HOMEMADE HAMBURGER HELPER
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Hamburger helper is a popular boxed pasta in the United States. Think cheeseburger meets macaroni cheese! Here’s an easy homemade version.

Homemade hamburger helper with cheese and gherkins.

This meal is made quickly in just one pot, and is the perfect kid-friendly comfort food.

There are plenty of veggies hidden within the dish, so I’ve skipped the side salad. Grab a generous bowl-full, put your feet up and enjoy!

You could, of course, add some salad if you prefer. Steamed or roasted broccoli would work well too.

If cheeseburger mash ups appeal to you, this cheeseburger pizza is worth a try too!

 

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Homemade hamburger helper with cheese and gherkins.

HOMEMADE HAMBURGER HELPER

Keyword: BEEF, MAIN MEALS
Difficulty: Easy
Ready In: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Hamburger helper is a popular boxed pasta in the US. Think cheeseburger meets macaroni cheese. This homemade version is made quickly in just one pot, and is the perfect kid-friendly comfort food.

QUICK PRINT

Ingredients

HAMBURGER HELPER

  • 5 gherkins, divided
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 300 g prime beef mince (10.6oz)
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 400 g can crushed and sieved tomatoes (14oz)
  • 2 beef stock cubes dissolved in 2 1/4 cups boiling water (560ml)
  • 1 cup milk (250ml)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 400 g can brown lentils (14oz)
  • 250 g dried macaroni (8.8oz)
  • 1 2/3 cups grated Colby or cheddar cheese (167g)

Instructions

  1. PREPARE INGREDIENTS

    Finely dice gherkins. Set aside one third for topping the pasta with. Finely dice carrots, celery and onion. Crush garlic.

  2. Heat oil in a large non-stick pot on medium-high. Add gherkins (not the ones set aside), carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies have softened, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add mince and cook, breaking up, until browned all over. Stir in paprika, oregano, cumin, garlic powder and tomato paste. Cook for 30 seconds. Add canned tomatoes, beef stock mixture, milk, Worcestershire sauce and sugar. Drain and rinse lentils, then add these too.

  4. Bring mixture to a simmer, then stir in macaroni, place a lid on and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until macaroni is cooked. You can add a little extra water if the sauce thickens too much.

  5. Stir in 1 1/3 cups of the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  6. SERVE

    Divide hamburger helper between warmed serving bowls. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with gherkins set aside in step 1. Chopped Italian parsley also makes a nice garnish, if you have some on hand.

Recipe Notes

WINE MATCH: A fruity Pinot Noir.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Use gluten-free stock cubes and make sure you choose gluten-free Worcestershire sauce. Substitute macaroni for a small gluten-free pasta (monitor closely while cooking, as gluten-free pasta can become mushy easily).
INGREDIENT SWAPS / NOTES: Feel free to omit the gherkins if you don’t like them. You can skip the lentils and increase the mince to 550g / 1lb 3oz instead. Either steamed broccoli or a green salad make a nice addition, if you wanted to add some greens on the side.
STORING AND REHEATING: Store individual portions in containers in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.

 

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