Ditch the box and easily make your own Homemade Hamburger Helper in less than 30 minutes! This easy skillet dinner has been given a healthy upgrade, but yet still comes together in one pan, making this homemade hamburger helper a perfect weeknight meal for busy nights!
Boxed Homemade Hamburger was my husband’s favorite meal as a child. In fact, he said his mom made it at least once a week for him.
I don’t blame his mom at all for resorting to the short-cut that a boxed dinner provided. It made her life easier and kept her kids happy. And we all like easy, meals our family will actually eat, don’t we?!
But the truth is, you CAN achieve a delicious, homemade meal quickly as well. I have over 50 Homemade 30 Minute Meals, and one of my family’s absolute favorites is my take on boxed hamburger helper.
- You can pronounce all the ingredients.
- WAY less sodium than the boxed variety.
- Homemade Hamburger Helper is just as easy to make.
- The homemade version is often much cheaper than the boxed variety–especially if you have spices in your spice cabinet.
- It is a meal the family LOVES and you know exactly what you are feeding them!
- Most importantly– IT TASTES BETTER!!!
Seriously, this one pot hamburger helper comes together with almost no effort and always puts a smile on my family’s faces. Even my husband agrees this recipe trumps his childhood favorite by a landslide!
Notes on Ingredients
- Ground Beef–I love to use lean ground sirloin, but ground turkey or ground chicken work as well.
- Spices–paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper. I keep this simple in flavorings. No fresh onions or fresh garlic–just onion and garlic powder in this hamburger skillet recipe. You know, to keep the kids happy–which makes dinner a much more pleasurable experience!
- Elbow Macaroni–whole wheat or regular both work
- Worcestershire Sauce–This adds the POW to this hamburger skillet recipe, you don’t want to omit this ingredient
- Optional: shredded cheddar cheese, to turn this Hamburger Helper into Cheeseburger Helper
How to Make Healthy Hamburger Helper
You start off making this healthy homemade hamburger helper recipe just as you would when making a boxed version.
- In a large skillet or saucepan add in the of choice meat and as the meat browns, break it up into small pieces. Once meat is cooked, drain off any fat and return to heat.
- Add in tomato paste and spices and let it toast for a minute to develop the flavor of the spices and tomato paste.
- Add in the beef broth and the tomato sauce and bring to boil.
- Add in the noodles and reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender.
- Turn off the heat, add in Worcestershire sauce to finish this easy skillet dinner.
More Ground Beef Recipes
Homemade Hamburger Helper Skillet
- 1 pound ground sirloin or turkey
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 3 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 2 cups dried whole wheat elbow macaroni noodles
- 1 teaspoon Worchestire sauce
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the meat and brown up, breaking up into small pieces. Once meat is cooked, drain off any fat and return to heat.
- Add tomato paste and seasonings. Cook for 2 minutes to develop flavor. Add in tomato sauce and beef broth and bring to a boil.
- Add in noodles and turn down to medium heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirrinng occasionally, or until noodles cooked through and sauce is absorbed.
- Stir in Worcestershire sauce and serve.
- Homemade Hamburger Helper will last in the fridge for 3 days and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- If you don't have Worcestershire Sauce, you can use soy sauce or fish sauce for a rich finish as well.
- Feel free to sub out ground turkey, pork or chicken for the beef in this hamburger skillet recipe.
- For a Gluten Free Version of Hamburger Helper, it is best to use Barilla Gluten-Free Noodles--most gluten-free noodles brands give off too much starch to cook in the sauce. I have used Barilla brand many times with great success.