Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper is an easy and delicious dinner that tastes amazing and is just as fast to make as the boxed version…only made with real ingredients! This is one of my go-to, weeknight ground beef recipes that I just love. Ready in a flash and cooked in only one pan, too.

big spoon of homemade hamburger helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper | The Easiest Dinner Ever

I really like having these fast “I don’t have to think about it” dinners in my back pocket. While I never really grew up eating the boxed Hamburger Helper, I certainly enjoyed my fair share in college. But now that I’m a mother, I definitely can appreciate the point of a fast dish like Hamburger Helper, but much prefer making it homemade. And, funny thing is it doesn’t take that much longer to make it from scratch and it tastes waaaayyy better.

What is Hamburger Helper?

Hamburger Helper is an easy boxed pasta dish that you can find in the grocery store next to the boxed mac and cheese. It usually comes with dry pasta and a seasoning packet which you then cook with meat (usually ground beef).

pouring tomato sauce into pan over macaroni

Main Ingredients Needed

Okay I admit, this list is long, but this recipe could not be any easier! Here’s everything you’ll need to make homemade Hamburger Helper:

  • Olive Oil – this is used to cook the ground beef and onion.
  • Ground Beef + Onion – I used a 93/7 blend of ground beef and yellow onion, but you could just as easily use a white onion or ground turkey.
  • Elbow Macaroni – you can use whatever shape of pasta you’d like, I just kept it classic by using macaroni.
  • Beef Broth – this helps cook the pasta while still providing flavor.
  • Tomato Sauce – this is the base of the sauce.
  • Milk – this also helps cook the pasta while keeping things creamy.
  • Garlic Powder, Chili Powder + Ground Mustard – some seasonings to give it that classic Hamburger Helper taste.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – another flavoring agent, a little goes a long way!
  • Salt + Pepper – and don’t forget to season as you go, these make everything better.
  • Cheddar Cheese – you can make this as cheesy (or not) as you’d like.
  • Half & Half – or use heavy cream. This really makes the sauce creamy and dreamy.
  • Parsley – this is a garnish and is optional.

Can You Make Hamburger Helper without Milk?

Yes, you sure can! While the milk adds a creamy flavor and I’d suggest using it, there are other ingredients you can add that could be considered good substitutes:

  • canned evaporated milk
  • nonfat dried milk whisked together with water, according to package directions
  • almond milk
  • coconut milk
  • extra beef broth + 1-2 tablespoons butter

If you love Homemade Hamburger Helper, try these other ground beef + pasta recipes:

cooked hamburger helper in skillet

How to Make Homemade Hamburger Helper

For full details on how to make Homemade Hamburger Helper, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Cook Ground Beef + Onions

In a large skillet with deep sides, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown onions and ground beef, breaking apart as it cooks.

Create Sauce and Cook Pasta

After onions are tender and ground beef is completely cooked, add in macaroni, beef broth, tomato sauce and milk. Add in spices, Worcestershire sauce and plenty of salt and pepper. Stir well and cover. We are going to cook the pasta in the broth/sauce mix we just created. Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer, stirring every 5 minutes or so to help prevent sticking and scorching. This should take 10-12 minutes total, depending on how long it takes for your pasta to cook.

Add Half & Half + Cheese

After your noodles are completely cooked through and sauce mostly absorbed. Stir in half & half and grated cheddar cheese. Taste, adjust seasonings, top with parsley and serve.

homemade hamburger helper on white plate

What to Serve with Homemade Hamburger Helper

An easy dinner needs an easy side dish or two! Here are some of my go-to’s. With pasta, I love adding salad or some kind of cooked veggie. And garlic bread is always delicious.

big spoon of homemade hamburger helper

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Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper has tons of delicious flavor minus all of the chemicals and preservatives found in the boxed version!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword hamburger helper, homemade hamburger helper
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 608kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef 93/7
  • 1 1/2 cups onion diced
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese or more
  • 3/4 cup fat free half and half or heavy cream
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • In a large skillet with deep sides, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown onions and ground beef, breaking apart as it cooks.
    cooked ground beef and onions in skillet
  • After onions are tender and ground beef is completely cooked, add in macaroni, beef broth, tomato sauce and milk.
    pouring milk into skillet for homemade hamburger helper
  • Add in spices, Worcestershire sauce and plenty of salt and pepper. Stir well and cover. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to simmer, stirring every 5 minutes or so to help prevent sticking and scorching.
    adding Worcestershire sauce to skillet
  • After 12 minutes*, your noodles should be completely cooked through and sauce mostly absorbed.
    cooked hamburger helper in skillet
  • Stir in half & half and grated cheddar cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings.
    adding grated cheese into homemade hamburger helper
  • Top with parsley (optional) and serve hot.
    homemade hamburger helper in large skillet

Notes

*Your cook time with vary based on the pasta you’re using. Check the packaging for estimated cook times.

Nutrition

Calories: 608kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 839mg | Potassium: 781mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 197mg | Iron: 3mg

The post Homemade Hamburger Helper appeared first on Lauren’s Latest.

Originally posted at Laurens Latest

Bruschetta Chicken

This delicious Bruschetta Chicken Recipe is a simple, fast and healthy dinner! Made with chicken cutlets and topped with a tomato basil topping inspired by my bruschetta. I love this recipe and know you will, too!

tomato bruschetta topping on chicken

Bruschetta Chicken | A Favorite Dinner

This Bruschetta Chicken made its way around the web when I first posted it last week for dinner. Lots of people were sharing the picture because they were THAT excited about this ever-popular recipe. Now, all you lovely readers can actually share the prettier pictures with accompanying recipe to boot!

Main Ingredients Needed

This recipe is a relatively healthy one that only requires minimal (but flavorful!) ingredients.

  • Roma Tomatoes – fresh and slightly tangy, Roma tomatoes are the perfect type for bruschetta chicken.
  • Garlic + Fresh Basil – garlic and basil to complement the tomatoes.
  • Chicken – simple cooked chicken for a bright and fresh meal.
  • Balsamic Glaze – I love to top this meal with a balsamic glaze, it perfectly rounds out the flavors in this Italian-inspired dish.

Variations

This Bruschetta Chicken recipe is a simple one, but don’t let that deter you from customizing it for a little more flavor. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Parmesan Cheese: feel free to top this dish with parmesan cheese.
  • Red Onions: these can be added to the bruschetta to add some punch.
  • Italian Seasoning: try adding this to the chicken while it cooks. More herbs equals more flavor.
bruschetta chicken on white plate

How to make Bruschetta Chicken

For full details, including increments, see the recipe card down below!

Step 1: Make the Bruschetta Topping

Dice the tomatoes and add them to a large bowl. Add in the minced garlic, fresh basil, salt and pepper. Stir to coat and then set aside.

Step 2: Brown the Chicken

Blot chicken with paper towels and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat. Cook 4-5 minutes per side until its well browned and registers at 165 degrees F.

Step 3: Drizzle with Balsamic Glaze

Once the chicken is fully cooked, top with your bruschetta topping, drizzle with balsamic glaze and enjoy!

tomato bruschetta topping on chicken

How to Serve Bruschetta Chicken

Here are some traditional items to serve with this meal:

Low Carb Options

Or if you are sticking to a low carb diet, here are some tasty alternatives:

  • zucchini noodles
  • cauliflower rice
  • asparagus

More Recipe to Try!

And that’s it! Bruschetta Chicken, a simple 30 minute meal perfect for those busy weeknights.

The printable recipe card is down below, save/print/bookmark this page 🙂

tomato bruschetta topping on chicken

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Bruschetta Chicken

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This delicious Bruschetta Chicken Recipe is a simple, fast and healthy dinner! Made with chicken cutlets and topped with a tomato basil topping
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword bruschetta chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 4 serving
Author Lauren

Ingredients

for the bruschetta topping-

  • 4 roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 small clove garlic grated
  • 10 basil leaves chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 chicken cutlets

Instructions

  • Dice the tomatoes and add them to a large bowl. Add in the minced garlic, fresh basil, salt and pepper. Stir to coat and then set aside.
    diced tomatoes, garlic and basil in glass bowl
  • Blot chicken with paper towels and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat. Cook 4-5 minutes per side until its well browned and registers at 165 degrees F.
  • Once the chicken is fully cooked, top with your bruschetta topping, drizzle with balsamic glaze and enjoy!
    bruschetta chicken on white plate

The post Bruschetta Chicken appeared first on Lauren’s Latest.

Originally posted at Laurens Latest

French Dip Sandwiches

I love French Dip Sandwiches, but don’t love the time it takes to make the classic version. Enter my super speedy method! Roast Beef lunch meat and store bought Au Jus are jazzed up with a few extra ingredients to make this whole sandwich taste amazing and come together in about 15 minutes. It’s a killer dinner and so so delicious with Macaroni Salad or Potato Salad.

dipping french dip sandwich in au jus

French Dip Sandwiches in 15 Minutes

I know that title seems a little unbelievable, but it’s true! I’ve rigged the classic French Dip Sandwich and shaved down as much time as possible to create a fast but still delicious and flavorful sandwich you are going to love. With the help of your broiler and a few store bought ingredients, you will be enjoying these French Dips in no time. Makes amazing lunches or fast dinners.

Main Ingredients Needed

Here is the really short list of grocery items needed to make these French Dips at home!

  • Au Jus Gravy Mix– a powdered mix when whisked together with water creates a really tasty base for our Au Jus dip. This is the Au Jus Mix I used, but feel free to use the brand you prefer.
  • Roast Beef– thinly sliced lunch meat. I look for the roast beef that has the least amount of fat in the deli case. That’s just my preference, though. Use a brand you like.
  • Garlic + Bay Leaves– used to flavor the au jus so it tastes more homemade
  • Hoagie Rolls– I like toasting the exterior of these rolls just a touch before opening them up and toasting the insides. The toasting is completely optional, but I do find that it helps them hold up a little better.
  • Butter-used to butter the inside of the toasted rolls
hot roast beef in au jus in pan with tongs

How to Make French Dip Sandwiches

Again, this is a speedy recipe. No special equipment or tools needed. For increments and more specific directions, check the recipe card at the bottom of this post, right before the comments.

Step 1: Make the Au Jus + Warm the Beef

Whisk powdered Au Jus together with water in the bottom of a pot or deep skillet. Mine called for 3 cups of water, but double check yours to make sure that increment of water to powder is correct. You want to make it according to package directions.

Smash two cloves of garlic and add them to the au jus. Add the bay leaves. Transfer to stove and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and add in the roast beef to warm. Keep meat warm over low heat.

Step 2: Toast and Butter Your Rolls

While au jus/meat is warming, toast your hoagie buns. I like to toast the bottoms of the rolls, and toast the insides. Watch your bread closely as you don’t want it to burn. The toasting is definitely optional but it helps keep your bread together when you add the juicy meat. Also optional, but feel free to spread butter on the exterior of the roll too. It miiiight be overkill, but man is it good.

Once the insides of the bread are toasted, spread 1/2 tablespoon of butter onto each half and rub with raw garlic clove. SO much flavor is added when you rub the bread with the garlic. Don’t skip this step! It makes such a difference.

Step 3: Assemble the French Dips

Divide the meat between each bottom half of the sandwich and add the provolone cheese, 1 slice per sandwich. (You can always add more if you like it cheesy.) Broil again briefly to melt the cheese; should take 30 seconds to 1 minute since the meat is already hot.

Add the top, cut in half and serve with hot au jus.

Favorite Sides for Hot Sandwiches

While the warm French Dip Sandwich is really filling and delicious on its own, here are a few tasty sides that would made this meal more complete:

dipping french dip sandwich in au jus

Love French Dip Sandwiches? Try these other Favorites:

Anyways, I hope you love love love this recipe as much as my family has come to love it! It’s a simple dinner that has made our dinner menu three weeks in a row. While I love spending the time on classic recipes from time to time, sometimes its nice to have a quick recipe in your back pocket for those busy nights. Enjoy, friends!

dipping french dip sandwich in au jus

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French Dip Sandwiches

Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 sandwiches
Calories 487kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Powdered Au Jus Mix
  • 3 cups water to make the au jus, check package directions
  • 3 cloves garlic divided
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 14 oz Roast Beef Lunch Meat
  • 4 Hoagie Buns/Rolls
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 slices provolone cheese

Instructions

  • Turn oven onto broil. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  • Whisk powdered Au Jus together with water in the bottom of a pot or deep skillet. (Mine called for 3 cups of water, but double check yours to make sure that increment of water to powder is correct. You want to make it according to package directions.) Smash two cloves of garlic and add them to the au jus. Add the bay leaves. Transfer to stove and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and add in the roast beef to warm. Keep meat warm over low heat.
  • While au jus/meat is warming, toast your hoagie buns. I like to toast the bottoms of the rolls, and toast the insides. Watch your bread closely as you don’t want it to burn. The toasting is definitely optional but it helps keep your bread together when you add the meat.
  • Once the insides of the bread are toasted, spread 1/2 tablespoon of butter onto each half and rub with raw garlic clove.
  • Divide the meat between each bottom half of the sandwich and add the provolone cheese, 1 slice per sandwich. (You can always add more if you like it cheesy.) Broil again to melt the cheese; should take 30 seconds to 1 minute since the meat is already hot.
  • Add the top, cut in half and serve with hot au jus.

Notes

To make this more Macro Friendly, simply reduce the butter by half OR omit it completely.

Nutrition

Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 2124mg | Potassium: 407mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 521IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 557mg | Iron: 5mg

The post French Dip Sandwiches appeared first on Lauren’s Latest.

Originally posted at Laurens Latest