This recipe is one that pretty much saved us when we were trying to get out of debt. We needed hearty meals since my husband worked outside all day, and we had a growing boy who wanted to eat just about everything.
After grabbing a bunch of hamburger helper for free with coupons, I decided to look at the ingredients. I ended up giving it all away. I just could feed that to my husband and my child. But, I missed having hamburger helper. So, our of ingenuity, I created homemade hamburger helper. We realized that the homemade version was so much better than the store-bought version.
We still add this tried-and-true meal to our meal plan a few times a month, and most definitely when we are in the middle of a no-spend challenge. I hope you enjoy this homemade hamburger helper recipe!
Homemade Hamburger Helper
1 pound ground beef
Half pound of cooked macaroni or 2 cups of cooked rice (use brown for healthy version)
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon of dried herbs (thyme, basil or oregano are best)
2 cups water (if cooking pasta, use pasta water)
2 cups chopped carrots (optional)
1 cup green peas (optional)
Brown meat in a large skillet over medium high heat until cooked through.
Once cooked, do not drain liquid. Add salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Mix well. Sprinkle flour all over the meat and thoroughly combine.
Slowly pour some of the water in and mix until it makes a gravy-like sauce. Keep adding using this method until 3/4ths of the water is in the skillet.
Add vegetables and let them cook (or warm up if already cooked). Add the cooked pasta (or rice). Once it’s added, you can determine if you need more water or not. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.
Want a make those “flavored” helpers?
Stroganoff helper: Add 1/4th cup sour cream after browning the meat. Then add the pasta or rice along with 1/4 cup warm water. Stir well. NOTE: if using pasta, use the pasta water.
Cheesy helper: Add half cup shredded cheddar cheese after browning the meat. Then add the pasta or rice along with 1/4 cup warm water. Stir Well. NOTE: if using pasta, use the pasta water.
Want to use ground turkey instead of beef?
Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the meat when browning. Perform the rest of the instructions as noted.