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

Print

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

Garlic Drop Biscuits

These deliciously fluffy drop biscuits are easy to make with no rolling required. Simply mix, drop, and bake.

These biscuits add a new twist on a typical drop biscuit with the addition of garlic, chive, & Parmesan. Make these for serving with soups or stews, or even to have with breakfast!

close up of Garlic Drop Biscuits on a baking sheet

Why We Love These Biscuits

  • These tender baking powder biscuits can be made in just one bowl.
  • They only use 5 basic ingredients.
  • Drop biscuits don’t need to be rolled out (which means less mess, less cleaning).
  • These biscuits are super tasty and failproof every time!

process of adding dry ingredients to make Garlic Drop Biscuits

Ingredients

BUTTER Be sure your butter is cold. Cold butter creates little pockets in the biscuits for better texture. Work the butter in using either a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until the mixture resembles peas.

FLOUR All-purpose flour is something we always have on hand, you can substitute 1/2 cup with wheat flour if desired.

FLAVORS Garlic & onion plus chive and Parmesan cheese add extra flavor to these drop biscuits! Feel free to add in some shredded or cheddar or a few dried chili flakes. Even jalapenos can be added in for some spice!

process of adding in wet ingredients to dough to make Garlic Drop Biscuits

How to Make Drop Biscuits

Drop biscuits are super simple to make since there’s no need to roll them out.

  1. Mix dry ingredients together.
  2. Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender or fork (dough should become crumbly, like small peas). Mix in chives & cheese.
  3. Add milk, combine until just barely mixed. Then just drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheeet & pop in the oven!

Garlic Drop Biscuits on a baking sheet before cooking

Tips for the Best Biscuits

  • The colder the butter, the better the biscuit. Try cutting the butter into cubes and refrigerating it until icy cold.
  • Once the milk is added, a quick mix of the dough is all that really needed. Don’t overdo it, or the biscuits can lose their fluffy & tender texture.
  • These biscuits can be dropped on top of chicken stew for chicken and dumplings. About 15-20 minutes before stew is ready to serve, drop biscuit dough on top, then cover with a tight-fitting lid. Don’t lift the lid before time is up!

pile of Garlic Drop Biscuits

How to Store

  • Drop biscuits with cheese keep fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days. Just store them in a zippered bag or an airtight container.
  • Baked drop biscuits can also be frozen, and will keep their quality for up to four months.
  • Warm them up in the microwave or toaster oven or serve biscuits and gravy for breakfast!

Our Favorite Biscuit Recipes

Did you love these Garlic Drop Biscuits? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

close up of plated Garlic Drop Biscuits

Garlic Drop Biscuits

Tender, flaky, and flavorful, these Garlic Drop Biscuits are the perfect side dish!
Course Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 432
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • cup butter cold
  • cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1 tablespoon chives chopped
  • 1 to 1 ¼ cup milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease it well).
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, onion & garlic powder in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Add cold butter and cut in with a fork until the mixture is the size of peas or slightly smaller. Add parmesan cheese and chives and stir.
  • Add milk a bit at a time stirring after each addition until you make a dough that is sticky and can be dropped with a spoon. The dough should be a bit softer than cookie dough.
  • Drop dough by heaping tablespoons to create 12 biscuits.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes or lightly browned.

Nutrition

Calories: 432 | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 956mg | Potassium: 600mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 715IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 380mg | Iron: 3mg
Garlic Drop Biscuits with writing
Garlic Drop Biscuits on a baking sheet with a title
close up of Garlic Drop Biscuits with a title
Garlic Drop Biscuits on a baking sheet and plated with a title

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Air Fryer Fried Pickles

Air fryer fried pickles are crispy and crunchy with lots of great dill pickle flavor and they can be made right at home!

We are obsessed with all things pickle (and of course fried pickles) and this crunchy, tangy recipe tops the list. Simply dip in the coating and air fry!

top view of Crispy Air Fryer Dill Pickles on a plate

Who doesn’t love crunchy dill pickles?

What Type of Pickles to Use?

Dill pickles are best for this recipe. Ensure your pickle slices aren’t too thin.

  • Pickle spears – have the most pickle flavor and are the juiciest because the pickle is thicker.
  • Pickle chips – or rounds are great for snacking. If making these, cut your own pickles to make them a bit thicker.
  • Sliced pickles – we love the crunch of these pickles, they have a higher coating to pickle ratio. Slice your own from large pickles to have thicker slices.

Ingredients and Variations

PICKLES Choose your favorite shape of dill pickles (above). We love spears or thick slices.

BREADCRUMBS Panko bread crumbs add a great crunch to this recipe although seasoned bread crumbs will work in a pinch.

LOW CARB Version: Ditch the flour and use a bit of almond flour instead. Swap out Panko bread crumbs with a combination of almond flour and crushed pork rinds (season them). Eggs are keto so follow the same steps in the original recipe.

process of putting batter on pickles to make Crispy Air Fryer Dill Pickles

How to Fry Pickles in Air Fryer

Air fryer pickles are a weird and wonderful treat that takes just minutes to put together!

  1. Pat drained pickles dry with paper towel. Put flour in one bowl, egg mixture in another bowl, & Panko mixture in a third bowl.
  2. Dredge each pickle in flour, then egg mixture, then breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs into the coated pickles.
  3. Spray each pickle with cooking spray & place in air fryer. Cook for 5 minutes, turn over, & cook another 4 to 6 minutes or until crisp.

sliced dill pickles breaded on a pan

Tips for Frying Pickles

  • Slice pickles yourself to get thicker slices (and more pickle in every bite).
  • Dab the pickles dry before coating, this helps the coating stick.
  • Work in batches by air frying pickles while breading other pickles.
  • Just before serving all of the batches can be reheated for about 1 minute.
  • Spray the pickles with cooking spray before putting them in the air fryer. Cooking spray can damage the basket.

fried pickles in an air fryer basket

What to Serve with Fried Pickles

Put the air fryer back to work on some of these appetizers! Air fryer taquitos, air fryer stuffed mushrooms, and some air fryer shrimp would all pair perfectly with fried pickles. Don’t forget a party pitcher of homemade lemonade or some tangy margaritas!

Dips for Dunking!

Did you love these Air Fryer Dill Pickles? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

top view of Crispy Air Fryer Dill Pickles on a plate

Crispy Air Fryer Dill Pickles

Lightly seasoned, breaded, and then air fried, these crispy dill pickles are the perfect appetizer!
Course Air Fryer, Appetizer, Party Food, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 56
Author Holly Nilsson

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 16 dill pickle spears or thick pickle slices
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce such as Tabasco
  • 1 ½ cups Panko bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
  • Drain pickles well and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Put flour in a small bowl. Whisk eggs, water, and hot sauce in another bowl. Place breadcrumbs and seasonings in a third bowl.
  • Dredge pickles in the flour, dip in the egg mixture, and then into the breadcrumbs, pressing the crumbs to adhere.
  • Spray each pickle with cooking spray and place in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook 5 minutes, flip pickles and cook an additional 4-6 minutes or until browned and crispy.
  • Allow to cool 2 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Work in batches to cook all pickles. To save time, place the first batch to cook while continuing to coat the remaining pickles.
  • Once all pickles have been coated and cooked, they can all be gently added back to the air fryer to heat through before serving.Slice pickles yourself to get thicker slices (and more pickle in every bite).
  • Dab the pickles dry before coating, this helps the coating stick.
  • Work in batches by air frying pickles while breading other pickles.
  • Just before serving all of the batches can be reheated for about 1 minute.
  • Spray the pickles with cooking spray before putting them in the air fryer. Cooking spray can damage the basket. 

Nutrition information calculates the use of 1/2 of the batter/breading and is for 1/4 of the recipe. This may vary based on the shape of pickle and the amount of breading used.

Nutrition

Calories: 56 | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Crispy Air Fryer Dill Pickles cooking in the fryer with a title
Crispy Air Fryer Dill Pickles in the air fryer with a title
Crispy Air Fryer Dill Pickles in the air fryer with writing
Crispy Air Fryer Dill Pickles in the air fryer and plated with a title

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Air Fryer Cauliflower (quick side dish)

The air fryer strikes again for this easy-to-make recipe for air fryer cauliflower! 

Seasoned, crispy, fried cauliflower florets are a low-carb and Keto but to be honest, everyone in my family loves this!

top view of Air Fryer Cauliflower on a plate with a fork

Cauliflower is a superfood and it roasts perfectly in the air fryer! Cook up a batch as a side dish, or as a guilt-free snack!

Easy Air-Fried Cauliflower

Air fried cauliflower is one of our favorite recipes it requires little prep and minimal seasoning and cooks in about 15 minutes.

The caramelization from the air fryer makes this dish even more flavorful.

Eat this as a side dish or use in place of steamed cauliflower in dishes like mashed cauliflower, to add to casseroles or even in roasted cauliflower soup.

Air Fryer Cauliflower in the air fryer before cooking

Ingredients/Variations

CAULIFLOWER – I prefer to use fresh cauliflower in the air fryer but if you only have frozen, use that!

Frozen cauliflower does not need to be thawed first. Simply brush with olive oil (or spray with cooking spray).

SEASONINGS We use garlic powder, salt & pepper, and parmesan in this recipe. Switch it up by trying different seasonings. Or coat the cauliflower florets with buffalo sauce and make “wings.”

cooked Air Fryer Cauliflower in the air fryer

How to Cook Cauliflower in the Air Fryer

It’s super easy and fast to cook up some tasty cauliflower!

  1. Prepare the cauliflower and toss with a bit of oil and seasonings (per recipe below).
  2. Place cauliflower pieces in the air fryer basket and fry until tender.
  3. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and cook another few minutes until the cheese is melted and crispy.

For crispier cauliflower, cook in small batches in a single layer. Place all cauliflower in the air fryer together for 2 minutes before serving to heat.

More Air Fryer Sides

Did you make this Air Fryer Cauliflower? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

top view of Air Fryer Cauliflower on a plate with a fork

Air Fryer Cauliflower

Seasoned Air Fryer Cauliflower is ready in less than 20 minutes, making it the perfect side dish!
Course Air Fryer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 19 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 132
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • cup parmesan cheese finely shredded

Instructions

  • Cut cauliflower into florets. Wash and drain very well.
  • Combine olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Toss with cauliflower.
  • Preheat air fryer to 390°F.
  • Place cauliflower in the air fryer basket and cook 12 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with parmesan and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until florets reach desired doneness.

Notes

If the cauliflower is wet (after washing) it will steam instead of roast so be sure to drain very well. If possible, I try to wash the cauliflower the day before roasting.

For crispier cauliflower, cook in small batches in a single layer. Place all cauliflower in the air fryer together for 2 minutes before serving to heat.

To reheat, air fry 3-4 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 132 | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 430mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 1mg
Air Fryer Cauliflower cooking in the air fryer with writing
close up of plated Air Fryer Cauliflower with a title
Air Fryer Cauliflower in the air fryer and plated with a title
Air Fryer Cauliflower in the air fryer with a title

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies