Want to make hamburger helper recipes from scratch?
Here’s a list of 13 homemade hamburger helper recipes to try.
Before we tackle the homemade hamburger helper recipes that I feel are worthy of your time, let’s first learn more about what it is.
Many of you may or may not remember the use of Hamburger Helper growing up, but it was a popular item when it was first released.
Originally introduced to the public in the early 70s, it helped address the meat shortage and high meat prices in those days.
How did it help?
Each box of this product helped stretch a pound of ground beef, allowing it to feed more than just a couple of people.
Initially, the flavors that were available included beef noodles, potato stroganoff, chili tomato, rice oriental, and hash.
Over the years, the company that produced this item added more and more flavors to the lineup.
Currently, there are around 65 flavors of this boxed meal kit that can be purchased at your favorite grocery or online.
While this boxed mix may be okay for some people, for others, it doesn’t have the kind of flavor that could satisfy their discerning palate.
This is where homemade hamburger helper recipes come in.
These recipes copy the original concept of the variants offered by its manufacturer, and take it one step further with more spices and flavors.
Some recipes I’m sure you’ll love in this list include Beef Stroganoff and Four Cheese Lasagna.
Also worth trying is #13, which is a version that vegetarians and vegans are sure to enjoy.
Let’s start off this list with a steady favorite!
This cheeseburger mac and cheese dish still uses the requisite pound of ground beef in it.
It also has the general flavor of the original, but amped up with real cheeses (not dry cheese powders) and extra spices.
If you like your cheeseburger mac on the spicy side, a dash of hot sauce or sprinkling of cayenne powder on top should do the trick.
Another fast favorite from this line of meal kits is this variant that combines egg noodles, mushrooms, and a flavorfully creamy sauce in a one-pot meal.
This recipe uses egg noodles, which is what stroganoff generally uses, but you can use other pasta for this if you want.
Some great substitutes include fettuccine, farfalle, ziti, and rotini.
If you want to add more meaty goodness and flavor to this dish, you can try using filled pastas, like tortellini or ravioli.
Here’s a one-pot pasta dish inspired by this meal kit that you can make for dinner!
This lasagna recipe uses Mafalda pasta, which looks like miniature lasagna sheets.
If you can’t find this pasta, however, broken lasagna sheets will work just fine.
This particular recipe suggests that you use two (or three) types of cheeses, but don’t let that stop you from staying true to the name and using four cheeses.
Listed in the recipe are four types of cheeses anyway (cheddar, parmesan, Monterey jack, and mozzarella), so why not go ahead and use all four.
4. Crunchy Taco
Also one of the top choices when it comes to Hamburger Helper flavors is this Mexican-inspired variant.
This one, however, uses rice instead of pasta.
It also uses ready-made taco seasoning, but if you don’t have one at home, you can make this from scratch.
Simply combine 1 teaspoon each of salt plus chili, paprika, black pepper, and cumin powder, then add in a fourth of a teaspoon each of cayenne, garlic, onion, and oregano powder.
The crunch in this dish comes from the toppings, since you add crushed tortilla chips on top, together with salsa and avocado slices.
5. Chili Mac
What do you get when you marry your favorite mac and cheese with your favorite chili recipe?
You get this dish that’s beefy, hearty, and oh-so-easy to make!
As with the taco variant of this dish, you will need a ready-made seasoning mix.
To make the chili seasoning mix from scratch, just mix in a bowl one teaspoon each of salt, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano powder, then add in one tablespoon of chili powder plus half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
Most chilis are rather saucy, but this one isn’t, so for a more saucy dish, simply add a little more water to the recipe.
If you have an Instant Pot, love enchiladas, and want a speedy Mexican dish for lunch or dinner, this is it!
Much like the crunchy taco recipe, this dish uses taco seasoning, so you can utilize the same mix for this one.
This recipe serves 8, so you can store any leftovers for a quick meal within three days of cooking.
Philly cheesesteak in pasta form?
This recipe takes the popular sandwich and turns it into a filling, easy-to-make meal that you can serve to a family of 6.
It has the usual great flavors you can find in the sandwich, including the caramelized onions.
If you miss the bread element of the sandwich, you can always serve this with rolls or toasted slices of crusty bread.
Another pasta recipe that Hamburger Helper turned into a quick meal is this herby and tomato-ey dish.
To get the Italian flavor that this dish is known for, you’ll need some Italian seasoning.
If you don’t have ready-made options of this spice mix, you can always mix your own.
Combine a teaspoon of dried thyme, marjoram, and oregano with half a teaspoon of dried basil, sage, and rosemary.
This recipe serves four and can be cooked in as little as 30 minutes.
Here’s the spaghetti version of this popular Hamburger Helper product.
While this dish uses spaghetti, you can always use fettuccini (or any other pasta you wish) in your dish.
Follow the cooking times according to the package instructions for your pasta of choice.
Also worth noting is this is a one-pot meal, so you don’t have to pre-boil your pasta before adding it to the sauce.
If you can translate a sandwich into a pasta dish, why not pizza, right?
This is a take on the Supreme Cheese Pizza flavor of this boxed meal kit, which has the flavors of your favorite pepperoni pizza.
This version is infinitely better than its boxed counterpart because it has real pepperoni slices in it, as opposed to the pepperoni powder that the former uses.
You can also add other ingredients to it, like you would when you tweak your own pepperoni pizzas, such as bell pepper, onions, and different kinds of cheeses.
11. Sloppy Joe
One flavor that kids love when it comes to Hamburger Helper is this meaty, slightly messy, and cheesy dish.
While this is a pasta recipe, don’t let that stop you from recreating the customary sandwich version of this meal.
Just load up a hamburger bun with a serving of this dish and you have a super filling plate of food for lunch or dinner.
You can also serve the bun on the side or enjoy this as is.
This recipe is a low carb take on the chicken cheddar broccoli flavor of this meal kit.
Instead of pasta, this dish uses cauliflower rice in its place.
And instead of just using cheddar, this recipe also calls for different kinds of cheeses to amp up the cheesiness of this dish.
If you would rather go the pasta route, however, you can always substitute the cauliflower rice with your favorite pasta.
Choose large pasta options like penne, ziti, or rotini so you have equally sized pieces that go well with your broccoli cuts.
If you miss the flavors of your childhood but have turned vegan, who says you can’t recreate the taste you love in vegan form?
You can still think back to those times when you enjoyed these boxed meal kits by following this recipe.
Without adding any meat and dairy to your dish, this copycat Hamburger Helper uses meat substitutes and plant-based milk in it.
The cheese sauce is also vegan and uses nutritional yeast plus other ingredients to get the creamy and yummy flavor of regular cheese.
The bottom line
This list of homemade hamburger helper recipes will surely take you back to those times when you enjoyed the quick and easy dinners of your youth.
Of course, these versions are made without the additives and powdered flavorings that their boxed counterparts use.
So, if you’re craving the flavors of your favorite Hamburger Helper but don’t want to use the boxed ones for your meal, give these copycat recipes a try.
You’ll find that not only do these have a touch of nostalgia added to them with each bite, but you also have infinitely better versions of the original on your plate.
- Cheeseburger Macaroni
- Beef Stroganoff
- Four Cheese Lasagna
- Crunchy Taco
- Chili Mac
- Cheesy Enchilada
- Philly Cheesesteak
- Tomato Basil Penne
- Fettuccini Alfredo
- Supreme Cheese Pizza
- Sloppy Joe
- Broccoli Cauliflower Rice Chicken Casserole
- Vegan Hamburger Helper
- Pick one or more options from our list of Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipes here!
- Start creating your new favorite dish.
- Share and comment! Did you make any changes to make it even better?