Homemade hamburger helper is a family favorite but you can make a cheaper, healthier, and way tastier version at home, ready in just 30 minutes.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 + 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup beef broth or water
- 2 cups elbow macaroni pasta, uncooked
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- fresh parsley, chopped (optional, for serving)
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is sizzling hot, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Break up beef into small pieces to help even browning.
- Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and mix until well incorporated and season with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Add milk, beef broth, and uncooked macaroni. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover the lid and simmer over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is tender. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted and well combined. Sprinkle parsley on top and serve immediately.
How to store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
How to reheat: Reheat leftover hamburger helper over the stove on medium-low heat until warmed through. Add a splash of water if the sauce has thickened up too much in the fridge. You can also reheat in a covered microwave-safe dish on medium heat until warmed through, about 1-3 minutes.
How to freeze: This homemade hamburger helper freezes well too. Once cooled to room temperature, store any leftovers in a freezer-safe airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: homemade hamburger helper, mac and cheese with ground beef, beef mac and cheese, hamburger helper