As the third-trimester winds down, and we get closer and closer to the due date – I’m getting tireder and tireder of just about everything, cooking included. So, a go-to easy meal like this one is a lifesaver on those nights when I’m just exhausted.
I’ve always secretly loved a bowl of Hamburger Helper, but hated the fact that I couldn’t pronounce half of the things on the ingredients label. Not to mention the astronomical sodium content…and, the fact that you feel like you have a lead pellet sitting in your stomach for hours afterwards. I knew I could do better at home!
So I set out to make a homemade version, and I tried a few before I finally settled on one that I really loved. It takes the same amount of time to bring together as the box you buy in the store, and is about a million times better – both on the health front as well as taste. Ingredients like basic spices in your pantry, milk, pasta, and lots of freshly shredded cheddar cheese are the only things on my ingredient list.
You could easily pre-mix a few batches of the spices and pasta together and store them in a resealable bag to have them ready to go – making this dinner even quicker and easier. It always feels great to kick yet another boxed processed mix to the curb!
Homemade Hamburger Helper
1 pound ground beef (I like 90/10)
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups elbow macaroni (or whatever pasta type you like)
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
For the spice mix:
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the spice mix. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef. Drain any rendered fat. Add hot water, milk, pasta and spice mix. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.
Remove cover and add the shredded cheese, stirring to combine until melted. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary before serving.