I’ll admit it. I used to make my kids Hamburger Helper. Not a lot. Usually on a night that I was going out or was in a huge rush. I haven’t made it in probably 2 years now, but my kids always enjoyed it. I always made the lasagna one, which is strange because my kids don’t love lasagna, but I knew they wouldn’t like those ones with the fake cheese sauces, so the lasagna seemed the safest.
I decided to try and come up with my own version. Now granted, this did take longer to make than a package of Hamburger Helper does, but not that much longer, and the results were worth it. It was delicious.
Home-Made Hamburger Helper
5 oz. bacon, stacked and sliced into 1/4″ slices
¾ cup finely diced onion
¾ cup finely diced green bell pepper
½ cup finely diced carrot
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced finely
4 garlic cloves pressed through a garlic press
1 ¼ pounds ground beef
1 tablespoons tomato paste
¾ cup tomato sauce
½ of a 14.5oz. can petite-diced tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheese (I used a mixture of cheddar & jack)
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked al dente & drained
Brown the bacon over medium-low heat until nicely browned but not too crisp. Raise heat to medium and add the onion, bell pepper, carrot and jalapeno and garlic and cook until just tender.
Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink, stirring frequently, over medium heat-high heat. Do not brown the meat. When the meat is cooked through add the tomato paste, tomato sauce and petite-diced tomatoes. Stir to combine and once boiling, turn heat down to a simmer.
Now take your pot or bowl of drained, al dente cooked macaroni and pour this mixture over it. Stir to combine. Throw in about 1 cup of shredded cheese and stir again until the cheese is combined. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. I found mine didn’t need any at all, but yours might. Serve immediately.