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Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper - cheesy, beefy, quick and easy comfort food that is ready in just 30 minutes. This homemade version tastes just way better than the boxed ones. A one-pot meal that the whole family would approve!
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 573kcal
Author Imma


  • 1 pound (453.59g) ground beef 
  • 1 tablespoon (14ml) oil 
  • 1 medium onion , finely chopped 
  • 3 tablespoons (30g) all-purpose flour  
  • 2 teaspoons (1.6g) minced thyme  
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) minced garlic  
  • 3 tablespoons (48g) tomato paste 
  • 2 teaspoons (4g) paprika 
  • ½ teaspoon (1.36g) chili powder 
  • 2 ½ cup (625ml) beef broth or water  
  • 2 cups (480ml) whole milk 
  • 2 cups (200g) dried elbow macaroni pasta 
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste  
  • ½ cup (50g) grated cheese (strictly optional) 


  • Heat oil a large skillet or cast iron over medium high heat. Once heated add ground beef, breaking it up and stirring for about a minute or so.  
  • Next, add onions and continue cooking for about 3-5 minutes, or until onions are soft.   
  • Add flour, thyme, garlic, tomato paste, paprika, and chili powder over browned meat and stir well to fully incorporate all the spices; cook for about 1-2 minutes.   
  • Pour beef broth or water, milk, pasta, salt and pepper. 
  •  Bring to a boil.  Cover with a lid, reduce heat and simmer for about 8-11 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the pasta is al dente or to desired doneness.  It might take more or less minutes, depending on the pasta use. 
  • Remove from the heat, sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese, if desired. Sauce will thicken as it cools down. 
  •  Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, if desired, then serve. 


  1. When using grated cheese, make sure to use freshly grated cheese for better results.
  2. Feel free to add a bit more of water - starting with 1/4 cup - if you think your skillet is running out of liquid with still a lot of cooking time left.
  3. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Calories: 573kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 380mg | Potassium: 635mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 663IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 3mg