Homemade Hamburger Helper

Easy Homemade Hamburger helper is ready in 35 minutes. This copycat version is so good and can still be made in one skillet!

For any of you hamburger helper kids out there, this is for you. The homemade version is so so so much better than the boxed kind. It starts put pretty much the same. You brown lean ground beef in a large skillet with onion and garlic. Then you add milk, hot water, and pasta to the skillet.

Here is where the recipe changes and all the flavor is added. You add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and salt. This will make it taste just like a big juicy burger.

Bring everything to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then cover and cook for 10 minutes. Once the pasta is done add in cheese to make this a creamy cheesy pasta dream.

Homemade Hamburger Helper in a skillet with a wooden spoon

Do you have questions?

Is Homemade Hamburger Helper healthier?

The homemade and box version has a similar about of protein and carbs. The homemade version has slightly more fat ( since you are working with real cheese). But all the ingredients you are using are fresh and there are no preservatives.

What do I serve with Hamburger Helper?

A quick side salad or steamed broccoli and carrots would make a great side for Hamburger Helper. It would also balance out the meal.

Do I need to drain my ground beef?

If you use lean ground beef (ground beef with 8% or less fat) you do not need to drain the beef. Most of the liquid will cook off and there won’t be any fat for you to drain.

Watch how it’s made…

I hope you love this Homemade Hamburger Helper recipe! If you make it leave a comment! You can also share a photo on Instagram and tag #meganvskitchen. Enjoy!

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Homemade Hamburger Helper in a skillet with a wooden spoon

Homemade Hamburger Helper

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x


Easy Homemade Hamburger helper is ready in 35 minutes. This copycat version is so much better than the boxed version you had as a kid, and is still a one-skillet meal!


Units Scale
  • 1 lb lean ground beef, 95%
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely minced, about 1 cup
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 cups milk, any kind
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch mixed with one tablespoon of water to make a slurry
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste, about 4oz
  • 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard
  • 12 oz Macaroni, about 2 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese


  1. Cook ground meat, minced onion, and garlic in large skillet over medium-high until the meat has browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Mix in hot water, milk, corn starch slurry, salt, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and macaroni. Bring it to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Stir the pasta every few minutes to prevent pasta from sticking (this is super important).
  3. Uncover and mix in cheese cook for an additional 1 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce gets to your desired consistency.


  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 440
  • Fat: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Protein: 29g

Keywords: Hamburger Helper, Cheeseburger Helper, One Skillet, Pasta

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