The Experiments Week 11: Homemade (AKA CLEAN & Preservative Free) Hamburger Helper

Homemade AKA Clean and Preservative Free Hamburger Helper

Homemade AKA Cleaner & Preservative Free "Hamburger Helper"
Homemade AKA Cleaner & Preservative Free “Hamburger Helper”

Let’s face it, we all have those nights that a boxed dinner sounds way too good because it is SO easy,  but we are wiser now and know that it is full of “stuff” we know we should not eat.  I will also admit, my kids LOVE that boxed junk.  I have found a super simple make it myself version that stands up the boxed “hamburger helper” test.  It is super easy to pull the few ingredients out of the pantry, but if you prefer the ready to go version, consider adding the dry ingredients to a mason jar.  I even put the directions on a label in case someone other than me is doing the cooking.


  • 1 pound ground beef (organic grass fed is my preference)
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat or quinoa pasta
  • 2 cups milk of your choice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp onion salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 to 1 cup (if you desire a topping) sharp cheddar cheese (cubed or shredded)
  • Salt and/or Pepper to Taste
  • Additional Melted to Cheese if desired (Topping)


  1. Brown beef in a large skillet (large enough to fit all the above ingredients) and drain.
  2. Add the add pasta, spices, flour, and cheese. 
  3. Next, stir in the milk and water and carefully mix.
  4. Return the skillet to the  burner over medium-high heat.
  5. Bring to a boil (stir consistently) and then reduce the heat to simmer.
  6. Put a lid over the skillet and let simmer until the pasta is cooked (about 10-15 minutes). Be sure to stir frequently.

This makes the equivalent of one box of the regular Hamburger Helper–serves about 4.  My mason jar hold 1 1/2 the above recipe to feed my 5 plus a little leftover:)

The sharp cheese is key as it adds the most flavor.  Some may like to add a layer of cheese to slowly melt on the top of the dish.


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