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Homemade Hamburger Helper

Years ago, before we gave up processed foods, Betty Crocker’s Hamburger Helper® was one of my “go-to” meals. It was inexpensive and quick (two of my favorite things!) and pretty much everyone liked it.

Since then, I’ve made many failed attempts at recreating that taste and texture. But I finally hit pay dirt a couple of months ago! And, best of all, the homemade creation actually leaves the taste of the boxed version in the dust.

It may not be as quick as dumping the packet full of pre-mixed spices into the pot, but it’s pretty dang close!

Easy Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper


1 lb or so of ground beef

2 cups of milk

2 cups of hot water

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

1 Tbsp flour

*1 tsp sugar

*2 tsp garlic powder

*1 tsp salt

*½ tsp pepper

*1 Tbsp chili powder

2 cups shredded cheese of your preference (cheddar or fiesta blend seem to work best)

*All spices/seasonings measurements are approximate. Sorry, I don’t measure those…just shake, stir, taste, and adjust. I’ve tried keeping track of each teaspoon and tablespoon and I mess it up every.single.time.


In a large skillet, brown meat and drain off excess fat. Return meat to pan.

Add milk, hot water, macaroni noodles, flour, sugar, and seasoning/spices. Stir to combine and bring to a slight boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until noodles are done, stirring occasionally (about 8-10 minutes).

Stir in cheese and serve.

Notes & variations:

I used whole milk. If you’re using skim milk, you may want to increase the milk by ½ cup and decrease the water by ½ cup.

Ground venison (what I use) or turkey would work just as well as beef.

Whole wheat macaroni can be used.

Add a bit of water if the liquid is cooking out before your noodles are done.

Feel free to experiment with other seasonings, such as onion powder, cayenne pepper, and/or paprika.


Shared with: The Modest Mom, The Art of Homemaking, Cornerstone Confessions, Back to Basic Health, A Little R & R, Raising Homemakers, Serving Joyfully, Saving 4 Six, Happy and Blessed Home, Mamas Blog Central, Bacon Time with Hungry Hypo, Gator Mommy Reviews, Sincerely Paula, Ladybug Blessings, So Much at Home, Golden Reflections Blog,  What Joy is Mine, 3 GLOL, Faith Along the Way, Mom’s the Word, Hip Homeschool Moms, Darling Downs Diaries, Mom’s the Word, The Princess and Her Cowboys, 3 Kids and aFish, and Creative K Kids

This post was featured here:

 Cornerstone Confessions


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Candy is a southern girl who enjoys the simple things in life. Dirt road drivin’, Sunday afternoon nappin’, back yard swingin’, and sunset watchin’ are a few of the things that make her smile. She’s been married to her best friend and the love of her life for almost 25 years and is navigating motherhood with her 4 children, aged 23, 19, 14, & 11. Homeschooling for over 18 years now, she is also a bit of a word-nerd (ok, maybe more than a “bit” – she actually considers making lists of homophones to be entertaining), a lover of books and chocolate, a survivor of cancer, an author, and a hula hoop maker.

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5 Responses to Homemade Hamburger Helper

  1. Terri Presser January 31, 2015 at 10:45 pm #

    This sounds really nice and yummy. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. You sound like you cook like me, just add, shake, stir and taste. I don’t often use measurements, I think things taste better that way. Blessings

  2. JES July 10, 2014 at 6:11 am #

    Love all these recipes that take us away from those artificial prepackaged foods, thank you for your recreated recipe! It looks very tasty! Please join us again Candy on the Art of Home-Making Mondays 🙂

  3. Sherry July 8, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    Oh I would love to try this! Years ago My Cowboy liked it too. I remember cooking it for the family. I wasn’t so creative in my experimentation back then and needed a little help. Now it’s just us and I am a little more educated. I don’t like the box stuff for different reasons. I am glad you shared this.
    We cook mostly with venison until we run out! I came by from Jes’s linky. I linked too!
    I am following you now. I enjoyed visiting.

    • Candy July 9, 2014 at 8:20 am #

      So glad you stopped by, Sherry! I couldn’t cook a lick when we got married (except for chocolate chip cookies, spaghetti, and kool-aid!). 25 years of practice has paid off though and now I experiment all the time. My kids can hold their own in the kitchen as well. 🙂 Looking forward to “seeing” you again soon.

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