mama’s hamburger help-me dish

November 3, 2015

makes 6 servings       time: 30 minutes

“a healthier alternative to hamburger helper”

1 T evoo
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 lbs ground beef
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 T all-purpose flour
2 c drained canned diced tomatoes
3/4 c chicken stock, unsalted
1 lb elbow macaroni
1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 c)
1/4 c parsley
salt & ground pepper, to taste


  1. bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. heat a large skillet over medium heat. heat the oil, then add the onion and season with salt. cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  3. add the beef, oregano, and cayenne and season generously with salt and pepper. season the beef well at this point because the seasonings won’t get in there if you add them later. cook, stirring to break the meat up into little pieces, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. drain the fat (very important step !) out of the pan and discard.
  4. sprinkle flour over the beef and stir until well mixed. stir int he tomatoes and stock. raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. simmer hard over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  5. while the beef simmers, add the macaroni and 1 tsp salt to the boiling water. cook a minute less than the label directs and drain well.
  6. stir into beef. stir in half of the cheese. if the mixture is too thick and stiff, stir in more stock to loosen it up.
  7. divide among serving bowls and top with parsley and remaining cheese. serve immediately.


this tasted great ! i made a mistake and forgot to pour out the extra fat which i’ll have to remember the next time i make this… that may be pretty soon =] this was really easy to make and is probably a little healthier than the “instant” hamburger helper you find in stores. definitely a keeper recipe !

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