How to make Homemade Hamburger Helper

I know Hamburger Helper isn’t that classy. But sometimes we just like things that are easy and taste good. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
I changed up the recipe a bit to suit our tastes
I could have called it something like, “One Pot Beefy Macaroni”, but I wanted to appeal to those people who might be eyeing up the Hamburger Helper box on the grocery store shelf. This is just as easy, and way better for you!

How to make Homemade Hamburger Helper

Prep time: 2 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 4-6


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • cooking spray
  • 2½ cups milk
  • 1½ cups hot water
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes (or more, if you like it spicy!)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Spray with cooking spray and add the ground beef.
  3. Cook over medium high heat until beef is browned. Discard any fat.
  4. Add the pasta, milk, tomato paste, water and spices and stir to combine.
  5. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium low and cover with a lid.
  6. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
  7. Add the cheese and stir to combine. Serve immediately!

How to make Homemade Hamburger Helper

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