Homemade – Hamburger Helper

I am the first person to tell you I am OVER hamburger helper. I DISLIKE cooking from a box! My husband teases me all the time about this, but I’d rather make it from scratch than use a box meal.  Well that didn’t help him any; Steven likes box meals once in a while and that is handy for the nights I do not want to cook. What do we do then? COMPROMISE!

Browsing a nifty post on Buzz I came across this gem of a post from another blogger I have fallen in love with!

The Tip Garden

I typically have all of this stuff on hand in my pantry. If you don’t a small investment would save you money down the road.

Here is the staple list you will need

  1. Past Noodles (wheat, regular, vegan, or veggie it doesn’t matter)
  2. Powdered Milk
  3. Corn Starch
  4. Spices
  5. Cheese
  6. Meat

Pretty basic in many homes.

The first recipe we tired was the Cheeseburger Macaroni Helper:

 What you need; pantry kit:

-1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
-1 sauce packet:  2/3 cup powdered milk
-1 tablespoon corn starch
-1 teaspoon of each: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder,  Sugar, Paprika

Fresh Ingredients for cooking day:

1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
3 cups hot water
1 cup shredded cheese

What to do: Brown ground beef in large skillet, drain grease, add hot water, pasta and contents of sauce packet.  Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low about 12 minutes stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender. During last few minutes of cooking, stir in the cheese; cover and cook final few minutes till cheese is melted.  Turn off heat and uncover. Let skillet dinner sit for about 5 minutes. This will allow sauce to thicken a bit.

HOLY COW how easy is that?! It was pretty nomnom and Money Saving Too!

Check out The Tip Garden for more pantry “hamburger” helper items.


Q: Can I use regular milk instead of powdered? A: Yes; The first time I made this I use regular milk. I followed the ratio for milk the 2/3 of a cup of powdered milk would make. (1 & 1/2 cups of milk) So I added 1 & 1/2 cups of milk and 1 & 1/2 cups of water.

Q: How can I make this healthier? A: Use whole wheat noodles, ground turkey or chicken, reduce fat sharp cheddar cheese, and reduce fat milk or non-fat powdered milk. It’s not too shabby! If you’re like me and LOVE veggies add some onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and more.

Easy to make, easy to store, and quit worrying about “What’s for dinner?”


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