Homemade Hamburger Helper

I cook a lot of wild food in this house, made from my forage and roadkill. I often go off the deep end in the creativity department, too. But there are times that I fall back on an old childhood comfort food, a homemade version of the boxed dinner, Hamburger Helper. Don't let any food snob ever tell you that this isn't good food. This easy skillet dish comes together in under 30 minutes, and is loved by everyone who comes through my house, from picky eater to gourmand. Nothing fancy here, but people like it. This is an adaptation of Roben Ryberg's recipe.

Homemade Hamburger Helper

1/2 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tbsp. ancho chile powder
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. uncooked gluten-free or regular pasta elbows
1 3/4 c. water
1 tsp. corn or potato starch
1 Tbsp. cold water
1/4 c. sour cream

1. In a skillet over medium heat, saute the hamburger, onion, and spices until they take on a nice brown color. That color is important to adding a rich flavor to the finished dish, so don't get impatient.

2. Add the pasta elbows and water. Let the water come to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, then cover and let cook for 20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.

3. In a small bowl or cup, mix together 1 tsp. cornstarch with 1 Tbsp. cold water, and add to the hamburger mixture. Stir until the sauce starts to thicken.

4. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in sour cream to make a thick, creamy sauce.

I'm sharing this recipe with A Moderate Life's 12 Days of Bloggie-mas.


  1. Wow! - I don't even have to alter your recipe! Thanks for making it corn free. :) I am all out of GF, CF pasta elbows so I will have to order some.


  2. Love the title! The dish sounds good, easy and quick, just what I need some nights.

  3. Your hamburger helper sounds wonderful! There is something about macaroni with ground beef that is just so comforting, and I love the spices you have used.

  4. April - I hear ya. I like my fancy food sometimes, but this dish is always welcome. It's completely unpretentious, but so easy and good.

  5. Butter - you KNOW my crowd would love this and now I have another real food substitution for the boxes and cans in my pantry!!! Yea!! I can't wait to make this!

  6. Did you make it C? It's one of the ultimate family-friendly meals. And I have to admit that I love it too.


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