Homemade Hamburger Helper

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This homemade hamburger helper 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.

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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 helper2

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.

homemade hamburger helper3

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.

Homemade hamburger helper

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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  1. 2.19.08
    Fibo said:

    NICE Blog 🙂

  2. 2.20.08
    Ms. A said:

    I am going to have to try this, as TBG does get “chickened-out!”

    He’s asked for a chicken dinner break this week…but I bet you could make this recipe with ground chicken or turkey too…

  3. 2.21.08
    Lisa said:

    lol, I just posted on gc last night asking AJ where the recipe was for this. I come here this am and here it is!

    Thanks, you know I will be trying it.

  4. 8.17.15
    Britney said:

    I found your blog through the Quirky Brown Love list and I must say I’m glad I did!Anyways! This looks really good! I’ll most definitely have to add this to my family’s dinner list, minus the peas! 🙂 Have a great week!

  5. 5.22.18
    Barbara G said:

    This recipe looks and sounds delicious. I will definitely be using it. Here’s a hint to help keep produce fresher longer. I buy green bags, I can’t remember brand name right now. But they’re called. Mrs ____ green bags. Remove produce from store packages and put them into the green bags and it’s amazing how much loner it lasts. I’ll look up the name and add it. They are also reusable which saves even more money. Hope this helps someone.

  6. 3.21.20
    Amie said:

    I’ve used a version from a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook binder. One of those that has the basics of everything. It has a chili mac w chili powder, tom sauce, and bell peppers. I’m going to checkout yoyrs also. My kids hates peas(sugar snap are hit or miss w her). But, she loves bell peppers. I’m thinking some corn and green beans would go great too.

    • 3.22.20
      Amiyrah said:

      Yummy! Thanks for giving our version a try!