Now you can make this childhood comfort food from scratch! This HomemadeHamburger Helper Recipe has all the flavor and the creaminess that you love in this easy skillet dish.
When I was a kid, I absolutely loved Hamburger Helper. In fact, it was one of my favorites up to my mid to late twenties. There would not be a time when I would go to the grocery store and not buy a few boxes of this dish and eat it, at least, once a week. That’s how nuts I was about this dish. Maybe it was tapping into the childhood memories for me so eating it was a bit nostalgic. Whatever the reason, it was something I enjoyed.
What’s in this Homemade Hamburger Helper recipe?
There are several recipes out there that I have seen for this dish. I’ve tried a few on my own and, although there are a few that have come close, this recipe gets it close to me. I started off by making a roux-base mixture and added all types of seasonings and cheese to the sauce. I added some cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and onion and garlic powder to bring out that classic flavor. The true winner when it comes to flavor is the cumin. That seasoning brings it home for me. Along with the flavors added to the sauce, the creamy cheesy sauce is the comfort realm in this dish. It’s easy and it’s the same sauce started I used in my Baked Macaroni and Cheese.
- 2 lb. ground beef
- 2 tbsp. Olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 11 oz. Shells Pasta (1 ½ boxes of shell pasta)
- 3 tbsp. Butter
- 3 tbsp. Flour
- 4 c. whole milk
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 2 ½ c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 tsp. Cumin
- 2 tsp. Chili powder
- 1 tsp. Smoked paprika
- 1 ½ tsp. onion powder
- 1 ½ tsp. Garlic powder
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ½ tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- In a large shallow pan, turn to medium heat and add the olive oil. Once heated, add the onion and cook for five minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for about three minutes and then add the ground beef and cook until browned Season with salt and pepper to taste. While cooking, be sure to break up the ground beef to medium size crumbles. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Drain the excess fat.
- While the beef is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain water and add to the ground beef. Fold ingredients together.
- Using the same pot on medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour until clumpy. Slowly add the milk and whisk until smooth. Allow to come to steam and the milk will continue to thicken. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Add the sharp cheddar cheese and stir until dissolved, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the seasonings, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, onion and garlic powder, and pepper to the cheese mixture and stir. Carefully pour into the ground beef mixture and fold. Add the Worcestershire and stir. Cover with lid and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes and serve.