings.
  3. Cook just like the box mix does: bring the whole thing up to a boil on medium heat. Turn down the heat to medium low and simmer until the pasta is cooked. Usually about 6-8 minutes.
  4. Take the skillet off of the burner. Add the cheese and gently stir until melted through. Eat immediately or keep warm in a covered skillet on low.


Recipe from Divas Can Cook

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