This hearty Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe is so delicious and comes together in under 30 minutes! Exploding with amazing flavor, this easy dinner is perfect for kids and adults alike! So much better than a box mix!
With two hungry teen and tween boys at home, I honestly feel like I am sometimes running a 24 hour diner. I kid you not, I can spend an hour in the kitchen, make an awesome dinner, and maybe 45 minutes later, Reece will ask me what we’re having for dinner because, ya know, he’s starving and clearly has forgotten that he.just.ate.
There are many dinner recipes that we make on repeat because they are quick, delicious and filling. This Hamburger Helper recipe is one such recipe.
You are going to love the explosion of flavors just as much, if not more, than the easy list of ingredients that you likely have on hand.
More Hamburger Recipes
Looking to use up that ground beef? Here are some easy recipe to help:
- Baked Beef Flautas with Queso Dip
- Easy Lazy Day Lasagna
- Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
- Crockpot Chili
- Tater Tot Casserole
- Slow Cooker Cowboy Beans
There are a few main ingredients in this recipe and then lots of seasoning. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need. As always, you can find the full printable recipe in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- ground beef – you want lean ground beef or even ground turkey will work.
- beef broth – look for low sodium beef broth. Beef stock can also be used.
- heavy cream – this gives the sauce a nice richness.
- tomato sauce – just an 8 ounce can.
- Worcestershire sauce – I use Worcestershire sauce in most of my beef recipes, it just makes them beefier and more delicious.
- beef bouillon powder – or use 1 beef bouillon cube or 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Beef Base (this stuff is AMAZING, you can find it in any grocery store, Costco, etc.)
- Dijon mustard – this can be omitted but really adds a nice layer of flavor.
- seasonings – salt and pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, paprika (or smoked paprika)
- elbow macaroni – you can use another small pasta if you prefer.
- sharp cheddar cheese – we love the cheddar cheese but it’s fun to mix it up with different types of cheese.
How To Make Homemade Hamburger Helper
Check out these easy steps that will have you enjoying this hamburger helper recipe in no time! As always, you can find the full printable recipe card at the end of this post.
- Brown and season ground beef. Place the ground beef, seasoning salt, and black pepper in a large dutch oven or deep skillet over medium high heat. Cook, breaking up the meat as you go, until no pink remains. Drain excess fat.
- Add liquids and seasonings. Stir in beef broth, cream, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon powder (cube or beef base), dijon mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and paprika. Bring to a boil.
- Cook macaroni. Add the macaroni and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
- Add cheese. Sprinkle in two cups of the shredded cheese and stir until melted and combined.
- Serve. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on top before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
Storing leftovers. If you have leftovers, allow them to cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or on the stove top until heated through. If it is too thick, stir in some broth, cream, or milk.
To freeze. Let cool and place in an airtight freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Homemade Hamburger Helper FAQs
Yes! Ground turkey and even ground chicken will work in this recipe. Another yummy option would be sausage, Italian sausage is particularly good in this dish.
Absolutely! Other pastas to use would be shells, penne, fusilli or rotini. Keep in mind that cook time may vary slightly as would the liquid.
Yes! Dice up one small to medium onion and add it to the Dutch oven or skillet at the same time as you add the ground beef. Once the meat is cooked, add 2 to 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook for one minute before adding the sauce ingredients.
Yes! Simply swap in vegetable broth instead of beef broth, omit the beef bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, and ground beef. Add vegetables in place of the beef (carrots, zucchini, peppers, etc.) .
How To Make Hamburger Helper
Homemade Hamburger Helper
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ teaspoon seasoning salt use your favorite brand
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 5 cups low sodium beef broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces tomato sauce 1 small can
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons beef bouillon powder or 1 beef bouillon cube or 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese freshly grated, divided (about 12 ounces)
- fresh parsley optional
- Place the lean ground beef, seasoning salt, and black pepper in a large dutch oven or deep skillet over medium high heat. Cook, breaking up the meat as you go, until no pink remains. Drain the excess fat.1 pound lean ground beef, ½ teaspoon seasoning salt, ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Stir in low sodium beef broth, cream, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon powder (cube or beef base), dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Bring to a boil.5 cups low sodium beef broth, ½ cup heavy cream, 8 ounces tomato sauce, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons beef bouillon powder, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Add the macaroni and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.1 teaspoon onion powder
- Sprinkle in two cups of the shredded cheese and stir until melted and combined.½ teaspoon paprika
- Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on top before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.