Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe (2024)



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Cassie W.

This 4-serving gutbuster clocks in at over 1,100 calories per serving. I lightened it up by omitting the bacon, using half-and-half and 93% ground beef. I easily divided it into 6 servings with a salad on the side.


Made as directed, following others' suggestions to cut down on the hot sauce. Delicious! And worked very well using gluten-free macaroni.Although after spending a good hour and a half in the kitchen -- on a recipe inspired by a convenience product, of all things -- my teen son and I decided it would more accurately be titled "Hamburger Complicater."


I got drunk and made this when my fiancee wasn't home and got all these stains on my undershirt when I ate it (I spilled on myself) and it was so good and I don't even care.

Andrea V.

I used 1/4 cup of mild buffalo wing sauce (Noble Made) and subbed a head of steamed cauliflower cut to 1/2 inch florets instead of the macaroni. Leave out most of the broth (used about a TBSP), combine the cream, hot sauce, cheeses and broth, then mix in the already steamed florets. Makes an amazing lower carb option.


Why couldn’t you just cook the bacon first? There’s no need for 1/4 c of oil if you use the FIVE STRIPS of bacon and drippings to cook the onions and garlic, and then the ground beef. I cannot see throwing away added oil when you have the bacon drippings?!


I honestly don't know why anyone would make a cheese, cream, pasta, bacon and beef dish and then try to reduce carbs and fat. I followed the directions exactly and not only drained the fat off but dumped all the beef etc onto a paper towel in step 4 and then continued. 1/4 c. of hot sauce sounded like a lot to me too so I waited until all the ingredients were together and added some sriracha and red chili flakes a little at a time to taste. This homemade version is SO. GOOD.


yes, the american cheese from the *deli* is what is meant to be used here due to its amazing ability to melt like a dream. the recipe isn't calling for Kraft American "Cheese" slices. it makes all the difference, trust me :)


To those who don’t have to count calories/fat/etc., I salute you!—but I just couldn’t face my trainer if I’d made as written. (1/4 c oil to sauté a single onion?) So: 1 T oil, lean turkey instead of beef, no bacon, low-fat milk instead of cream, 3 slices of Gouda instead of 5 slices of American (bc American cheese gives me flashbacks to the elementary school lunchroom). I’m sure it wasn’t as good as the recipe as written—but it was delicious nonetheless!


Made this strictly by recipe tonight for dinner. Yeah, time consuming. Yeah, plenty of stage cooking. Yeah, heavy meal. But what a payoff. Absolutely delicious! Kept all ingredients as written and... I dunno what all these comments about “too spicy” are about. Used Franks Original RetHot and it was perfect! A lot of white folk Wonder Bread palates up in here. This is perfect winter comfort food, and I thank you for the recipe!


On the basis of your recommendations (including nix the hot sauce for small kids thank you) I’m going to put together the cooked components for my harried daughter to keep on her freezer. For one of the days the toddler is hiding things in the trash can, the 5 year old just got busted at school for kissing a girl, and the tween is annoyed by it all. Mom will only have to nuke the parts, cook pasta and serve. Thank you nyt you’ve never steered me wrong.


Am cheese is often used because the additives that give it its rubbery texture also make it melt without getting stringy and will help the cheddar in this dish remain creamy too.I worked in a deli in college; the Am cheese sliced off a 5 lb loaf is exactly the same as the individual slices in a cello pack. Either will work, and it depends on how much you want left over after making this recipe, but you really shouldn't skip it.


We don’t love spice so we didn’t use hot sauce. I used 1/2 paprika and 1/2 ancho chili powder instead and it was delicious!


We are fans of spice but wish I had reduced hot sauce by a 1/3 so that folks could adjust to taste when served. (I used just a touch more than 1/4 cup of Frank's) Made this primarily for our elementary school aged family members and it was a bit too spicy for them. Adults loved this elevated comfort food recipe.


I used 1/4 c of Tapatio and it was a bit too spicy even for spice-lovers. Very, very tasty comfort food, but would cut that hot sauce in half to avoid the inferno.

Rachel S

Whew! Heavy duty! Delicious, but whoa. Heavy and a lot of work, so it might be a one-time dish for us. Subbed GF pasta, pancetta for the bacon, and added 2 tablespoons of Cholula based on reviews that 1/4 cup was too spicy. The Cholula made this, though - yum! We also don't love American cheese, so we just used shredded cheddar and it was PLENTY cheesy.


This is a keeper. I omitted the canola oil. Instead I browned the bacon, drained it on paper towel, then used the rendered fat to sauté the onion. Used 1/4 c Texas Pete and it was just the right amount of heat for us.


I had leftover porcupine meatballs which cut down on cooking time, used some old red wine, skipped the bacon, and used sour cream since I didn’t have cream. Yum

Amanda B.

1/4 c hot sauce is too much, it robs the flavor. Couldn’t taste the beef or the bacon. Disappointing. Would make again with only 1 T hot sauce. I used Tobasco. Might have been passable with Chiloula.


My 3 year old has proclaimed this the best ever Mac n cheese. High praise!


I’m not usually one to suggest changing recipes and making them healthier, I love a rich dish. But this recipe might be the exception. It was like a brick in my stomach, and after the work of making it, I didn’t wanna feel gross like that. I’d make some of the changes people have suggested and swap out the heavy cream, use rendered bacon fat instead of adding more oil, maybe even add some peas or something. It will still be very delicious and indulgent but won’t make you feel straight up ill.


If you’re on a diet skip this. If you think you can make it taste good by cutting corners, don’t bother. I double it up, using a full pack of bacon, a 2lb bag of cavatappi pasta. Sometimes i buy the 1/2 pork and 1/2 beef from the store and that’s great as well. Cook the bacon with the onions and you can get a better brown on the beef. Get the pan screaming hot before you add the wine. Also I’ve found Valentina is the best for this hot sauce wise. Makes for a richer consistency

E. Lee

Fantastic! I kept to the instructions the first three times, and it was delicious. The fourth time, (so I could pretend it was slightly nutritious) I added a 16 oz. can of diced tomatoes after browning the bacon and before adding the beef. Even better!!


Quick caramelized the onions with 1 Tb butter and substituted ground pork as it was hanging out in the fridge. Used only 1/2c. wine since that was all that was left in the bottle. Omitted the hot sauce, and ended up with about 1c. of grated cheese after combining the odds and ends in the cheese drawer. Followed the recipe as written otherwise, and had an excellent lunch on the table in about 30 minutes. Next time I think I’ll add in a couple of shredded zucchini, and cut back the cream…

Mary Alice M.

Would make again but pull way back on the hot sauce and smoked paprika. I was also confused by the instruction to "dice" the onion into 1/2 inch pieces. Dicing is cutting into 1/4 inch squares. Well, it didn't affect the final product too much.


Fantastic revamp of comfort food


Really tasty - i would put this in the “comfort “ food category. I would not add any salt at all until the very end - it’s pretty salty already!


I’m a huge Louisiana or Texas Pete hot sauce fan, love spice and love this recipe. I may still be partial to the other NYTC fancy hamburger helper recipe with the Italian sausage mostly because it adds greens… maybe some of you who didn’t look at the ingredients and realize this isn’t the “healthiest” recipe should try that one!


It’s delicious. My trick to cut some calories is to use a can of evaporated milk instead of cream, you won’t notice the difference, it’s just as creamy. Also, precook the bacon and no need to add oil, even when you drain most of the fat.


You could modify this recipe multiple ways to make it healthy, but honestly if you want to do that maybe look for something different - healthy - to cook. A little bit of decadence here and there isn't going to kill you.


I hate wine, so I skipped step 5. Added a few tablespoons of tomato paste at that time for a bit of richness. My grocery order came with half & half instead of heavy cream, so I used that. I only added a few good splashes of hot sauce, knowing folks could add more at the end if they wanted it. I cooked the bacon first and added the onions to that, omitting the oil entirely. Perhaps should have removed the cooked bacon until later and just used the fat. Still turned out great!

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Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe (2024)
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