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Bowl of Healthier Hamburger Helper.

Healthy Hamburger Helper

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 7 reviews
  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner/Entree
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Healthy Hamburger Helper – a healthy, homemade version of the classic one pot Hamburger Helper dinner! So easy and full of flavor!


  • 12 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
  • 12 cups shredded cheese 


  1. Bring a Dutch Oven to medium-high heat.
  2. Add ghee (or olive oil) and swirl to coat the pan.
  3. Add garlic and move around the pan until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. 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.
  5. Add ground beef and move around pan until fully cooked. 
  6. Add tomato paste, soy sauce, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Stir to combine. 
  7. Add chicken broth, unsweetened almondmilk and macaroni noodles. 
  8. Bring to a simmer and watch closely to ensure it doesn’t boil. Stir occasionally. 
  9. Let simmer 10-12 minutes or until noodles are soft, but firm. 
  10. Stir in lemon juice. 
  11. Taste and add additional kosher salt or other seasonings, as-needed.
  12. Remove from heat and add in shredded cheese. Stir continuously as cheese melts. 
  13. 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.