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Homemade Cheeseburger Helper

I will just start with saying that I know hamburger helper may not be on the top of your list of foods to recreate at home, but I have several homemade versions that I make and my kids love them.

They are quick and easy to make and are a very kid friendly dinner idea, so I though they would be fun to share with you. Today we are starting with Homemade Cheeseburger Helper.

I love the fact that this is a quick and easy dinner that uses basic ingredients that I have on hand. We all need more meals that are not only quick and easy to make, but that don’t break the budget to serve. And being kid friendly makes them even better.

I know many of you may keep Hamburger Helper type meals in your pantry, and I totally get why, but you really need to try a homemade version because they are really good.

In fact, we think they are much better because you get the taste of homemade, not all the other stuff that comes with it.

And if you like homemade versions like this, stay tuned for more make at home recipes as part of my new series for 2013.


And here is my little disclaimer. ๐Ÿ™‚ It has been a really long time since we had a box of Cheeseburger Helper, so I am not sure that this taste will be 100% the same taste you get from the box, but like I said above we think it is better. I know they change the taste and formulations over the years and the tastes may have changed some since I tried it last. But I have been making homemade versions for years and we love the homemade versions better than any of the boxes we tried.ย 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. I think I’m gonna like this series!

  2. sounds good! I will have to put this on my menu!

  3. Thank you! This sounds just up my son’s alley. What bouillon brand do you use for the beef broth? I’ll have to think about some good tweaks to make it work for my daughter. Hmm…

    • I am not sure if you deal with food issues/allergies or not. Since we do it is hard to find a gluten free one. I usually use a beef base for this, which I guess is not actually a bouillon, but the same idea. It is a paste that comes in a jar and I keep in the refrigerator. There are a couple of gluten free ones out there that I keep on hand for recipes like this. I do have a gluten free powdered bouillon I just found, and have a post planned for my allergy section on it, but since it is expensive I only use it in a few things like homemade onion soup mix. I am not sure that helps you or not, but I hope it does. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. How many will this feed? My husband and I have 6 of our 7 children lliving here at home with us, from 22 months to 13, 4 of which eats like grown ups!!

    • I would probably double it for your family. I have three kids, so five of us, and if I serve it with salad/veggies, there is usually a little left for my husband’s lunch the next day. So I would say around 6 servings for this recipe. I hope that helps.

  5. I would love to see some more of these! I do enjoy a good cooking experiment, but I haven’t ventured into the world of Hamburger Helper just yet – and man I need to! They are so yummy but most of them have food dyes in them and my son is allergic! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I hope you enjoy this new series. I am glad my readers are looking forward to it. I have several of these Hamburger Helper type meals I plan to share over the next few months, so stay tuned for those. I hope you enjoy them.

  6. What I love about “Hamburger Helper” is the 1-pot phenomenon, not having to boil the pasta separately! Makes cooking and clean-up so easy! Your Spicy Sausage Pasta is the same concept for me, even though it may not have the same taste as any of the boxes out there. So even if they don’t taste like a name-brand box – I love to see recipes like this!

    • One pot meals are great and I love it when I find ones that work. And I am glad you enjoy the Spicy Sausage Pasta. We love that meal too.

  7. I used to cook hamburger helper every week but since moving toward a ‘real food’ diet we ditched the box. I love recipes like this! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thanks, Lynn!. Yes, we do rely on HH more than I like, so I will enjoy this series.

  9. I just made this for lunch today, and it was a complete hit. I did load it up with veggies though, and it was still a complete hit!

    • I love the idea of sneaking vegetables in this. I am glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me know. And stay tuned for more versions over the next few months. I have several that I plan to share.

  10. Hello Lynn! I made this recipe last night for supper! It WAS PERFECT! I have had the boxed one recently and this recipe was RIGHT ON! The color was perfect. Everything was a complete replica! I couldn’t help but post your recipe on my blog as well. Of course, I attributed this terrific recipe to you. What I was most thrilled with was that it made so much more than the box kind. My daughter, who is 20, was gobbling it down and I think she had her doubts about how much it would really taste like Cheeseburger Macaroni. She said, “MOM! THIS IS JUST LIKE CHEESEBURGER MACARONI BUT BETTER!” I was smiling because I knew it was better if for no other reason than it didn’t have any of those icky ingredients you get in the box. Thank you, Lynn! I will definitely never, ever again buy a box of HH!

  11. I forgot to share with you the link to my version of YOUR recipe! I’m not sure what protocal is exactly, but here is your recipe on my blog post. Thanks again!

  12. Pam Fournier says

    Just finished making this with venison and whole grain spiral pasta. Worked out well and theirs lots of leftovers so i don’t have to cook!

  13. We had this for supper & it was a hit!

  14. Rhonda Henrich says

    Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper is a family favorite. I tried your version last night, without the sour cream as I didn’t have any, and we all loved it.
    Thank you so much for going through the trouble to figure out this recipe. I can’t imagine how you did it, or how many experiments it took. I’m very glad for the recipe! Thanks again!
    Blessings, Rhonda

    • Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed it. It did take a few experiments, but it was worth it. I am so glad I got it right. I have another version coming up soon.

  15. Sara Foster says

    I just found ur site today… it all so far, i would love to find a cheesy tuna helper homeade version….that was my favorite and we do not ever buy processed foods anymore…..i look forward to ur series…..thanks so much!

  16. I love these types of meals. During the week we are so busy that a meal quick to the table is vital and being kid friendly is even better.

  17. Should I omit the water if I plan on using a veg noodle (i.e. zucchini noodles)?

    • I have never done that, so I am not sure. The liquid is needed for the macaroni to cook, so I would guess yes, but since I have not tried it I am not sure.

  18. Thank you for letting me know how much you all enjoyed it. I will add the hashbrowns one to my list to recreate.:-) I am not sure I have actually eaten that one, but I know what it is. I think that one should be pretty easy to come up with.

  19. I haven’t had the boxed kind in a very long time because my hubby has flash backs of eating this a lot as a child. For me, the box kind was a treat (crazy right?) because we rarely had it. So when I saw your homemade recipe, I knew I had to try it. I made it tonight and it was very good! Even hubby liked it. I will be adding this to our meal rotation. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Kelly Smith says

    This recipe is delicious. I love to add 1 tsp dried parsley, 1 tsp sea salt, and some garlic and onion powders.

  21. LOVED this…it tastes like the Hamburger Helper I had in childhood. I substituted some of the ingredients: used organic, grassfed, local beef, organic brown rice pasta, I didn’t have cheddar, so I used the Gouda and Provalone cheeses I had on hand. Both of my sons loved it too!! Thank you. I also shared it on my Facebook ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. This is one of those dishes that is best the next day after the flavors have had a chance to blend. Love it when left overs taste so good.

  23. Lynn,

    I loved your helper recipes! I remember growing up with the boxed versions and agree that home-made, gluten-free versions are better!

    I don’t have kids, but home-made tuna “helper” is a go-to comfort food I make on my days off.

    Thank you for this! I am going to try the cheeseburger recipe this nex week!


  24. My daughter tried the boxed version of this at a friend’s house and has been begging me to buy it since then, which hasn’t happened. Found your recipe and knew I had to try it. Only change I made was I used venison instead of beef. It was a huge hit. My daughter had three bowls! My husband said he loved it so much he could stick his face in the pot !!Thanks for another great recipe!!!

    • Thanks for letting me know how much your family enjoyed it. And I often use venison in place of beef in recipes like this since my husband and kids hunt. I use what I have and it usually works great.

  25. This recipe is great! I’m not a fan of the real “Helpers” but I did try a few once they came out with a few whole wheat, non-MSG versions. This recipe is very close to one of theirs and my kids actually like it better than the box. I think it’s really delicious too and I’m so happy to find this recipe! It’s so easy and a great meal to make when I don’t have a lot of time or energy and just want something both of my boys will eat. Thanks!

  26. Pinning this. I love that it is made of simple pantry staples. Thank you for sharing. I also think my 3 kids and hubby will love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Julia March says

    Great website and cooking ideas. But please, macaroni “noodles?” It’s just plain macaroni. Elbow macaroni for this recipe. I just can’t figure why folks call ANY pasta a noodle. Noodles are different. Spaghetti is the type of pasta, I cringe when I see “spaghetti noodles.”

    Ok, got that off my chest.

    Lovely website, having fun looking at stuff while we are getting hammered with snow.

    Happy New Year! ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. This recipe was a great kick starter at our house. I have been using different flavored cheese to change the flavor up. Our favorite is a chipolte cheddar gives it a nice kick.


  1. […] not that I never have, it’s just that with awesome recipes like this one inspired by Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures, you no longer have to. I changed up the recipe a bit to suit our tastes and boost the nutritional […]

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