Homemade hamburger helper is so easy to fix and better than anything you can buy in the store. Skip those box mixes and make this delicious hamburger helper recipe from scratch.
Homemade hamburger helper
Dinner is a breeze with this simple to make homemade hamburger helper. You do not need to buy those kits at the store for hamburger helper. It is SO easy to make this easy meal.
I promise it tastes much better and is actually very simple. Once you see how quick and easy it is, you will always make it this way.
Check out this video to see how easy it is to make this Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper!
Our kids love this and we all get excited when homemade hamburger helper is for dinner!
How do you make Hamburger Helper from scratch?
You only need a few simple ingredients to make homemade hamburger helper. This easy skillet meal is not hard at all. Keep reading to see just how easy this is!
Ingredients for hamburger helper recipe:
- ground beef
- Minced Garlic
- Salt and pepper
- Macaroni Noodles
- Cheddar Cheese, grated
- Mozzarella Cheese, grated (pepper jack is a good substitution if you like spicy!)
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE HAMBURGER HELPER:
Brown the ground beef and onion in a large skillet (we used cast iron) over medium heat. Drain any remaining fat from the pan.
Season the beef with the paprika, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine thoroughly.
Stir in the water, milk and pasta and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 9-12 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
Stir in the cheeses over the cooked pasta and heat until the cheese is completely melted.
Let stand for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.
Serve warm and enjoy! It is that easy. Keep reading for the full recipe.
Homemade hamburger helper variation ideas:
- Substitute ground turkey instead of ground beef.
- Try other types of cheese. Pepper jack is good if you like it a little spicy.
- Use any type of pasta you prefer. While elbow is traditional in this dish, any type will taste great.
- Add bell peppers with the onion for even more delicious flavor.
What to serve with this hamburger helper recipe?
This is the best comfort food and we all love a big bowl of this tasty hamburger helper. You really don’t need much else.
If you want to get some veggies in there, a simple side salad goes great with it and only takes a few minutes to prepare. Green Beans are also really tasty too with it.
We just keep it simple.
Make sure you have a good skillet to make this dish.
We use a cast iron skillet and it’s perfect for this recipe. I have the Lodge cast iron skillet but you can see all the different brands here.
Cast iron is amazing! You can make so many different recipes and they are great for skillet recipes.
If you are not already cooking with one, you should! They are amazing and the food cooks so evenly.
Don’t be hesitant to use cast iron because it really is simple to use and maintain. It cooks the food so evenly and recipes turn out great.
We love using it.
Time saving tip:
We love to make things even easier. This recipe is already simple but you can save even more time with these tips.
I use a small food chopper or processor to quickly and easily dice the onions. If you do not have one of these, I highly recommend them.
They are such a time saver.
I usually just chop the entire vegetable and freeze what I don’t need. It’s so nice to be able to just take diced onion or bell peppers out of the freezer for recipes.
This is how I meal prep. It’s so quick and easy and helps get dinner on the table fast.
Learn how to freeze peppers and how to freeze onions and you will save so much time in the kitchen!
Little things like this make life much easier during the week. It all adds up to a lot of time savings and you can spend more time with your family.
Make this frugal and delicious homemade hamburger helper this week!
We are all about using what we have or what is on sale at the grocery store. We have even mixed together ground beef and ground turkey.
The ground turkey really takes on the flavor of the ground beef. It is a great way to save money. We have also used pasta shells instead of elbow and the kids loved it.
By shopping when things are on sale I save money on groceries and it really helps our budget. If you have a crazy schedule, it can even be accomplished during busy week with quick and easy recipes like this one.
I actually cut our grocery bill by 50% off by following these 8 Tips for for Saving Money on Groceries by Menu Planning! You can do the same thing and use that money for something else!
This is a great example of meals you can fix that are amazing but not expensive. It can be tempting to grab take out during busy weeks but easy meals like this help you stay on track.
Plus, fast food isn’t always that fast or good! I have learned I can make much better meals at home while saving time and money.
Feeding your family does not have to be stressful or complicated. Try this easy and delicious meal out today! I bet you will add it to your regular menu plan once you try it.
It’s so good and just the best comfort food. Yum! So much better than the boxed version.
We just love easy one pot meals.
Print this homemade hamburger helper recipe below:
Homemade hamburger helper
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 Onion Diced
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- 1 tsp Minced Garlic
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 cups Water
- 1 1/2 Cup Milk
- 2 Cups Macaroni Noodles
- 2 Cups Cheddar Cheese grated
- 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese grated (pepper jack is a good substitution if you like spicy!)
- Brown the ground beef and onion in a large skillet (we used cast iron) over medium heat. Drain any remaining fat from the pan.
- Season the beef with the paprika, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine thoroughly.
- Stir in the water, milk and pasta and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 9-12 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
- Stir in the cheeses over the cooked pasta and heat until the cheese is completely melted.
- Let stand for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
Pin This Now to Remember It LaterPin Recipe
Try these other easy skillet recipes:
- Tex Mex Skillet Chicken Recipe
- Easy Salsa Chicken Skillet Recipe
- Italian Macaroni and Cheese Casserole Dinner
- Skillet Chicken Honey Mustard Chicken Recipe
- Quick Skillet Chicken Fajitas Recipe
- Balsamic Chicken – Easy Skillet Chicken Recipe
- Brown Sugar Skillet Chicken
- Skillet Roasted Red Pepper Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe
Made this today, tried it after I added the cheddar and I think it was perfect without the mozzarella! Definitely going into our dinner roation!
Great to hear! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I won’t go back to the box stuff anymore cuz when I looked at the ingredients on the box I couldn’t believe how much sodium was in there but with this homemade recipe u don’t hardly get any sodium which is good for me cuz I got heart disease not to mention it’s a quick and easy meal for a cold winter day
I made this for our dinner last night and used sharp cheddar with mozzarella. It tasted much better than the boxed stuff and will surely make it again and again, but with less pasta.
I made this and my family really enjoyed it. I love it when I can take another box recipe off my list of things to make! I did season it a lot more though with garlic and additional onion powder.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for taking time to leave a review and comment.
Lasr night I made the lasagna it was awesome! I jazzed it up a little bit to make it my own, but stayed with the basic recipe you gave us. Thank you! Shared with all my friends and family, definitely making again instead of spaghetti ! Bon Appetit – Marc Haukenberry
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Marc! Thank you for sharing!
How many people does it serve? For the above recipe
This serves 6 people
Looking forward to trying this. Glad to cut the sodium without sacrificing flavor whenever I can.
I hope you love it! My family and I all love this easy recipe.
I have made this for years…..I use a box of mac and cheese
Oh, I haven’t tried that before. Thanks for sharing.
Very simple and everyone loved it!
So easy and so good. Will definitely be making again.
Does the leftovers taste good? I have found that the tastier something is when first cooked then the reheating is good compared to not being good to begin with.
We like the leftovers
My son loves this recipe and being able to make from scratch is great. I used ground turkey instead of beef.