Homemade Hamburger Helper or Cheesy Hamburger Pasta Skillet is a hearty, satisfying 25-minute meal made with wholesome ingredients you’ll love! Don’t you love a one pot meal?!
Originally published October 2016; updated October 2018
Comfort food is often defined by childhood favorite recipes. Hamburger Helper was a staple in our house. It really was the birth of the one pot meal in my opinion and appealed to something relatable to all: it is easy to prepare.
What if I shared you could make homemade hamburger helper? Just as easy, with wholesome ingredients, rave reviews from your diners? It can be made with gluten-free or regular pasta and is ready in 30 minutes.
What is Homemade Hamburger Helper?
For those who may have not experienced hamburger helper, it’s a combination of ground beef and other ingredients to create a filling one skillet meal.
Today’s recipe was a favorite of mine: cheesy hamburger pasta skillet! Irresistible comfort food flavors all combined for a fast, fabulous dinner idea!
What Ingredients are in Homemade Hamburger Helper?
This recipe includes lean ground beef, onions, garlic, sweet paprika with elbow pasta (gluten-free pasta or regular pasta) all in a creamy homemade tomato cheese sauce.
What I love is that same easy, convenience of the original pre-packaged dish is found in this homemade hamburger helper IN 30 minutes!
Make it Gluten-Free!
Just use your favorite gluten-free elbow pasta (I’m partial to Tinkyada loving it’s end texture; I use it in all my mac and cheese recipes)!
How to Make Homemade Hamburger Helper
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is starting to become transluscent (3-4 minutes)
- Add the ground beef and cook until no pink remains. Break up into small pieces while cooking. Drain any excess fat.
- Sprinkle spices over the meat.
- Add the chicken broth, milk, tomato sauce and pasta to the skillet.
- Bring the homemade hamburger helper to a boil then simmer with a lid on for 15 minutes (or until pasta is tender and almost done); stirring periodically to prevent sticking.
- Stir in the cheese and allow to sit for 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken.
So easy, right?!
Homemade Hamburger Helper is a simple, homey dish of ground meat, onions, spices and real cheesy cheese. It’s a fast meal and one that is filling!
Looking for MORE Easy Dinner Recipes? Check out our Easy Dinner Recipes collection!
If you’ve tried this Homemade Hamburger Helper recipe please RATE THE RECIPE below!
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Cheesy Hamburger and Pasta Skillet
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 pound Lean Ground Beef
- ½ medium Yellow Onion , peeled and chopped
- 2 medium Garlic Cloves , peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons Sweet Paprika
- 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
- .5 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- A grind of fresh Black Pepper
- 1 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- 2 cups Milk
- 1 15-ounce can Tomato Sauce
- 2 cups Elbow Pasta (I used gluten-free Brown Rice Tinkyada pasta; see note for gluten options)
- 2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese , shredded
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (with lid) over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering on the surface add the onion and garlic; sauté until the onion begins to become translucent (3-4 minutes).
- Add the ground beef and cook until no pink color remains; break up into small pieces as it cooks. Drain and excess fat.
- Sprinkle the spices over the meat and add the chicken broth, milk, tomato sauce and pasta. Bring to a boil, stirring to combine. Once at a boil, lower heat to medium-low (simmering) and cover with the lid. Allow to cook 15 minutes, (stirring periodically to prevent sticking) or until the pasta is tender and almost done.
- Stir in the cheese, and allow to sit for 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken before serving.
I added some chopped up red and green peppers, used canned milk and switched to 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup velvetta cheeses. Was really good.
Toni Dash says
Awesome! Thanks for sharing your modifications Penny. I’m sure others will enjoy your ideas.