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Hamburger Helper

Updated: Apr 1

So, I was tinkering in the kitchen the other day, thinking about those hamburger helper meals from back in the day. You know, the ones that were a staple during those hectic weeknights? I got nostalgic and decided to whip up my own version, ditching the box but keeping all that comforting, hearty goodness.

I threw in some real spices, fresh beef, and good old macaroni, then simmered it all in a mix of tomato puree and beef broth. To finish, a generous sprinkle of cheese melted into the sauce, because, let's face it, cheese makes everything better.

I gotta say, making it from scratch is a game-changer. It's not just about avoiding the processed stuff; it's about getting that deep, homemade flavor that you just can't replicate with a powder. And the best part? It's still as easy and straightforward as the boxed stuff.

Just a bit of chopping, sautéing, and simmering, and you've got a pot of something really special. It's like the grown-up version of the childhood classic, perfect for when you're craving something hearty but don't want to spend hours in the kitchen.

Why not give it a whirl next time you're in the mood for a throwback with a twist? It's a cozy, satisfying dish that doesn't need to be fancy to be good. Plus, it's a great way to show that with a few fresh ingredients and a little love, you can turn even the simplest meals into something to get excited about.

Trust me, your taste buds (and your nostalgia) will thank you.



(Serve 4)

  • Ground Beef, 250g

  • Cornstarch, 1/2 TBSP

  • Chili Powder, 1/2 TBSP

  • Onion Powder, 1 TSP

  • Garlic Powder, 1 TSP

  • Smoked Paprika, 1/2 TBSP

  • Cayenne, Pinch

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Black Pepper, Pinch

  • Mushroom Powder, Pinch

  • Grapeseed / Sunflower / Canola / Peanut Oil, 2 TBSP

  • Red Onion Finely Minced, 1

  • Garlic Finely Minced, 3 Cloves

  • Red Wine, To Deglaze

  • Tomato Puree, 2 TBSP

  • Beef Broth, 1/2 Cup + More

  • Whole Milk, 1 Cup

  • Macaroni, 200g

  • Red Cheddar Cheese Chopped or Grated, 1/4 Cup

  • Cheddar Cheese Chopped or Grated, 1/4 Cup

  • Worcestershire Sauce, 1 TBSP

  • Parsley Finely Chopped, A Handful

  • Scallions Coarsely Sliced, A Handful



  • Cast Iron Skillet / Pan



  1. In a large bowl, combine beef, cornstarch, chili, onion, garlic, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper and mushroom powder.

  2. Set it aside until ready to use.

  3. In a skillet over medium heat, add oil.

  4. Once the oil is heated up, add onion.

  5. Season with salt and pepper.

  6. Saute until lightly caramelized.

  7. Add in garlic and saute until aromatic.

  8. Followed by the ground beef mixture.

  9. Break the ground beef into smaller pieces with a spatula and saute until browned.

  10. Deglaze with a splash of red wine.

  11. Add in tomato paste and saute until lightly caramelized.

  12. Next, add beef broth, milk and macaroni.

  13. Stir to combine well.

  14. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 12 to 15 mins or until the macaroni is al dente.

  15. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Add in more beef broth if necessary, 1/2 cup at a time.

  16. Add in the cheese and mix until the cheese has melted.

  17. Lastly, add in Worcestershire sauce and parsley.

  18. Stir to combine well.

  19. Taste and adjust for seasonings with salt and pepper.

  20. Remove from heat and garnish with some scallions.

  21. Serve immediately.

All that ooey gooey goodness...



Recipe Video:

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