Healthier Hamburger Helper – a healthy, homemade version of the classic one pot Hamburger Helper dinner! So easy and full of flavor!
Healthy Homemade Hamburger Helper
On busy weeknights when I was growing up it was pretty common for my mom to cook up a box of hamburger helper on the stove. It was an easy one pot meal that the whole family would eat. We wanted to make a homemade version that gave us those classic comfort food vibes but is also healthy. This recipe can easily be made dairy-free or gluten-free, if you want it to be. Give it a try!! So easy and so good!
What You Will Need
- ghee or olive oil – stick with olive oil if you want it to be dairy-free.
- sweet yellow onion & garlic – classic flavors to mix in as you brown the ground beef.
- kosher salt & pepper – a dash of each to season the dish.
- ground beef – you could also use ground turkey, if you want.
- tomato paste – provides a good tomato base to the dish.
- soy sauce – you can sub tamari for the soy sauce if you want the dish to be gluten-free.
- onion powder, garlic powder, & paprika – the delicious blend of spices that really bring the dish to life!
- chicken broth – we highly recommend using chicken broth! Vegetable broth might work too but when we tested beef broth it just didn’t have the right taste.
- unsweetened almond milk – option to use regular milk too!
- macaroni noodles – feel free to use regular macaroni noodles or grab some that are gluten-free.
- lemon juice – a little helps to bring out all of the great flavors.
- shredded cheese – any type of cheese will do but we definitely recommend sharp cheddar!
What Can I Use In Hamburger Helper Instead Of Hamburger?
In this recipe we used a lean ground beef but you could also use ground turkey, ground chicken or even a plant-based meat substitute!
You can easily store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3-4 months. It is one of those meals that might actually taste even better after the flavors have had time to hangout together in the fridge! This is a great option for meal prep!!
How To Make Healthy Hamburger Helper
Step one – brown the ground beef in a dutch oven with the onion and garlic.
Step two – add the tomato paste, soy sauce, and spices.
Step three – gradually add the almond milk
Step four – and the broth.
Step five – and the noodles. Bring to a boil.
Step six – let it simmer about 10 minutes and then add the lemon juice.
Step seven – remove from the heat and add the cheese.
Step eight – enjoy!
Made this recipe and loved it?! We would love it if you would take a minute and leave a star rating and review – it is also helpful if you made any substitutions or changes to the recipe to share that as well. THANK YOU!
Healthy Hamburger Helper – a healthy, homemade version of the classic one pot Hamburger Helper dinner! So easy and full of flavor!
- 1–2 tablespoons ghee (or olive oil)
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt (divided, more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 1/2 cups macaroni noodles
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1–2 cups shredded cheese
- Bring a Dutch Oven to medium-high heat.
- Add ghee (or olive oil) and swirl to coat the pan.
- Add garlic and move around the pan until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add onion and let cook down a little, about 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.
- Add ground beef and move around pan until fully cooked.
- Add tomato paste, soy sauce, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Stir to combine.
- Add chicken broth, unsweetened almondmilk and macaroni noodles.
- Bring to a simmer and watch closely to ensure it doesn’t boil. Stir occasionally.
- Let simmer 10-12 minutes or until noodles are soft, but firm.
- Stir in lemon juice.
- Taste and add additional kosher salt or other seasonings, as-needed.
- Remove from heat and add in shredded cheese. Stir continuously as cheese melts.
- Once cheese is fully melted, serve and enjoy!
- Dairy-Free: to keep this dairy-free simply use olive oil instead of ghee and dairy-free cheese.
- Gluten-Free: use tamari instead of soy sauce and you can use gluten-free macaroni noodles if you want – the cook time might be a little different but just keep an eye on them!
- Cheese: I recommend a sharp cheddar cheese for more flavor, but really any kind will do!
- Thin out: if you need to thin simply add in another splash of chicken broth and stir.
- Broth: we tested this with both beef broth and chicken broth – the chicken broth had a better flavor, but beef broth works too.
Keywords: healthy hamburger helper