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Homemade hamburger helper in a pot.

Homemade Hamburger Helper

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  • Author: Kelli Avila
  • Prep Time: 00:05
  • Cook Time: 00:20
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Pasta


Serve up that nostalgic pasta dish, but make it in one pot and with all-natural ingredients! This Homemade Hamburger Helper is reminiscent of that classic 90's dish we all used to love but made better for you, and tastier!


Units Scale
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 5 cups beef broth (or water), more as needed
  • 1 pound elbow pasta
  • 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, more to taste
  • Parsley, for serving


  1. Heat oil in large dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add in the beef and a pinch of salt and cook until no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Remove any excess fat.
  2. Add in the tomato paste, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the paste darkens.
  3. Add in the broth and bring it up to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook for as long as the package instruction states (if package says to cook pasta for 10 minutes, cook for 10 minutes), stirring every few minutes to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked through, shut off the heat and add the cheese and sour cream. Stir together, then let the pasta sit for 5 minutes while the sauce thickens. Season to taste.
  6. Garnish with parsley, and serve!


Fresh grated cheese is best.

If the sauce seems thin, add in a bit more water or beef broth to stretch it out.