The Cooking Chronicles: Homemade Hamburger Helper

One afternoon, Mack remarked that he was craving Hamburger Helper. It wasn’t something he had a lot growing up, but then again, a desire for beefy, cheesy pasta is probably not that out of the ordinary!

We had some ground beef (remnants of our cowshare) in the fridge, so hit the internet in search of recipes. We came upon a goldmine put together by a blogger whose children love all incarnations of Hamburger Helper. Since that day, we’ve tried two of her recipes.

Homemade Chili Cheese Hamburger Helper

Given how easy this was to pull together, I had to wonder why people would turn to the boxed version at all. With basic pantry ingredients and a few spices, we had a satisfying lunch ready in half an hour (and yes, it did hit the spot for Mack!). It’s amazing what corn starch can do as a thickener.

Hamburger Helper

Homemade chili cheese hamburger helper

Homemade Beef Stroganoff Hamburger Helper

Of the two, this was my favourite. Two full cups of mushrooms melted away during the cooking time, and the egg noodles worked well enveloped in the creamy sauce. And by using non-fat milk, it resulted in a dish that didn’t taste all that heavy.

Beef Stroganoff

Homemade beef stroganoff hamburger helper

As the blogger mentions, these aren’t “inventive gourmet meals.” But for picky eaters (or to satisfy random cravings), they are great to turn to in a pinch!