Cheeseburger Macaroni {Homemade Hamburger Helper}

I make a homemade version of Hamburger Helper.  It is delicious (at least if you like the boxed version).  The best part is that every member of my family likes it.  They didn't even notice when I switched to whole wheat pasta in this recipe.  (Now I also use whole wheat elbows in my homemade macaroni and cheese, too.)

I can't take credit for this recipe.  I first saw it at Chickens in the Road...years ago.  She has other homemade recipes for Hamburger Helper, too.  This is our go-to.  Why fuss with perfection?  (Or maybe I just don't want to hear the children fuss!)  

If you want to make this just as easy as a box of Hamburger Helper, measure out and bag several seasoning packets in advance, along with the elbows for your pantry.  However, I find that this recipe is so easy, I don't feel like it's much work to just throw it together as I am making it.  I do like to measure two seasoning packets at a time though...because it is just a few ingredients.
Cheeseburger Macaroni
(Homemade Hamburger Helper)
1 pound ground beef
1 cup hot water
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup elbows 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
Seasoning Mixture
1 T cornstarch
2 t paprika
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1 t salt 
1 t sugar

Brown ground beef.  Drain and rinse the ground beef.  Return beef to skillet.  Add hot water, milk, elbows, and the seasoning mixture.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Lower temperature and cover.  Simmer on low for 9 minutes.  Stir in one cup of cheese.  Cover and cook 3-4 more minutes.  Pasta should be tender.  Remove from heat and uncover.  Let sit for five minutes before serving.

~ You can brown a small, chopped onion with the ground beef.  I do this when I think of it, but do not include it each time.
~ Try whole wheat pasta if you never have before!  With all the flavoring of this recipe, the change in color and flavor will not be noticed.
~ Adjust the seasonings to your own taste preference.  
~ Add more cheese, if desired.

Do you have a favorite boxed item that you now make from scratch?  I'd love to hear about it!

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}


  1. Oh oh. I LOVE this dish but can't make myself buy the boxed mix.HOMEMADE!? I can do that! OH it looks delicious. We are so eating this next week! (I've already done the shopping for this week.)

  2. I just made this for my nephews lunch it came out amazing def making it again


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