I may have mentioned it once or twice, but I have an embarrassing love of most things that come in a box, especially with powdered cheese. Kraft mac & cheese? Clearly. Those Knorr rice or noodle sides in a bag? So good and only $1! Hamburger Helper? Be still my heart 🖤🖤🖤 Are any of these things actually good or good for me? No and no, but my taste buds are confused. Someone mentioned Hamburger Helper the other day, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. (Don’t judge me!)
I knew the chance of convincing Selim that Hamburger Helper was a decent meal choice was slim to none, so I went for a slightly less processed version. Maybe not exactly low calorie or low fat, but hey – I added vegetables and cut out the processed/powdered cheese. Wins all the way around. And it’s delicious! Take that dinner in a box! I guess I should also mentioned that this is based on Cheeseburger Macaroni – which to me is THE Hamburger Helper, but that might not be true for everyone.
I looked to Pinterest for a little guidance in getting started with this recipe. I checked out these lovely blogs, but didn’t follow one in particular – one, two, & three.
Hamburger Helper, Minus the Box
(Inspired by a few different blogs – see above)
- 2 tsp oil
- 1/2 of a large onion, diced
- 4 carrots, chopped
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1lb ground beef
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups dry macaroni
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 cups milk
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- In a large pan with tall edges, heat the oil.
- Over medium heat, cook the onions and the carrots for just 2-3 minutes. Top the onions with a few turns of black pepper and a pinch of salt.
- Increase heat to medium-high and add the beef and worchestershire sauce to the pan. Break up the beef with your cooking spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef has browned.
- If you have any excess grease, drain it off before adding the next ingredients.
- Now add the rest of the ingredients, except for the cheese. Stir together.
- Bring liquid to a boil. Then turn the heat back down to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer for ~10 minutes. Stir once or twice.
- Remove lid. Stir in the cheese. Once it’s well-combined, serve!
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