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Healthier Homemade One Pot Hamburger Helper. Swapping the boxed stuff out and making everyone’s childhood dinner completely homemade, and healthier too. Plus so much tastier! Think of this hamburger helper as the tastier, creamier version of what you’d eat as a kid. It’s made with ground beef, seasonings, pasta, and a little shredded zucchini too (for added veggies). Comfort food at its best, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite.

Healthier Homemade One Pot Hamburger Helper | halfbakeharvest.com

I didn’t grow up eating hamburger helper, neither did my brothers. But for whatever reason, this has been a recipe I wanted to try and recreate for a while now. Ever since my older brother mentioned the idea to me a year or so ago it’s been on my “to make” list.

Not going to lie, it’s obviously not my usual kind of recipe, as I tend to sway towards recipes with a bit more color. But something about recreating this in a healthier, tastier, way really excited me.

So while it may have taken me over a year to finally test this out and share, the day is here. And I’m excited because this really is that perfect early fall, September dinner.

Healthier Homemade One Pot Hamburger Helper | halfbakeharvest.com

The idea

So as I said, my brother had mentioned creating a recipe for homemade (not boxed) hamburger helper. He said that if I could make it like the boxed stuff, but with a creamier texture, and a little more depth of flavor, that it would be, “SO GOOD”.

I wasn’t excited at first, but then I started to think about the upgrades I could make. I wondered, “could I make it healthier, but still creamy? Could we add a little flavor, but still keep it classic? And could I make it all in one pot just like the box?”.

All of the challenges started to excite me, so I figured if I could get each one checked off, then I would have a great recipe!

Healthier Homemade One Pot Hamburger Helper | halfbakeharvest.com

This is a one pot dinner, so the details are simple

First of all, find yourself a nice big pot or braiser to cook this in. I love this one and think it’s the perfect size for this recipe.

Now, starting cooking! Simply add the beef and onion to your pot and brown it all over, add in some spices, and then the pasta. And next? The ingredient that adds a little health to the recipe…a bit of shredded zucchini.

I love adding shredded zucchini to pasta dishes like this. Not only does the zucchini incorporate a vegetable into the recipe, but it also adds moisture and creates an even creamier sauce.

Healthier Homemade One Pot Hamburger Helper | halfbakeharvest.com

Finish it up

Once the pasta and zucchini are both added, pour over the broth and milk. Add a squeeze of ketchup (sounds weird, but trust me), then cook everything together until that pasta is al dente.

It’s important to stir the pasta frequently to ensure that nothing is sticking. But other than that, everything is EASY.

The final step is to stir in a handful of cheddar cheese. Serve up the hamburger helper topped with fresh parsley (it needs a little color!) and enjoy!

As I always like to say – homemade is best!

Excited to have this recipe in my back pocket for cozy fall and winter dinners to come. And Creighton’s verdict? He loved every bite. He said, “how could someone not love this? It’s basically mac and cheese with meat…and it’s delicious”.

So there ya go! He doesn’t lie.

Healthier Homemade One Pot Hamburger Helper | halfbakeharvest.com

Looking for other easy family dinners? Here are a few ideas: 

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole

One Pan Autumn Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Easy Southern Style Baked Mac and Cheese

Pumpkin Cheese Stuffed Pasta Bolognese Bake

One Skillet Cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Orzo Bake

Lastly, if you make this Healthier Homemade One Pot Hamburger Helper, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Healthier Homemade One Pot Hamburger Helper

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 421 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. In a large pot set over medium hight heat, add the olive oil, onion and beef. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until brown all over, breaking up the meat as you go, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder, cook another minute.
    2. Add the pasta and zucchini and toss to coat, then pour in the broth and milk. Add the ketchup and stir to combine. Season with salt.
    3. Bring to a gentle boil over medium high heat. Simmer 5-8 minutes until the pasta is al dente, stirring often.
    4. Stir in the cheese and cook another few minutes until very creamy.
    5. Divide the pasta among bowls and top with fresh parsley. Enjoy!
Healthier Homemade One Pot Hamburger Helper | halfbakeharvest.com

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Recipe Rating




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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was quick and easy and tasted amazing! And I love that I could “hide” my veggies for the kids in this recipe 🙂

  2. 4 stars
    I didn’t grow up eating Hamburger Helper but wanted to try this version. I only used half an onion instead of whole. I liked it enough, but my boyfriend devoured it. No leftovers!

    1. Hi Kassi,
      I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    This was great! My husband, very picky almost 3-year-old, and 8 month old (tiny bites of course) all enjoyed it! LOVE the zucchini idea. Also very simple, which is a beautiful thing for me right now.

    1. Hey Claire,
      I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have a great week! xTieghan

    2. 5 stars
      I saved this one-pot wonder to make on a busy weeknight, and it was a lifesaver tonight. I followed the recipe exactly, and it was delicious and a hit with our picky kiddo as well. The hidden veggies are genius, and I love being able to control the sodium! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

  4. 3 stars
    I followed the directions and comments about more spice from others. The dish was still blah – the milk and cheese hid all the flavor. It was quick to fix though. Maybe a good dish for little ones.

    1. Hey Leah,
      Happy Friday!! Love to hear that you liked the recipe, thanks for giving it a try! Have a great weekend. xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    I do not like hamburger helper, but this was fantastic! I did as some others said and added some more milk and broth and a little more of the spices. My family devoured it!

    1. Hey Lauren,
      Happy Friday!! Love to hear that you liked the recipe, thanks for giving it a try! Have a great weekend. xTieghan

  6. Made this a second time last night and it was fantastic! Whole family loved it. This time, I grated the zucchini in advance and let it sit in the strainer with some salt, then squeezed out as much liquid as possible. That seemed to really help. I added broth several times as the pasta cooked.

    1. Hey Sara,
      Happy Friday!! Love to hear that you liked the recipe, thanks for giving it a try! Have a great weekend. xTieghan

  7. 4 stars
    This recipe is a keeper! I had the same issue with the pasta not cooking so I ended up doubling the liquid and spices (is this because I cooked with the top off?) Also, I used ground venison and it turned out delicious. Thanks for a great recipe.

  8. 2 stars
    While this recipe was very easy and quick to make, I wasn’t in love with it and found it to be very bland. Perhaps I am just not a lover of hamburger helper, but this recipe was not a keeper for my family as no one really loved it. There are so many other great recipes on your site though and I keep coming back to try them.

    1. My niece shared this recipe with me. A big hit with her family. Forty some years ago, we did eat hamburger helper in college! My palate and budget is much broader now. This is delicious and brings back great memories. I did add a little more chili powder, broth, milk and a large spoonful of sour cream (for a hamburger helper stroganoff effect). Great for a fall day! Love it! Thank you for sharing!!

  9. I am so happy I found this recipe! I don’t know if you watch Yellowstone, but on the season premier Beth makes Hamburger Helper. I’ve never had it so out of curiosity I googled it and your recipe was at the to of my search! I’m sure it will be delicious!

  10. 5 stars
    So good. So easy! 10/10 would recommend. I went a little heavier on the zucchini (and the cheese tbh) and it tasted heavenly!

    1. Hey Eryanne,
      Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Have the best day! xTieghan

  11. I make at least one of your recipes every week and coincidentally those are the meals my kids devour! This recipe is perfection and by far THE family favorite. Thanks for making me look like a celebrity chef in my house! 🙂

    1. Hey Jess,
      Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Have the best day! xTieghan

  12. 4 stars
    Made this for my family 3 days ago. Nice recipe. Doubled seasoning- as others were spot on about! Used much more broth as my pasta just never cooked. Tieghan, what pasta did you use when you made it?

    1. Hey Mary,
      I am thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe, thanks a lot for giving it a try. I used Dellalo Shellbows. I hope you have an amazing week! xTieghan

  13. 2 stars
    This recipe had me thinking I might have covid, because I couldn’t taste a thing.. I did have to add a lot more liquid, but didn’t think to add more spices because of that, so maybe that was it.

    1. Hey Victoria,
      So sorry you did not enjoy the recipe, thanks for giving it a try. Please let me know if I can help in anyway! xTieghan

        1. Hi Monica,
          Yes, chicken broth will also work well here! I hope you love the recipe. please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  14. 5 stars
    My boyfriend grew up eating hamburger helper & I would have it at after school programs, so we both have a bit of a soft spot for the original, but I don’t love the nutrition facts. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. Made this last night & it was so delish. The spices are spot on & it tastes like the original, but better! I did find that I needed to bump the spices up to taste & I only used half a box of pasta as there’s only the two of us. I added a little more milk and broth, and it was so creamy & delicious. Perfect easy comfort meal for a rainy November night. We both loved the zucchini in it, I had bought broccoli to throw in as well but I’m glad I left it out as it didn’t need it. Will definitely be making this one again. My boyfriend had thirds & requested I save the recipe…great success. Lol

  15. 5 stars
    Omg this is a perfect rendition of the box but better! I mostly halved the recipe (meat and pasta) but adjusted seasonings and liquid as needed. The zucchini was a fantastic (barely noticeable) addition and the whole thing was so delicious! An ideal cold weather comfort food that’s so quick and simple.

  16. 5 stars
    This definitely tastes like the real thing, only I feel less guilty eating it. The zucchini is such a nice addition because it is barely noticeable. I also had to double the amount of sauce and seasoning to cook the whole pound of pasta so next time I am just going to cut the pasta down to a half pound. I also had to double the cheese in the end to balance it all out.

  17. 5 stars
    I made this last weekend. It was unreal. So amazing! She hit all the flavors from childhood….but better. I give 5+ stars.

  18. 5 stars
    Hamburger Helper was the dish I used to make a lot with my dad after my parent’s divorce. This is a dead ringer for the boxed stuff! I found the liquid measurements to be perfect. I did double up the spices like a few other folks did. Thanks for a dish that is not only delicious for my amily, but nostalgic for me 🙂

  19. 5 stars
    Delish Recipe ! I put a little Italian spin on it…using tomato paste instead of ketchup & cavatelli pasta ~ no zucchini either . So easy and Yummy 🙂

  20. 3 stars
    I had to give this a 4 star rating simply because the noodles just didn’t want to cook for me. I ended up adding about an extra cup of broth AND milk and had to cover it (and therefore added extra seasonings, and needed more cheese too)! It ended up great, but I’m not usually good at tweaking recipes so the pressure was on when things weren’t cooking up quite as planned following the recipe.

  21. 3 stars
    It turned out so nice but I had to massively increase liquids to cook the pasta (and therefore spices). This made the process much lengthier. I think pre cooking the pasta would definitely work better?
    So good though!

    1. Hey Coralie, thanks so much for trying out this recipe and for the feedback as well! It’s always very helpful! xTieghan

  22. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! Reminiscent of my college days eating on a budget and hamburger helper was a favorite. I used Banza Chickpea shell pasta and turned out great! Love a meal the entire family can eat, will definitely make again!

  23. 5 stars
    This was an amazing, quick weeknight meal! My 2 yo loved it and we will be making again. Paired it with a salad to lighten things up a bit!

  24. I just made this and used 1lb of pasta like the recipe called for but it was way too much. Are you sure this shouldn’t be 1/2 lb? 1 lb is a whole box and watching your reel, it looked like you used a lot less. It was very dry. Otherwise it think this would have been a great recipe!

    1. Hey Jill, I’m so sorry about that! Is there anything you did differently in this recipe? Maybe it just needed a bit more liquid, I’m so sorry! xxTieghan

  25. 5 stars
    This is so good! I did increase the liquid a bit as it cooked off. I omitted zucchini because I forgot to buy some, and I used ground turkey because it was on sale. If I had used a lid on my pan, I may not have needed to add more liquid. Also, I doubled the spices. Overall it was really tasty and really easy to make! I only added a little American cheese at the end, and it tastes just like hamburger helper. Oh! And I had to substitute chicken broth for the beef. So, even though I made some alterations, it still came out perfect!

  26. 5 stars
    This has become a favorite recipe in our house! I double the spices and it is perfect. I love that my kids will eat it and have no idea that there is zucchini in there. So good!

  27. 4 stars
    Dish was delicious and added celery, peppers, extra onion, and kale – added more liquid since I was adding more veggies – shredded everything in the food processor (including cheese) – can you talk about how to store it and how long it lasts?

  28. 5 stars
    My family loved it! I did have to increase liquids quite a bit. I also doubled the seasonings because it was too plain with the amounts listed and I increased the cheese too.

    1. Hey Jamie! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for trying it out and Happy Halloween! xTieghan

  29. 5 stars
    This was sooo delicious & super easy! Great recipe for a quick middle of the week meal. I used Banza shells (made from Chickpeas) instead of regular pasta & you would never know! Will definitely make again! Thank You 🙂

  30. 4 stars
    Crowd pleaser! My 2 and 4 year old both gobbled up. I did have to almost double the broth/milk and did add 1 more zucchini- next time I may not drain the liquid of the grated zucchini for added liquid. You do have to stir quite frequently once you add the liquid so the pasta can cook in the lower amount of liquid.

  31. Tried this tonight and unfortunately mine did not come out creamy or saucey at all. I kept it on a gentle boil and by the time it cooked to al dente, all the liquid was gone. Not sure what I did wrong but bummer!

    1. Hey Valerie, I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t turn out the way you hoped! Is there anything you did differently? xTieghan

  32. 5 stars
    I was a little nervous to try because I’m lactose intolerant, but it turned out GREAT! I used unflavored & unsweetened almond milk and the soy delicious brand shredded cheese. Also used ground turkey instead of beef – still incredible and so easy 🙂

  33. 4 stars
    I made two pots simultaneously- one for the meat eaters with ground beef and one with ‘beyond meat’ for the vegetarians (both with elbow macaroni). Because ‘beyond meat’ tends to be saltier, I found that the vegetarian version was much more flavored than the version with ground beef. I do agree with many of the comments here that suggest doubling the spice. What would be particularly helpful is a sense of how much salt should be added to the dish, since I tend to be more restrained when directed to ‘season with salt and pepper’. Are we talking about a 1/4 teaspoon or a teaspoon? Thanks!

  34. 5 stars
    We made this last night and it was fantastic- can’t wait for my leftovers for lunch
    We added mushrooms, peas and 99% fat free cream of mushroom soup in place of 1/2 cup milk and it was soooo good. I did double all of the spices since our family likes an overload of flavor, but we will be making this again very soon!

  35. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. Perfect autumn comfort food! The portions were very generous and I can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunches this week.

    I skipped the oil, used extra lean beef and doubled the zucchini.

    Will absolutely be making this again and recommending to all my friends.

  36. 5 stars
    AMAZING. Not sure about the comments saying it’s “greasy”. Maybe check your fat content in your meat you used? This was perfect using 96% lean ground beef. Super rich and perfect texture. Not too watery not too thick. Wonder how it would taste with a low sodium cream of mushroom soup can mixed in as well?

  37. Trying this tonight and will report later on! I have a feeling I’ll be adding more liquid than the recipe says to get it to look like yours.

  38. 2 stars
    Followed the exact recipe and it was so greasy! I don’t understand why you would add olive oil to cook burger in. Not much flavor, but I love your recipes otherwise.

  39. 5 stars
    Perfect easy weeknight meal that everyone liked! I will definitely keep this on rotation this fall/winter!

  40. 5 stars
    Made this last night and loved it! It wasn’t as liquidy as the picture shows, but that was probably from me just cooking it a little longer. But we didn’t mind! This was probably one of the easiest things to make especially since it can be done all in one pot!

  41. 4 stars
    Like other reviewers, I had to add way more liquid to cover the noodles. But even so it ended up cooking off so it wasn’t too liquify at the end. I think I’d add more zucchini next time since it gives off a lot of moisture when cooking. Overall my family really enjoyed it!

  42. 5 stars
    I made this TRUFFLED with a pinch of dried Black Trumpets too, truffle oil and grass fed ground round. I substituted the yellow onion with Shallot and added a splash of white wine. This would be amazing with ground venison. 😱💕 so good! Perfect, quick, Fall Soccer season, weeknight meal!

  43. 5 stars
    Oh man, this is going into heavy rotation, as it’s so delicious and customizable. If you’re an experienced cook and comfortable using a recipe as a template, sky’s the limit. I need lots of veggies to qualify a go-to one pot meal, and so far, I’ve bumped up to almost 2 servings pp by quadrupling zukes, lots of diced shrooms and fennel, extra onion and fresh garlic. All virtually disappear, plus it stretches the portions for very little calories, and pretty too. Shredded carrot, parsnip, and yellow squash may join the club next. Freezing batches of meat mixture makes it easy breezy. Will continue to push veggies to see how high I can go, but even with the additions, still totally reminiscent of HH. Thanks Tiegen!

    1. Hey there! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Have a lovely week! xTieghan

  44. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner a few weeks ago, and it was a total hit! I love the fact that you added the shredded zucchini, can’t even taste it, but love the fact that there are veggies in there. I would personally increase the quantity of all of the spices, because I like bigger flavors, but that’s a personal choice. Will def be making this again! 🙂

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for trying out this recipe, so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Have a wonderful week! xTieghan

  45. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe with a few of my own tweaks. I parboiled the pasta (only used 3/4 lb.) and really spiced it up with hot paprika and oregano—things I like. Had extra liquid on hand and used a little more. Would make again. Great comfort food.

  46. 5 stars
    Turned out amazing! It needed more flavor at the end just as a heads up. I added a few heavy handed shakes of garlic powder and I added a good bunch of heavy handed shakes of worcestershire sauce which really gave it a whole new dimension of flavor. Thank you for this recipe! It’s definitely going to be in our rotation for future dinners.

  47. Easy and fast. Could def use more zucchini and spices. I added a couple more splashes of broth as it cooked to get the pasta to desired doneness. I also added a couple tsp of tomato paste to bump up richness and give it a little more depth. I think it would also be good with some Rotel!

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for the feedback, I’ll have to try the recipe again with a bit more seasoning 🙂 xTieghan

  48. My 4 yr old grandson Carter loves protein bars- he gets them as a treat. My daughter made this Hamburger Helper for her family while I was there visiting. Carter ate every morsel and exclaimed, “ This is better than a bar!” ( highest praise indeed).

  49. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight. It was super delicious. I followed advice from other commenters and doubled the liquid, spices. I added mushrooms for some extra veggies. I didn’t have regular ketchup on hand but had jalapeno ketchup. The jalapeno ketchup gave it a little bit of heat but not overwhelming. I will definitely be making it again.

  50. 5 stars
    As always, delicious! I will definitely double the zucchini next time as nobody noticed it! My pasta also needed more liquid, but that’s easy enough to remedy. Also added steamed green beans in the end! Delicious! Thanks Tieghan!

  51. 4 stars
    Delicious! It definitely mocked Hamburger helper, but in a gourmet sort of way! Easy to make, & the zucchini passed the test- 😈hubby never knew he was eating it😂🤣! I 💜 the🧀addition😋!

    1. 5 stars
      My 4 yr old grandson Carter loves protein bars- he gets them as a treat. My daughter made this Hamburger Helper for her family while I was there visiting. Carter ate every morsel and exclaimed, “ This is better than a bar!” ( highest praise indeed).

  52. 5 stars
    I followed some of the other commenters advice about extra spice and cooking liquid and it turned out delicious! Doubled the spices and the broth plus some extra zucchini and it worked perfectly. Will definitely make again.

    1. Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, so happy to hear you enjoyed it! And glad you could make it your own too 🙂 xTieghan

  53. 5 stars
    Believe it or not Hamburger Helper was a comfort meal for me as a kid. This was SO much better because everything was so wholesome and fresh. Thanks Tieghan!

  54. 4 stars
    I would agree that I needed more liquid for mine. I think it definitely depends on the cook time of your noodles. Mine said 12 mins on the package, which is how much time it ultimately took. That said, it ended up delicious! I just added salt as I added more milk.

    1. Hi Chelsea! I’m so sorry that this recipe wasn’t enjoyed, is there anything I can do to help improve it? xTieghan

  55. 5 stars
    After reading the comments I doubled the spices and added maybe a cup more liquid, although because of the kind of pasta I used (farfalle) I had to simmer it much longer, maybe 18 minutes in total. I don’t think I’ve ever had the boxed hamburger helper, but we both liked this version of it, and I’m sure I’ll be making it again!

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for trying out this recipe and for giving feedback on the adjustments you made as well! Have a great day! xTieghan

  56. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious fall a fall evening. I used chickpea rotini and used half soy milk and 2%. Then added about 2c of zucchini because it was the whole thing. Flavors are really good!

    1. Yet another recipe that turned out awesome! I threw some taco seasoning in there to get a Mexican vibe but otherwise didn’t change a thing!

    1. Hi there! I would add about the same amount in order to cook the noodles and then spoon some out if you feel its too liquidy. Enjoy! xTieghan

      1. I absolutely loved this recipe! I used to love hamburger helper as a kid so this dish carried lots of nostalgia for me! I’m surprised how similar it tastes.

        I added about extra cup of water while cooking the noodles and used skim milk for my milk choice. Delicious!

  57. So yum! My first recipe of yours to make, and I cannot wait to make more! I didn’t have an fresh parsley on hand so I used dried instead, and it was great!

  58. 5 stars
    My husband made this today and loved it! Super simple, and he’s excited for leftovers this week. I haven’t met a HBH recipe that we didn’t love and this is no exception!

  59. 5 stars
    So quick and straightforward – it was a recipe I could pass on to my husband to make, which he did and was pretty proud of himself! Substituted in ground bison and it was still pretty tasty! Seemed to taste even better as leftovers in lunch the next day. Next time we would slightly increase the amount of liquid and spices.

  60. 4 stars
    Love this recipe, have some thoughts. More zucchini. Gr. Beef to pasta ratio seems off. More meat. I think I will par cook the pasta next time. It took >10 min to cook the large shells I used, then needed more liquid as it was too tight. Definitely making this again!

  61. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight – it was delish! I cooked my ground beef with finely diced mushrooms and onion to add a little more vegetable, along with the zucchini. We all really liked it – including my toddler. Will definitely make again!

  62. I was so excited to try this! I used beyond meat as a substitute and other dairy substitutes and it turned out delicious. My sister who is not vegan even enjoyed it.

  63. 4 stars
    Excellent recipe! My first HBH recipe and I’m excited to try many more!
    I did have to add a little more spice for our liking but still very yummy as is. I also used oatmilk and an Italian cheese blend (half of what was called for) since were a low dairy family. I’m new to oatmilk and shocked at how well it worked in this dish.

  64. 4 stars
    I really loved this but thought it was lacking seasoning (which is actually similar to my opinion of real hamburger helper lol). I doubled the seasoning for the meat and added a hefty sprinkle of Cajun at the end and it was perfect.

  65. 5 stars
    I made this for Sunday dinner at my house last night and it was delicious! I preboiled the pasta in a separate pot and then decreased the milk by a little bit and it turned out so delicious. My kids loved it!

    1. 4 stars
      I had to add more liquid to the pot but everything turned out fine . I also added a little bit of Aleppo chili flakes because I like things spicy . It’s a good recipe for big family meals , and it yields a lot .

    1. Hi there! Yum! Thanks so much for trying out this recipe, so glad to hear it was enjoyed and you made it your own! 🙂 xTieghan

  66. I can’t find that pasta at the store, what exactly is it called? When i look up short cut pasta i cant find that specific one.

    1. I would add some sort of veggie in (Maybe spinach?) in order to soak of all the liquid from the recipe. Or just add less liquid if you don’t want to use any veggies 🙂 xTieghan

  67. Made for dinner last night, it was delicious! Easy too!! Made with 8 oz Banza chickpea pasta. This will definitely become a regular. Might try with ground turkey or chicken next time.

  68. I’ve never had hamburger helper before, but I love one pot dishes – this was great! I added Worcestershire for a little more flavor. It does have a very brown color when it’s done but it tasted great, was fast, and everyone loved it.

    1. Hey Emily,
      Happy Sunday!! I am delighted to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, I truly appreciate you giving it a try! xTieghan

  69. About to try – I already know it will be amazing!!! Wondering if I can sub grated carrot for zuchinni? Don’t have Zuchs and trying to avoid going to the store lol 😛

    1. Hey Emily,
      Sure, grated carrot would also work well here! I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  70. I used a pound of orecchiette and almost had to triple the liquid to get to cook/hydrate the pasta properly.

    1. Hey Marc,
      So sorry to hear this, I am wondering if you had your pot at a boil rather than a simmer? xTieghan

    2. I too had to triple the amount of liquid! It wouldn’t even cover the pasta – so the level of heat didn’t matter.

    1. Hey Carlyn,
      Awesome!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! Have a great weekend:) xTieghan

  71. 5 stars
    This is amazing!! So good and so easy! I had to make it gluten free as my husband has a gluten allergy. Wasn’t sure about cooking the GF pasta in the sauce but I went with it and it turned out great! Just had to add more beef broth. My husband asked me how I made the sauce. He doesn’t usually ask that question. This is a keeper for sure!

    1. Hey Angie,
      Awesome!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! Have a great weekend:) xTieghan

  72. Fantastic! Kids & parents loved it!
    Swapped in ground turkey and shallots. Used old cheddar. Pennette rigate for the noodles. We didn’t need to double the spice. This recipe is a keeper for my family! Thank you!!

    1. Hey Jenn,
      Awesome!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! Have a great weekend:) xTieghan

  73. 5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely delicious. I followed what some others recommend to boost the flavor a bit:
    Added several cloves of fresh garlic
    Doubled the spices
    Added a squeeze of lemon juice
    1 cup of almond milk and 1/2 cup of low fat greek yogurt
    I also used chickpea pasta for added protein.

    This recipe is a perfect fall staple. It makes me feel good to be eating food that doesn’t have a bunch of additives like the boxed stuff!

    1. Hey Sarah,
      Awesome!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! Thanks for sharing what worked well for you. Have a great weekend:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Kaitlin,
      Happy Friday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thank you so much for making it! xTieghan

    1. Hi Ashton,
      You will add the pasta uncooked, it will cook in the pot with the rest of the ingredients. I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  74. 4 stars
    Super easy and kid approved! I didn’t have a zucchini so I left that out (wish I didn’t as the veg would have contributed to the creaminess of the dish).
    I also added bacon, because why not?! And used half cheddar cheese and half pepperjack.
    Leftovers are just as delicious!

      1. Hi Kari,
        Happy Friday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thank you so much for making it! xTieghan

  75. 5 stars
    This was SO yummy! I read the comments first and based on those, I doubled the spices, added more veggies, and added some fresh garlic as well- and WOW the flavor!! My boyfriend was thrilled. Definitely putting into the rotation.

  76. 2 stars
    I love most recipes here, but this was a miss for me. It was just a little bland, though maybe that is how Hamburger Helper tastes (I’ve never actually had it!). I would’ve kicked it up a notch with the spices, but I was nervous my toddler wouldn’t eat it. I don’t think I’ll make it again.

  77. 5 stars
    This tasted just like hamburger helper but even better! I won’t ever buy the boxed stuff again!

    Thanks for the fun recipe!

  78. 5 stars
    This was a winner for taste and ease; my husband loved it and is thrilled there’s leftovers for dinner tomorrow night. I did use ground turkey as we’re cutting back on beef, and it was great. Added little extra garlic and cheese because, why not!

  79. 5 stars
    This was amazing ! Never had hamburger helper before so I had no expectation, but it seemed to me this was something my 2 teenage stepsons would love. Indeed, this will be added as a regular here! My fiance was also pleased with the conforting flavour. Will make this for our ski lunches from time to time this winter!

  80. 3 stars
    Kinda bland…I even tried a trio of cheeses. Plus I never like pre cooked pasta in a dish while cooking with other stuff. I’ll try again with tweaks to the recipe.

    1. Hey Deb,
      Sorry you didn’t enjoy the recipe, just an FYI the pasta is not pre-cooked, it should be cooked in the pot with everything else. I hope this helps for next time:) xTieghan

  81. Something different. I added garlic and mushrooms and we put it on a bed of zucchini noodles, because I only had some frozen. It was definitely a winner. I look forward to your emails and posts. Thanks for keeping us hungry 😋

  82. 4 stars
    Made this last night and after reading the reviews decided to add in lots of sautéed garlic, some red wine, and extra herbs. Also used ground chicken. Was very good and family approved. Everyone ate seconds!

  83. 5 stars
    I loved HH growing up and was curious if I could make this vegetarian. I used finely chopped mushrooms in place of the beef, and used veggie stock. I added sliced carrots and upped the spices and salt based on other reviews. It was so creamy and delicious, I will definitely make again!

  84. I had my mom make this for me last night. I’m pregnant and craving all the cozy fall/winter recipes right now. This hit the spot! So yummy! Would love to try other variations!

  85. Made this with impossible meat tonight! It was so delicious but definitely needed to be more liberally salted. I would have added more salt when sauteeing the meat and again after pouring in the liquid. So easy to make and the easiest clean up. Definitely double or triple the veggies in it as the one zucchini get swallowed up by all the pasta.

  86. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! It’s everything Tieghan describes in the description and definitely takes me back to my childhood. Plus guilt free and easy 🤝

  87. 4 stars
    My husband and I both enjoyed this meal. It needed more salt, so I’ll have to adjust that next time. I used ground turkey; would try with 1/2 turkey and 1/2 beef next time. My only complaint is that it’s awfully boring to look at….but you did warn about that! 🙂

  88. 3 stars
    This was easy and tasty! I halved the recipe, which was easy to do. I still had to up the spices quite a bit though, a teaspoon of each wasn’t enough so for a full recipe I would definitely add more and taste as you go. It also took a bit longer to cook than 5-8 minutes which was totally fine – just added more broth when needed. Loved the idea of adding zucchini!

    1. Hi Allison,
      I would follow the recipe as is using GF noodles. I hope you love the dish, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hi Mike,
      The recipe calls for 1 pound of dry pasta. I hope you love this dish, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  89. 3 stars
    I generally love your recipes, but this was not a favorite. Personally, I feel it lacked flavor and taste. I get it- it’s hamburger helper- it’s not going to be bursting with all this complex flavor. We ate it and no one complained, but it was just kind of eh.

    1. Hey Sonya,
      Yes, that would work, I would just dice it pretty small. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  90. 4 stars
    Good comfort food for a chilly day. It could’ve used more flavor in my opinion, but my boyfriend and I ate it up! Will make again 🙂

  91. 4 stars
    This was a great simple recipe which really brought me back to that childhood hamburger helper!! I did have to add almost twice the spices it called for and little more of each liquid, but it turned out great and was a really fast meal! I love that it has zucchini, I also added about 1.5 C of frozen cauliflower rice for more veggie and fiber. It made about 5 hearty adult servings for me.

  92. 1 star
    I had high hopes for this but unfortunately it was very bland and had no flavor. Can’t recommend and wouldn’t make again.

    1. Hi Michelle,
      So sorry you did not enjoy the recipe, please let me know if there is anyway I can help for next time! xTieghan

  93. 5 stars
    Super yummy! Used ground turkey meat instead of beef and chicken broth instead of beef broth. Just delicious! I wish I had this recipe when my kids were younger!

  94. 5 stars
    You are truly amazing! This is fantastic, and just got added to the “dinners we love!” list! Also, it is actually a 30 minute meal, tops. That almost never happens even when a recipe says that is the projected cooking time! Wahhoooo! Bravo! Thank you! Go make this! You probably have everything you need!

  95. 5 stars
    Made this tonight. Used fresh garlic and two cups zucchini, 1/2 cup more broth, lighter on salt and Colby Jack cheese. Thank you. We loved it!

  96. 5 stars
    I made this last week and it was perfect! Easy and delicious comfort food at its best! This will definitely become a “regular” in my house. Love the fact that I always have the ingredients on hand, so a special trip to the store won’t be an issue. Leftovers were great as well!

    1. Hey Kristin,
      Fantastic!! So great to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and thanks a lot for making it. Have a great week!🍂 xTieghan

  97. 5 stars
    My family loved this recipe, including my 3 year old and one year old. I loved that it sneaked in some zucchini since its not their favorite. But they didn’t mind it one bit in the pasta! I used 1.5 lbs of ground beef, probably 2 cups of shredded zucchini, and increased the broth/milk to get the consistency I wanted! 10/10 would and have recommended!

    1. Hey Erin,
      Fantastic!! So great to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and thanks a lot for making it. Have a great week!🍂 xTieghan

    1. Hey Anna,
      Fantastic!! So great to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and thanks a lot for making it. Have a great week!🍂 xTieghan

    1. Hey Talia,
      For this recipe I did not, but if you feel as though you have too much extra fat then go ahead and drain it:) I hope you love this dish, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  98. 5 stars
    We loved this dish! I used 2 pounds of 15/85 ground turkey for some added protein and it turned out so tasty. I might even add an extra zuchini next time, you can’t taste it at all (in a good way). Love that it’s quick and one pot, minimal cleanup with just the cutting board and grater. Would highly recommend!

    1. Hey Trisha,
      Fantastic!! So great to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and thanks a lot for making it. Have a great week!🍂 xTieghan

  99. 4 stars
    SUPER easy to make- love being able to cook everything in one pot and pour it in as you go. I think I added too much beef, which took away from the soup-like consistency a bit and I didn’t add enough salt, so it was a little bland. Next time, I might add some garlic too. But the cheesy, oozy goodness was the perfect comfort food- and a much better alternative to the packaged stuff!

    1. Hi Maura,
      Fantastic!! So great to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and thanks a lot for making it. Have a great week!🍂 xTieghan

  100. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner and was delicious! I used brown rice noodles so had to add about an extra cup of liquid but was so so comforting and perfect for a Fall night!

    1. Hi Catie,
      Happy Sunday! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner. Thanks a lot for giving it a try! xTieghan

  101. 5 stars
    Yum! I just pulled this off the stove, and my husband and I agree that this is an amazing one pot pasta! I unfortunately didn’t grow up eating Hamburger Helper in my household, but he did! We substituted the beef with ground Turkey and chicken stock since that is what we had on hand, and it tastes amazing! We did “aggressively salt” 😉 and put the lid on our pot as others recommended. I am sure that this will be made on the regular in our meal prep rotation. Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Jenna,
      Happy Sunday! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner. Thanks a lot for giving it a try! xTieghan

  102. 5 stars
    Made this tonight! Delicious.

    I added 4 cloves pressed garlic to my onion and ground beef instead of garlic powder. Then I also added 1/2 tsp more of chili powder and paprika based on reviews.

    I did end up adding about 1/2 cup more broth through the process to keep it saucy. Simmered with the lid and it was not gummy. It still ended up not being as saucy as the photo but over all had good flavor.

    1. Hi Brianna,
      Happy Sunday! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner. Thanks a lot for giving it a try! xTieghan

  103. Greetings,
    This is on the menu for next week. After reading some of the reviews Re: gummy texture, I’m wondering if it’s also the quality of the pasta????
    I’ll have to peel the zucchini as my husband doesn’t think he likes it and carrots might be too dry????

    1. Hey Shelley,
      I’ve not experienced the gummy texture, it could be from using GF noodles. You can easily peel the zucchini before grating it. I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  104. Just wanted to say that I made this dish and it was fantastic!!! I did add a little extra seasonings and used 1 cup half and half and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk based on what I had on hand. It was outstanding! Next time I might use less pasta as the noodles really did soak up any sauce on day 2. I used large pasta shells. Will def be making this again!

  105. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was great! I did throw my lid on for a bit because my liquid didn’t cover some of my pasta. We added some sriracha at serving and it was yummy! We have never had hamburger helper and actually ground beef is my least used meat but it turned out pretty good in my opinion!

  106. 2 stars
    I have made many of your recipes over the past couple of years and I am always amazed at how flavorful they are. I often pass them along to friends and family so they can make them as well. I have not had a dud until this recipe. It just wasn’t a repeater for us. Just not as flavorful as most of your recipes. I just thought I would let you know. Thank you for all you do. I will continue following you and trying out your recipes.

  107. Made this today for my hubby for dinner. He requested Hamburger Helper because he used to eat it as a kid. I’ve never had it.. so I said no, let me try and make it from scratch!
    WOW He loves it!
    I used egg noodles in place of typical pasta and I followed the advice from the comments and simmered it with the lid on and it turned out fantastic!
    Thanks for another great recipe Tieghan <3

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      Happy Friday!! I so appreciate you giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

  108. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I used yellow squash and fusili pasta. I would recommend to aggressively season with salt and pepper as you do each layer of the recipe. I will definitely make this again!

  109. 5 stars
    Absolutely yummyly scomptiously delicious
    We all loved it. From 60 years old to 22 months old.
    Definitely will do it again.
    Thanks again.
    I am in love with any onepot idea.

    1. Hey Christina,
      Happy Friday!! I so appreciate you giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

  110. 5 stars
    Made this last weekend. I was taking care of 6 year old grandson, who is a picky eater. Although he does eat salmon both raw and cooked. He wasn’t sure he’d eat it so we discussed it and made a back up plan. I don’t force kids to eat food they don’t like. They do have to take a bite. He took a bite and told me I could put the Annie’s Mac N Cheese away because it was good and he’d eat it. Husband was leary because his Mom fed him boxed Hamburger Helper and he thought it was awful!!! He was a convert too. Loved the one pot feature. I’ll make this again.

  111. 5 stars
    Delicious, you’ve never disappointed since I started following you in April 2020, I your recipes are on our table 4-5 times a week!

    Thank stouts so much for keeping be sane during the pandemic 🙏❤️

  112. 5 stars
    My family of all boys loved this recipe! I am definitely adding this to our rotation. After reading the reviews I did simmer with the lid on. I also subbed a 1/2 cup of the broth for red wine (we really like that flavor) and only used about 3/4 cup cheese because that’s all I had.

    Thanks for the recipe again!

  113. 5 stars
    Made tonight! Kids kept saying “I’m not going to like this” (12 year old and 8 year old)
    They LOVED!! Didn’t change anything except I browned the beef with onions and 6 garlic cloves. Also added a bit more of all the seasoning. Will for sure be making this again!!!!!!

  114. 3 stars
    I’m not sure what went wrong with mine. I followed the recipe exactly but it turned out mushy/not saucy and fairly bland? I used rotini noodles because that’s all Aldi had as far as short pasta, but I’m thinking they may have sucked up too much of the sauce. I think next time I’ll double the seasonings too because it just didn’t have enough flavor for me 🙁

    1. Hey Kelli,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, so sorry it was not enjoyed. Next time, make sure all of your dairy products are room temp to avoid any lumps. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  115. Haven’t tried the recipe yet, but I ran it through an app for the purpose of seeing how many calories, and your “estimate” is incredibly low, almost like it needs to be low. I thought maybe the ground beef I’d use wasn’t “lean” enough, so I just eliminated it altogether, and still your “estimate” is more than 10% lower than what I believe the actual number of calories to be. And with the beef, I’ll just say it’s more like 650 calories per serving.

    Just curious how you went about getting that number, because this is a frequent problem unfortunately, coming to sites with obvious misrepresentations.

    Still going to try it, because it looks delicious.

    1. Hey Stevie,
      We use an online calculator system that calculates the ingredients. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  116. We have been using a few of your recipes lately and this was definitely a favorite. I made this one at home. My husband loved it so much he made it at work. He is a chef for the Coast Guard and they loved it also. 🙂

  117. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! My friend and I loved it and agreed that a dash of cayenne would really put it over the top. I am officially a one-pot meal fan and will be trying out some other HBH recipes this fall.

    1. Hey Alicia,
      Thanks a bunch for trying out this recipe, I am delighted to hear that it was enjoyed! Have the best day:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Emma,
      I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it. To make in the instant pot, I would basically follow the stove top directions, then lock it and cook 5-6 minutes. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  118. 5 stars
    We thought this was fantastic. As with any recipe, I tasted and observed as I went and adjusted spices and liquids accordingly. We upped the spice with some cayenne and made some other adjustments to fit our favorite flavor profiles. While I, admittedly, have never eaten the boxed stuff, this really was a great, comforting dish – and super easy, too!

    1. Hey Erica,
      Thanks a bunch for trying out this recipe, I am delighted to hear that it was enjoyed! Have the best day:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Katie,
      Thanks a bunch for trying out this recipe, I am delighted to hear that it was enjoyed! Have the best day:) xTieghan

  119. 5 stars
    Delicious meal for any time but especially a fall weeknight! Easy to make and satisfying. I would recommend upping the spices a little bit (not much) and will do that next time. I used oat milk and it worked perfectly. I also simmered without a lid and would say it turned out fine but I might try that next time. Saved to recipe box!

    1. Hey Katie,
      Thanks a bunch for trying out this recipe, I am delighted to hear that it was enjoyed! Have the best day:) xTieghan

  120. 5 stars
    Loved it! I make a similar Amish Country Casserole that is tomato based, but I wasn’t feeling that tonight. This hit the spot for comfort food and easy!

    BTW, I heard about your site from the girls that do the Morbid podcast. They raved about your recipes.

    1. Hey Becki,
      Thanks a bunch for trying out this recipe, I am delighted to hear that it was enjoyed! Thanks for your kind message. Have the best day:) xTieghan

  121. 5 stars
    My boys don’t like the box stuff because it is “too cheesy and too soupy” With a few other modifications that are our standard operating procedure (always double the vegetables for example) this LANDED for my teens who love having this on hand for their after school snack. When they’ve eaten this they always give me more hugs. This is a keeper for us. I used a LOT of zucchini (like 3 small to medium ones) but without a lid, it came out PERFECT and was easy to make sure it was the consistency they like.

    1. Hey Joanna,
      Thanks a bunch for trying out this recipe, I am delighted to hear that it was enjoyed! Have the best day:) xTieghan

  122. 4 stars
    Recipe doesn’t specify to cover with lid when simmering but I believe you are supposed to. When I did so it came out correct, but my sister simmered without a lid and she needed much more broth and the texture came out gummy (as I’ve seen in a couple other comments). I agree with some reviews that next time I’d use more spices but overall delish and EASY recipe!

    1. Hey Maria,
      Thanks a bunch for trying out this recipe, I am delighted to hear that it was enjoyed! Have the best day:) xTieghan

  123. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! So easy and delicious. Going to be making it again tonight since my entire family enjoyed it so much. Leftovers are also fantastic!

    1. Hey Grace,
      Thanks a bunch for trying out this recipe, I am delighted to hear that it was enjoyed! Have the best day:) xTieghan

  124. 3 stars
    I had to use a lot more broth to have enough moisture to cook the pasta. I’m not sure if this is because I used GF pasta. I then added about double the spices to even out the flavor. Also used coconut milk which was good. I would make again, I think it would be great after a day of skiing. Fast to make and filling.

    1. Hey Alison,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, sorry you had to use more broth than needed, could have been the GF noodles or the size of your noodles:) xTieghan

  125. 5 stars
    this was a very forgiving recipe. i had to make some substitutions/swaps and it still turned out really good:

    – ground turkey for beef
    – broth from chicken better than bouillon instead of beef broth
    – doubled the paprika and added a dash of crushed red pepper, since i didn’t have chili powder
    – added about half a teaspoon of turmeric to give it more of that traditional, neon orange hamburger helper look

    a good and versatile recipe for my arsenal, thank you!

    1. I love a lot of your recipes, so I’m sorry to say but this one fell really flat for me. I just felt the flavour was lacking, really bland 😭

    2. Hey Liz,
      Awesome! I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a go! Thanks for sharing what worked well for you! xTieghan

  126. 5 stars
    I made this over the weekend. It was super easy and really delicious. Total comfort food! I am a big fan of HBH and have made a LOT of both your savory and sweet recipes. They never disappoint!

  127. 5 stars
    Making this for a second time because the whole family enjoyed it. It’s a great meal for weeknight when you need to get something on the table quickly.

  128. 3 stars
    Thought this was really easy and fun though it definitely made a lot more than four servings! And I also feel like it needed more spices. If I were to make it again, I think I would double the spices.

  129. Hi Tieghan! I made this tonight for dinner—I consider myself a great cook and followed the directions to a T, but mine definitely didn’t have near as much sauce as your photo, so it was a little dry. I’m not sure what went wrong. Any idea?

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      So sorry to hear this! What size noodles did you use? I would say if you used a larger noodle that could be the issue. Please let me know how I can help! xTieghan

    1. Hey Nicole,
      Sure, I think that would be just fine for you to do. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  130. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I tried it with a mix of lamb and beef (it was all I could find at the time), and a lot of extra spice. Next time, I’m definitely going to just use beef (the lamb was a little too strong). Definitely looking forward to making this recipe again!

  131. 5 stars
    My friend made this for me when I broke my leg and lost my father in law within the same week… A thoughtful, very thoughtful friend.
    It looked delish cold, but heated up, it was amazing. I didn’t realize it wasn’t real pasta until she told me. I saw green in it which I love any part of! It really contributes to the flavor. Talk about a healthy and delicious dish. (Healthy version of a somewhat unhealthy meal).

  132. 5 stars
    Delicious! My entire family loved this, toddler included. Such a comforting, warm meal that I plan to make lots this winter.

  133. 5 stars
    This worked out wonderfully as I had all of the ingredients in the house already! I did half cheddar and half unexpected cheddar from Trader Joe’s to really shake it up! Thanks for a fun recipe!

    1. Hey Meredith,
      Awesome! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it! Have the best weekend! xTieghan

  134. 5 stars
    I can’t fully express how delicious this was. Our kids ate it like crazy. I loved it for the flavor and the one-pot aspect of it for an easy supper. But also loved the fact that our kids loved it AND there were veggies in it, too. This will become a regular in our weekly menu.

    1. Hey Meghan,
      Awesome! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it! Have the best weekend! xTieghan

  135. 5 stars
    This so so delicious and simple. All the nostalgia of HH and honestly so much better. I did add extra spice to enhance the flavor.

  136. 4 stars
    Agree with others that this recipe needed more flavor. I doubled the spices and added cayenne, substituted zucchini for spinach and added probably an extra cup of beef broth. Only used about half cup of cheese. Turned out well with all the tweaks.

  137. 4 stars
    I felt like the recipe needed a little something else so I added some cumin to give it some taco flavor. I think the beef could use some more seasoning, but it was a very easy recipe with quick clean up

    1. Hey Sarah,
      I’ve never added kale, but go for it! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give the recipe a try! xTieghan

  138. 5 stars
    I have never had actual Hamburger Helper before, but this homemade version was delicious! I tried this recipe out last night for dinner, as it seemed like a meal my husband would love. I was right, it was a hit! Super quick to make on a busy weeknight, with lots of flavor. Thanks, Tieghan!

  139. 5 stars
    I have to say I have never ever eaten hamburger helper. I was very intrigued by this recipe and had to try it. So good! Quick, easy, delicious! Wonderful week night dinner.

  140. WOWWWW. This was incredible!!! Came together so fast and was so flavorful. Curious what a serving size is for this meal? Thanks!

    1. Hey Joely,
      I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a try! Sorry, I don’t have an exact measurement for 1 serving size, just what a typical amount might be fore one person. xTieghan

  141. 3 stars
    I really like the flavor profile of this dish…did add a bit more spices and a little worteshire sauce to add some more flavor as it was a little bland initially. But, while I loved the flavor, the pasta got very gummy, sucked up all the liquid and had a strange texture in the end. I added more broth and milk to help with that, but didn’t help enough. I know it’s supposed to be a ‘one pot’ dish, but I think I will try this by adding cooked pasta towards the end next time. Thank you for the wonderful recipes!

    1. Did you cover with a lid when simmering? My sister had this same exact problem when she tried the recipe and she didn’t use a lid. When I tried it I simmered with a lid and it was perfect!

      1. Hey Maria,
        I did not cover with a lid when simmering. I think some issues people are having is their “simmer” could be a little to high and they could also be using too large of noodles. xTieghan

  142. 5 stars
    This was so good! My husband is lactose intolerant, so I used lactose free milk and vegan cheese, and it came out perfectly!

    1. Hey Deanna,
      I used Delallo Shellbow noodles. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    2. Hi Deanna,
      If you can’t find Delallo Shellbow noodles, I used Barilla Pipette and it is the same shape. Came out great! – Kristie

  143. This is so yummy, easy and the whole family loved it. I’m cooking it again tonight with chicken!
    Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  144. 5 stars
    I rarely comment on recipes but had to for this. My family, especially son and grandson LOVED it! I made it almost exactly as posted – had to swap out the pasta for what I had on hand. Still worked great and is a keeper. Added only half of the chili powder for our toddler.

    Thank you for all of your recipes – really appreciate them and what you do!

  145. Amazing- tastes even better than I thought it would and just like the hamburger helper I remembered. Really fantastic. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes. Love them all!!

  146. 4 stars
    Made this last night for my husband and he ate it again for lunch today. This brings us both back to our childhood when Hamburger Helper was a treat to eat. I loved adding the zucchini and next time I will add shredded carrots too! I doubled the cheese because we like it extra cheesy 🙂

  147. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight! I added half ketchup and half siracha. Its so good! Made ahead of time and my hubby will reheat in the smoker tonight.

  148. 5 stars
    Super delicious. I actually didn’t eat Hamburger Helper as a kid (at least from what I can remember) so I have no idea what this is supposed to taste like. All I can say is that it’s super easy and delicious. Love the hidden healthy zucchini. Definitely will add this recipe into the mix!

  149. 5 stars
    This recipe was a winner with the family. It took me back to the day as a kid eating Hamburger Helper. I substituted ground turkey for the ground beef.

  150. 5 stars
    This was good and easy. I did add some thyme and a little garlic. Just a little red pepper, celery diced. Carrot grated and bay leaves. A little lemon juice at the end to brighten it up. It was delicious! Thanks!

  151. 5 stars
    Despite never having hamburger helper growing up, I can definitely appreciate this recipe! As a busy mom of three, I absolutely love being able to come home from work and make something quick and delicious in one pot. Plus there is plenty of leftovers for lunches the next few days. Thank you for another great recipe!

  152. It was delicious and quick. The only addition I made was two dashes of worcheshire sauce. The family never knew there was zucchini in it! Will make again! Thanks

  153. Made this on Friday for a friend and her daughter. Subbed beef for ground venison. Added about a half to three quarters cup more of a milk/broth combo and my pasta took 18 to 20 mins. I stood sipping G+T and stirring it every minute with a lid on in between. Was a huge hit with everyone. Loved it!! A great way to use our ground venison. Bravo to you xTieghan! 😀

    1. 5 stars
      Wow! Made one batch vegetarian style with tofu. Turned out amazing! Doubled spices and had to add a bit more fluid. Thanks!

  154. 5 stars
    Delicious! Another way to up the heath ante would be to roast cauliflower and onion, then put in a blender with chicken stock until smooth like a creamy cheesy texture. This could cut the cheese in half, or just add more sauciness :).

    1. Hey Kelly,
      Yes, that will work for you. I hope the recipe turns out amazing, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  155. 5 stars
    Wow, wow, wow! Made this for the family last night and it was a huge hit (flash to my 12 year old daughter’s eyes getting huge after the first bite and looking at me like I invented the iPad). This is incredibly tasty and easy to make. I added a little A1 sauce in addition to the ketchup to give it some zing but other than that I stuck to the recipe. I’m a big fan of HBH – this one is up there!

  156. Folks who had their sauce get too soaked up by the pasta: I used a dutch oven style pot with a lid. While the pasta is cooking, leave the lid on and stir every couple minutes! I only added about a 1/4 cup extra milk from the get go and it turned out fantastic! Super saucy and tender pasta.

  157. Really tasty! Family loved it- the only thing I would change when I make it again would be adding some spice like cayenne or jalapeño powder to give it some more zing! But that’s only because I like spice in everything 🙂

  158. 3 stars
    All the liquid was absorbed into the pasta shells by the time it was el Dante, so it wasn’t very saucy for me. Next time I’ll try adding more liquid.

    1. Hey Donna,
      You will use the olive oil in step 1 to brown the meat and onions. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  159. 5 stars
    Hamburger helper has always been one of my favorites- a guilty pleasure of mine😋. This recipe taste better than the box stuff because there’s no processed taste to it. It is AHH-MA-ZING! We’re welcoming our first baby in October so I’m excited to have these secret veggie recipes when baby girl gets older.

    P.S. I’ve made 3 recipes of yours just this week and they have all been simple and oh so delicious!!!

  160. 5 stars
    My husband’s parents are from Europe, so he never had Hamburger Helper, and my kids certainly have not, so the nostalgia was lost on them. They loved the dinner, I used soy crumbles instead of meat. Best of all the zucchini went unnoticed and it truly took less than 30 minutes including chopping onion and cleaning up. Thank you!

  161. This recipe was delicious! Because of being gluten-free, I had to substitute gluten-free pasta in the recipe. It took a bit longer for the gluten free pasta to cook, so it was necessary to add more broth so it could continue cooking. Husband and I both loved it and leftovers the next day were delicious too. I had to reheat with broth because of the gluten free pasta, but it was still delicious! Thank you Tieghan!

  162. 5 stars
    My kids love hamburger helper they eat it weekly! It’s something easy my husband can make when I work late, but not something I enjoy. This recipe was a huge hit! My kids, husband and I all really enjoyed this. I loved that I could sneak some zucchini in on them too! Will make this again!

  163. 5 stars
    Excellent ! Very tasty , easy to make and I don’t have leftovers so that means it’s a hit
    Thank you
    Your recipes are amazing and do easy to make !

  164. 5 stars
    SO easy and delicious!! I used oat milk (just what happened to be in my fridge) and spinach instead of zucchini and it was still amazing! We had leftovers to eat on for a couple of days even the baby (11 months) enjoyed it!

  165. 5 stars
    Delicious and very easy! Added about double the zucchini to up the veg level, otherwise followed excatly as printed. A keeper for sure!

  166. Do you think it would freeze well? This sounds amazing but I’m a household of one and don’t want to eat this for days.

    1. Hey Lora,
      Sure, I think that would be totally fine to do. You can also adjust the serving size on the size and the ingredients will manually adjust for you. I hope this helps! xTieghan

    1. Hey Christine,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

    1. Hey Katie,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

  167. 2 stars
    I’m not sure how, but my sauce to pasta ratio was so low that it just would not cook the pasta. Has this happened to anyone else? I ended up with hard pasta because I couldn’t cook it any longer, the liquid was just gone by the end.

    1. Hey Sara,
      Sorry to hear this. Was there anything you adjusted in the recipe? What kind of noodles did you use? Let me know how I can help! xTieghan

      1. 5 stars
        I made a few adjustments and it was SO yummy! Based on the comments, I added an additional 3/4 C. beef broth and upped the seasonings by 1/2 tsp. each. I also covered the skillet and cooked it a bit longer because my pasta was a bit bigger (chiocciole). After the pasta was cooked al dente, I removed the cover and added the cheese and cooked until the sauce was thick. Great alternative to the boxed stuff!

    2. I had the same issue! I noticed this before it had cooked for too long so just added a bunch of extra milk and strained it before serving. Still tasted alright. Used shells and nothing else adjusted.

    3. Sara,
      I had the same problem. I kept adding more broth and more milk and cooked it way longer than the recipe said. I used regular small macaroni. I wanted to love it, but didn’t really. I did like the idea of the grated zucchini though!

  168. I subbed sour cream for 1/2 of the milk and it was YUMMY!! Reminded me of the stroganoff flavor Hamburger Helper growing up 🙂

    1. Hey Mandi,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

    1. Hey Amanda,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

  169. 5 stars
    This was so fantastic, but would have been even better if I hadn’t used “smoked” paprika by accident! I’ll make it again soon & will double check the paprika label. Haha.

    1. Hey there,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

  170. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I made it the other night, and we all loved it. I will definitely make this again. I did not have beef broth, so I used chicken broth. I also used part 2% milk and part fat-free half-and-half because I did not have whole milk. It was wonderfully creamy. Next time, I am going to try either chicken or turkey burger. It will be just as good, I am sure.

    1. Hey Laura,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

  171. 5 stars
    This is delicious, but I made a bunch of swaps because of dietary restrictions. I thought I would comment in case anyone else needs to make some of the changes I made—- it worked! We used GF Barilka brand noodles, beyond beef ground hamburger, Daiya shredded cheese, and veggie broth. It’s so good!

      1. Hey Jen,
        Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

    1. Hey Lucy,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

    1. Hey Denise,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

  172. 5 stars
    This is so good! Tastes like the O.G., but it really is SO much better! We easily doubled the zucchini and onion, and added chopped spinach at the end… lots of sneaky veggies, and the flavor was still on point! Thanks for this one!

    1. Hey Megan,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

  173. 5 stars
    My husband talks about how much he always wants to have hamburger helper and I have always been like eh not in the box though.
    This is great! We loved every bit of it and it’s so quick and easy!

    1. Hey Cassidi,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

    1. Hey Jenna,
      You can add in step 1 to brown the meat and onions. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  174. 5 stars
    Made for a quick dinner after a football game and fed all the kids.. left out the zucchini because I didn’t feel like shredding it, so increased the beef stock by about a half a cup. Everyone loved it! A keeper for sure especially with fall here and school/sports happening! Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. Hey Missy,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

    1. Hey Ashley,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

  175. Love this recipe! Mad it with GF brown rice pasta and shredded vegan cheese. Came out amazing! Love that it all cooks up in one pot!

    1. Hey Deb,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

      1. Hey Adam,
        The recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Trisha,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

      1. I’m pregnant and hamburger helper has been my top craving, can’t wait to make this. Any suggestions for beef broth, hard to find it as I only eat halal, can I use vegetable or chicken? Thank you ❤️

        1. Hey there,
          Yes, vegetable or chicken broth would also work well here. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Haylee,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

    1. Hey Kate,
      Thanks a lot for trying out this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed and hope you have the best week! xTieghan

  176. Made this tonight, it’s delicious! Love the healthier twist, but it still tastes so good. We also used Impossible ground in place of the regular beef.

  177. Wonderful recipe Tieghan! To keep it both dairy and gluten free I used almond milk, Jovial GF brand pasta shells, and then added a packet Daiya DF mac and cheese sauce. I did find that I needed to increase the amount of beef broth as the GF pasta was cooking to keep it nice and creamy! My one year old absolutely devoured it, thanks so much for sharing!

  178. Is there a way to save this recipe to Pinterest? That’s where I keep most of the recipes I have online so that would be super helpful!

    1. Hey Natalie,
      Yes, just click on any photo and the Pinterest “save” button will appear. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  179. This sounds like comfort food. I made my own version of hamburger helper over the years too, to get away from the box, but I love the idea of shredded zucchini. Gonna give this recipe a try!

    1. Hey Amanda,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am delighted to hear that it was enjoyed! Have the best weekend:) xTieghan

  180. I’m really excited to try this. We didn’t have much money as kids and my mom would get this real cheap. It has nostalgia in it. We’ve since tried eating better but I find myself craving the comforts of home. Ha I’ve yet to make a version that tastes similar.

      1. This is a 10 out of 10!! My boyfriend and I were just talking the other day about how we loved hamburger helper growing up and then you posted this! Made it tonight and we both loved.

    1. Hey Cindy,
      You could use tomato paste in place of the ketchup. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  181. 5 stars
    Perfect recipe for hiding veggies! Made this for my picky eater this evening and he ate his entire bowl! I did adjust the liquids as I was short on milk, but it still tasted great! Will definitely be making again!

    1. Hey Bethany,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am delighted to hear that it was enjoyed! Have the best weekend:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Tracy,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am delighted to hear that it was enjoyed! Have the best weekend:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Judy,
      Sure, almond milk will work here. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

      1. Hey Megan,
        Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am delighted to hear that it was enjoyed! Have the best weekend:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Lyndsey,
      You can skip the zucchini. I hope the recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Sue,
      You will want to follow the recipe as is and use 1 pound of pasta, that is a standard size box of pasta. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Melissa,
      Yes, that should work just fine for you. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  182. Is there anything that could be subbed for the cheese? (Trying to cut back on cheese and dairy-free cheese isn’t an option)

    1. Hey Cici,
      Sorry, I really would not recommend skipping the cheese here. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  183. I can’t wait to make this, looks fantastic!! I bet it would be good with mushrooms. When would you add those in the process?

    1. Ooh! You just made my day! I have mushrooms and all the ingredients at hand for this. This place sound delicious. Definitely trying it!

    2. Hey there,
      I would sauté those with the onions. I hope the recipe turns out amazing for you. Please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

      1. I have never actually had hamburger helper but this intrigues me and it looks like it could be kid friendly. Does the ketchup add a lot of taste? That’s the adult in me going-eww ketchup in my pasta?!

  184. Appreciate the nutritional info you provide and understand it’s not guaranteed or exact but would you consider including the protein, carbs and fat to the nutritional info, especially ones like this! Thanks and love all your recipes!

  185. What gluten free pasta would you suggest and would it go soggy with cooking times ? Or should less liquid be used if using gluten free pasta

    1. Hey Jane,
      I never use gluten free pasta, but I love Delallo pasta so maybe give those a try. I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  186. What do you recommend replacing the milk with to make it dairy free? I’d replace the cheddar cheese with dairy free cheddar cheese.

    1. Whenever I’m swamping out milk in a recipe like this, I replace it with coconut milk. If a recipe calls for heavy cream or whole milk, you can use coconut milk. By the way, it won’t change the flavor of your food. Hope this helps!

    2. Hey Maddy,
      I would use a dairy free milk:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  187. 4 stars
    This is super easy and super, super tasty! I definitely had to add more liquid and cook for longer than 5-8 minutes in order for the noodles to be completely cooked. I would probably add a bit more spices next time too. Maybe 2 tsp of each. But overall a very good recipe, will definitely be making again! Keep the super simple meals coming!! 🙂

    1. Hey Danielle,
      Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a go:) xTieghan

  188. 5 stars
    Kids helped make it and loved it. They even asked if they would taste the zucchini (they didn’t). I did keep end up adding addition beef broth, but that was because my zucchini was small and the noodles sucked it up like crazy. Keeper in my recipe book!

  189. This looks so good. I love pasta, even if it doesn’t love me. I’m going to give it a shot and see what happens.

  190. This is more healthy b/c it has a little zucchini in it?
    It’s still pasta and sausage, no? Really looking for something tasty but truly healthier. Any help will bee greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!

    1. Hey Braden,
      I am considering this “healthier” than what comes out of the box:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  191. My first thought was to make it even healthier and throw in some cauliflower rice too! Can’t wait to make this!

  192. 5 stars
    OMG I loved hamburger helper as a kid and I have been wanting to try a healthier and “adult” version for some time now. Thank you for this recipe! So excited to give it a try and love the added touch of shredded zucchini!

  193. Planning to make this this evening. Is there a substitute for zucchini? I am out and am hoping to not run to the store.

    1. Hey Noelle,
      You could just skip the zucchini. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  194. Try replacing the ketchup with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, added to the pan when the meat and onions are almost done. Sauteeing the tomatoes paste, meat and onions for about a minute gives this dish even more depth of flavor. The tomatoes paste develops a nice roasted flavor that amps up the dish.

    1. Hey Barbara,
      Sorry, I do not know the carbs for this recipe. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  195. 5 stars
    When I was a teen I worked at an Outback Steakhouse and we took the “no rules” part to heart. My favorite coworker was this gal named Mia and she would often order kids Mac with ground beef. Our city was a little rough around the edges and somehow it got dubbed “Ghetto kids Mac” and I’ve been making it at home ever since. We’re talking 20 years. I love the idea of this upgraded version with added veggies. I can’t wait to try it!

  196. Ooo this sounds so good. This sort of recipe appeals to me a lot more than the whacky ones :D:D Perfect comfort food…will be making this at the weekend!

  197. 5 stars
    Making this tonight for my family! Question – could you sub 2% milk for whole milk (it’s what I have in my fridge already) or will it ruin the sauce? Looks delicious can’t wait for dinner!!

    1. I suggest when you shop for the ingredients just buy a small 16 oz. pint of whole milk.2% will not ruin your sauce it will not taste quite as rich and be a little thinner.

    2. Hey Kristina,
      2% milk should be just fine for you to use. I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  198. I would love to try this. It sounds like a crowd pleaser! I’m curious whether you’ve cooked the pasta before dumping it in the meat mixture with the zucchini, milk etc.?

    1. I make one pot pasta recipes all the time, and you don’t cook the pasta before dumping it in! Its so much easier and pretty fun to cook is this way :)!

    2. Hey Danah,
      I haven’t I wanted to make this any easy one pot meal, so just cook the pasta in the same pot. I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Alisha,
      It really depends on the fat content of beef that you get. If you feel as though you need to drain the beef then you totally should:) I hope you love this recipe! xTieghan

  199. What specific pasta did you use for this recipe? I like the look of the one in your pictures and would like to try and purchase that particular brand.

    1. Hey Jess,
      It should be just fine to skip the zucchini. I hope the recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  200. 5 stars
    Yes, what’s not to like about basically “beef mac ‘n cheese.” It may not be your usual
    colorful flair but this fills a need in every busy mom’s kitchen. I have been married 55 years and yes…I did make the boxed version for my family. Trying this tonight, now just the two of us.

  201. Sounds like this could be a winner with the whole family. Would it be ok to sub ground pork or chicken instead of beef?

    1. Hey Helen,
      Sure, either of those would work well for you. I hope the recipe turns out amazing, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Kari,
      I have not tried this recipe with cauliflower pasta, so I am unsure what the results would be. Please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan