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This one-pan Homemade Hamburger Helper features ground beef cooked with macaroni in a rich and creamy sauce with cheese. It’s scrumptious, simple, and cooks entirely in a single skillet, even the pasta!

Homemade hamburger helper in a skillet

Why You’ll Love This Easy Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe

  • SO Much Better Than the Box. If you didn’t grow up with the original Hamburger Helper, it’s a boxed mix that contains dry noodles, a spice packet, and a powdered packet for the “sauce.” For this homemade Hamburger Helper, I wanted to honor the original but using real ingredients (I did the same for this Ground Beef Stroganoff). It tastes rich and creamy, and it even has surprising notes of umami.
  • Perfect for the Entire Family. Comforting, cheesy, and hearty, this is the best homemade hamburger helper recipe for pleasing picky eaters and discerning palates alike.
  • Budget-Friendly. Like Hamburger Casserole, Hamburger Soup, and Ground Beef and Potatoes, this is an excellent dinner option when you’re trying to stretch your dollar on groceries. (Here are some more Ground Beef Dinner Ideas!)
  • One-Pan Dinner. The secret to keeping this recipe easy AND achieving maximum creaminess is to cook the noodles in the pan with the other ingredients (just like my Chili Mac and Cheese). As the pasta starches release, they thicken the Hamburger Helper sauce, making it ultra rich and creamy.
A spoon in a skillet of noodles and meat

5 Star Review

“This is the perfect recipe if you’re looking for simple and delicious. It’s a kid-approved, one pot meal that is just as good leftover as it is hot off the stove.”

— Libby —

How to Make Homemade Hamburger Helper

The Ingredients

  • Lean Ground Beef. Ground beef gives this dish that classic Hamburger Helper flavor and adds lots of protein to your dinner. You can use ground turkey or ground chicken instead if you prefer.
  • Whole Wheat Pasta. Whole wheat pasta adds nutritional value to the dish and it holds up well during cooking. A short, sturdy noodle is best; I used elbow macaroni, but you could also try making this as a homemade Hamburger Helper with penne, rotini, or rigatoni.
  • Beef Broth. Using beef broth in this recipe is important for creating the rich, savory sauce flavors.
  • Carrots + Onion + Garlic. While some recipes call for onion powder and garlic powder, I found that a combination of fresh onion and garlic with carrots helps pack in added nutritional value and creates a deep base of flavor.
  • Nonfat Greek Yogurt. Instead of homemade Hamburger Helper with cream cheese or sour cream, Greek yogurt is my wholesome way of thickening the sauce and creating a creamy texture.
  • Cheddar Cheese. While cheddar is my preference for this recipe (it melts well and the lightly sharp flavor gives the sauce dimension), you can swap another melty cheese of your choice. Colby jack, Monetary Jack, or mozzarella will give you a mild flavor. For a spicy Hamburger Helper, try pepper jack.
  • Hot Sauce. A dash of hot sauce adds the perfect amount of dimension and interest. This recipe isn’t spicy, but if you’d like it to be, you can certainly add more.
  • Dijon Mustard. The thing that makes you stop and say, “Oooohh, that’s good!! What is that?” In other words, don’t skip it.
  • Smoked Paprika. It adds a subtly smoky note.

The Directions

Sauteed vegetables in a Dutch oven
  1. Sauté the Onion and Carrot. Stir in the garlic.
Hamburger helper ingredients in a pot
  1. Brown the Beef. Add the hot sauce, Dijon, and paprika. Stir in the beef broth and water. Bring to a boil.
Hamburger helper simmering in a pot
  1. Cook the Pasta. Stir frequently.
Cheese on top of ingredients in a Dutch oven
  1. Stir in the Yogurt and Cheese. Top with chives or fresh parsley, and ENJOY!
Noodles, veggies, and meat in a skillet

What to Serve With Homemade Hamburger Helper

Healthy homemade hamburger helper in a skillet

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Build Big Flavor. Browning the vegetables helps build major flavor for this Hamburger Helper recipe, so don’t skip it! It only takes a few minutes and it’s well worth the extra step.
  • Don’t Use Egg Noodles. While making Hamburger Helper with egg noodles is traditional for some families, I am hesitant to recommend that shape here (same with homemade Hamburger Helper with spaghetti noodles). Since they are more delicate, I worry they would fall apart.
  • Grate Your Own Cheese. If possible, I highly recommend grating your own cheddar cheese for this recipe. Pre-shredded cheese doesn’t melt as smoothly or taste as rich.

Homemade Hamburger Helper

4.82 from 98 votes
This easy homemade Hamburger Helper recipe is a one-skillet dinner with macaroni, ground beef and cheesy sauce. Kids love it and you will too!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Servings: 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 medium carrots scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 (14-ounce) can reduced sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups water plus additional as needed
  • 8 ounces whole wheat elbow pasta
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives divided (optional)


  • Heat a Dutch oven or a large, deep 12-inch skillet with a sturdy bottom over medium-low heat. Add the oil onion, carrot, salt, and pepper. Let cook until the onion turns brown and soft, about 10 minutes (don't shortcut this step; it builds a lot of flavor).
  • Add the garlic and let cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and add the ground beef. With the back of a large spoon or a sturdy spatula, break the meat into small pieces. Continue to brown, stirring periodically, until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes.
  • Remove pan from the heat and carefully drain off any excess fat, leaving just a little bit in the pan to keep the meat moist (if you are using meat that is 93% lean, you likely will not need to drain it).
  • Return the pan to medium-high heat. Stir in the hot sauce, Dijon, and smoked paprika. Add the beef broth. Scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pan.
  • Add the water and stir to combine. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once the liquid is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente according to package instructions, stirring often and scraping a spoon along the bottom of the pan to keep it from sticking. If at any point the pasta becomes too dry, splash in a bit of water.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let cool 1 minute. Add the Greek yogurt and cheddar. Stir until the cheese is melted and the ingredients are well combined.
  • Stir in half of the chives, then sprinkle the remaining chives on top. Enjoy hot.



  • TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm Hamburger Helper in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 


Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 709kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 47gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 119mgPotassium: 1047mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 8669IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 410mgIron: 5mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Can’t wait to try this. Made something similar a few years ago, but this loos better.  Erin, my youngest son liked Hamburger Helper a lot, but his favorite was the Hashbrown variety.  I used to doctor it up, by using garlic oil, extra cheese and a big handful of chopped parsley.  Never seen a remake of this one, have you? 

    1. Hi Joyce, I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it! I haven’t seen a remake of that version either, but it sounds tasty!

  2. This sounds amazing!!  Some family members don’t eat beef.  How would this be with ground chicken or turkey?  And can I use chicken broth?  

  3. I just tried this. This tastes great !  I love that it cooks the pasta in the pan. I don’t enjoy cooking my food twice – once separately and again together.  I didn’t have Greek yogurt on hand, so used just plain yogurt, and I thought it tasted great!  I used Laura’s 97% lean beef, so no fat left to drain off.  This will now be part of my regular rotation. Thank you!5 stars

  4. This was delicious and way more flavorful than any hamburger helper I’ve ever made from the box. Will definitely make this again!5 stars

  5. I made this for dinner for us tonight, and even tho I didn’t have any yogurt, it still came out tasty. My husband was very happy with it, and he said I can make it again.
    Val5 stars

  6. I am truly in love with all of your recipes! I ran across this blog a few months ago and have made numerous recipes and receive rave reviews from our family of 8 every time! Thank you so much for these easy, delicious and healthy recipes! I just ordered the cookbook and am excited to try the recipes.

    The Homemade Hamburger Helper was delicious and everyone asked for seconds! :)5 stars

  7. This was SO satisfying and delicious. Will be in my rotation this fall/winter for sure! My husband loved it!5 stars

  8. I made this for dinner tonight and everyone, including my 11 month old daughter, gobbled it up! Served with some roasted broccoli and it was perfect. As a busy mom, I will definitely keep this in my arsenal for easy one pot dinners!5 stars

  9. When I saw this recipe I thought it looked really tasty but as I was cooking it I started to have my doubts. Seemed like so many carrots and then the paprika, Dijon and hot sauce felt like a weird combo. All my doubts were erased the second I took my first bite! It was delicious! I even had a second helping. I will definitely, absolutely be making this again. Likely the next time with ground chicken since that is my go to but honestly, other than that swap, I wouldn’t change a thing! Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars

    1. It was alright, but came out pretty bland, could really use some extra flavor but I can’t pin my finger on what exactly. Threw some seasoning salt in and called it good but I can’t quite figure out what it’s really missing.5 stars

  10. Such a delicious and fun throwback recipe! My husband and I used to eat Hamburger Helper when we were in our early 20s, in our first apartment and out on our own for the first time. We were so proud of ourselves for “cooking”! That was 20 years ago and thankfully my culinary skills improved and we moved through that phase pretty quickly. We haven’t had cheeseburger macaroni since that time. Thanks to your recipe we can relive those memories now and actually feel good about what we’re eating! 5 stars

  11. I made this last night and it was a huge hit with my incredibly picky husband and 16 year old daughter. I have tried other “homemade” hamburger helper recipes and none have ever even come close. So the fact that my husband had seconds, is a testament that it was truly delicious. I even added a little red bell pepper to the carrots and onions. I am thankful for your recipe and feel good making something that is unprocessed and I know exactly what’s in it. ??5 stars

    1. Hi Hannah! I haven’t tried this swap myself, but I think it would work fine. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  12. This is SO good! Hamburger Helper is such a nostalgic thing, but I am not a big fan of buying pre-made mixes. I have a picky household and they loved this. Huge fan of the added vegetables, too! Would 100 percent recommend.5 stars

  13. Easy and quick to make, plus my picky five year old gobbled this up! I made sure he witnessed the cheese and carrots going in the pot since those are his favorites. Perfect week night one pot dinner, and a great way to get your kids to eat a good healthy meal.5 stars

  14. This is the perfect recipe if you’re looking for simple and delicious. It’s a kid approved, one pot meal that is just as good left over as it is hot off the stove.5 stars

  15. Tasty and creamy!! My entire family enjoyed and we are all taking the leftovers tomorrow. It really did pair well with the arugula salad. The arugula we purchased though was a bit odd for some reason, but it didn’t stop our enjoyment. ?5 stars

  16. This was delicious- my favorite ‘homemade hamburger helper’ recipe that I’ve tried. Added in some zucchini with the carrots and onion to up the veggies (and because they had to get used)! The whole family loved it- including my 18 month old. Will be adding to the dinner rotation.5 stars

  17. Nostalgia in a bowl!! I haven’t had boxed hamburger helper in over 10 years… but this tasted exactly how I remember it. Couldn’t even tell the difference with any of the more nutritious swaps.

    I used chickpea pasta shells instead of whole wheat macaroni and it still came out great, I just needed to boil the pasta a bit longer (usually the case with chickpea pasta) and therefore had to add some more water too.

    The only hot sauce I had was sriracha, and it still came out great!

    Thanks for the easy recipe!5 stars

  18. I loved this recipe!

    I used chickpea pasta shells instead of whole wheat macaroni, just had to boil a bit longer and use more water but that’s usually the case with chickpea pasta.

    The only hot sauce I had on hand was sriracha, and it still tasted great!

    Even though I haven’t had the classic boxed hamburger helper in over 10 years… it tasted exactly how I remembered. Felt super nostalgic, but more nutritious!5 stars

  19. My daughter loves hamburger helper and I’m glad I found a healthier alternative to this dish, so thank you for sharing this recipe! There were a lot of adjustments I needed to make when I made this. 8 ounces of elbow macaroni pasta (I used the smaller pasta) was just not enough so I added 4 more ounces. Next time, I’ll probably use 2 cups of pasta. There was too much excess liquid so I had to remove some and added more cheese in order to thicken the sauce. 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika made it a little overpowering in the overall flavor, so I would probably cut that down by 1 teaspoon or less. I did like that there was Dijon mustard and hot sauce included in the recipe to add some dimension to the flavor.

  20. I made this tonight and while i reduced the smoked paprika by less than one teaspoon it was still way too smoky(maybe my smoked paprika is smokier than yours!). Kids didn’t eat it. But i would def redo it with 1 tbsp tomato paste while the meat cooks and use 1/4 tsp paprika, plus add a 1/4 tsp of italian herbs, and keep the rest (cheese, yogurt, broth etc)

  21. I made this last night along with the Spinach Strawberry Salad and my husband & I loved both! We don’t eat beef so I just used ground turkey and chicken broth and it was wonderful! So many wonderful recipes!!5 stars

  22. My husband was SO satisfied. I omitted the carrots and subbed American for half of the cheddar due to on-hand ingredients. This is going into weekly rotation! Shout out to Banza- the chickpea elbow noodles were perfect with this dish!5 stars

  23. Had to return to leave a rave review. I have 5 kids and our house has vegetarians too. Made side by side meat and meatless versions and both were devoured. Made the recipe as written just subbed in meat alternatives for the vegetarians. Delicious.5 stars

  24. Very good! Had to come her for recipe; had been reproduced on GetPocket :
    and at a quick glance I KNEW they had the steps all messed up and backwards. Would have been a mess.5 stars

      1. Good but.. 2 cups of water? My stroganoff ended up a soup at 2 cups. Next time I’ll forgo the water altogether unless the pasta is just too dry.3 stars

        1. Hi Blaine, this definitely should not of ended up like soup. I’m sorry to hear the recipe didn’t come out for you. It’s hard to know what may have gone wrong without being there in the kitchen with you, but I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not have it come out, so I truly wish you would have loved this.

  25. Great recipe. I’m not much, honestly, into low fat or super-healthy, just what tastes good. Had some hamburger and whole wheat rotini, and stumbled onto this recipe. Real easy, and the combination of smoked paprika, hot sauce and dijon mustard is pretty genius. The use of jogurt (of which I was skeptical) to enrich the sauce worked well. I did the original and then a variation using Italian sausage instead of hamburger ( browned the meat first then cooked the vegetables in a little of the rendered fat), substituted a can of diced tomatoes for one of the carrots, added some ground fennel and worcestershire sauce to the seasonings – a little heavier than the original, but real good, too. The original is a good base recipe to add to my repertoire of things to do with pasta. Will check out the web site again.5 stars

    1. So glad you enjoyed the recipe and the variation as well! Thank you so much for your kind review Wally!

  26. This recipe was delicious, even my picky toddler enjoyed it! I made some modifications to use up ingredients I had on hand. I substituted lean ground Turkey for the beef and used beef bone broth in place of all the liquids. We will definitely make this meal again! 🙂5 stars

  27. Everyone loved it and gave it a five.
    So much better than the packet that my husband cooked for me once but my French tastebuds couldn’t quite figure it out – taste better and you know exactly what is in it.
    I bought your book a few months back there are so many great tasting recipes my whole family enjoys and I am now exploring your website Merci beaucoup!5 stars

    1. Hi Laurence! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you so much for your support with the cookbook!

  28. Like the recipe and will be giving this a try (but with ground turkey). The one thing I suggest differently is to brown the meat first (especially using beef), then saute the onions, garlic, ect. in the meat fat (adding flavor).4 stars

  29. Loved this! It’s been added to our regular dinner rotation. I used chickpea pasta to lighten it up. I’ve also made it with ground turkey when I didn’t have ground beef on hand. Works well both ways. Thank you for another wonderful recipe, Erin!5 stars

  30. This is the first Well Plated recipe I have ever made and it’s safe to say I can’t wait to make many, many more! This was so flavorful, easy and absolutely delicious.5 stars

  31. Very good. I made it tonight and the family liked it. It is easy to make. I like to know what I am eating and really like that there is not anything in it I cannot pronounce. lol Thank you.4 stars

  32. This recipe is SO GOOD and super fast to make! My husband loves it too! We also add some mushrooms, shallots and extra garlic. Delish! Having it tonight :)5 stars

  33. This is great! I made 2 different batches. For both batches, I used a 5 ounce container of Greek yogurt for each, so slightly more than the 1/2 cup specified; this worked well for both, very creamy. I also omitted cheese for both, as some people in my family do not eat cheese. I am one of them & this is great without cheese. Those who want cheese can just sprinkle it on top. I also used a variety of carrots: one orange, one purple, one white for each (Trader Joe’s organic carrots of many colors); this added a great layered flavor.

    In the first batch, I used red pepper flakes in place of hot sauce (a few shakes), I increased Dijon mustard to 2 teaspoons, and I used equal parts low-sodium beef broth and no-sodium beef broth (my dad has to eat low salt diet.) In the second batch, I omitted the hot sauce entirely, kept Dijon mustard to 1 teaspoon, & used 2 cups or 16 ounces of low sodium beef broth (vs. 14 ounces.) Finally, I puréed the cooked onions with the 2 cups of water. This was to hide the onions from my younger daughter, who loves boxed hamburger helper but won’t eat onions. She has yet to eat it, but I noted that the puréed onions sweetened the sauce and added more creaminess.

    This is a great recipe & will make again. Much better than boxed hamburger helper!!!5 stars

  34. I don’t often eat pasta but I had to try this to take me back to my childhood and it certainly did not disappoint! I am always amazed at how much better whole food ingredients taste compared to the “real thing”. You hit it out of the park on this one Erin, and I will slip this one in every once in a while when I get a pasta craving! :)5 stars

  35. I really did like this recipe! The only reason I am not giving it 5 stars is because it was a little too watery for me at the end, so I think next time I will try cooking with less water to make it more thick. I will definitely be trying this one again though!4 stars

  36. Super easy to make and really does taste just like hamburger helper but without all the not so fun hamburger helper ingredients. Well done!5 stars

  37. Perfect shoveling food (my husbands term) I made it exactly as stated except I didn’t have quite enough Greek yogurt or cheddar but it definitely worked.
    My grandchildren would really like this so thank you so much for sharing we will definitely add it into our rotation.5 stars

  38. Another WellPlated recipe that has become a staple in our house. Last time we made we cut back a little on the carrots and added a diced bell pepper, which I recommend if you’re like me and get sick of eating so many carrots in the winter :) Thank you for the recipe Erin!! Can always count on WellPlated!5 stars

  39. It makes a lot – 6 to 8 generous servings! I found that there was still too much liquid (well at least not as creamy as my mom’s less healthy version) but added a couple spoonfuls of light sour cream. Something about the flavor of the beef broth coming thru a little too strong & the yogurt a little too tangy wasn’t my favorite but for a healthier version, it’s worth trying and then adjusting as you see fit. Thank you for your version of a healthy version of one of my childhood comfort favs!3 stars

    1. Hi Kelly! I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed it, so I really wish they would’ve been a hit for you too!

  40. Two of my boys have to eat dairy free. I have found a good dairy free cheese alternative to use, but what would you recommend to substitute for the Greek yogurt? Maybe some coconut milk?

    1. Hi Heather, coconut milk would be add to much liquid. I would try a dairy free sour cream if you can’t find a dairy free Greek yogurt. Hope this helps!

  41. Me: what do you think?
    Husband: tastes EXACTY like hamburger helper.
    I think that speaks volumes. Also- he ate the leftovers for breakfast, which is gross but clearly he loved it.5 stars

  42. This was amazing and WAY better than the store bought ( which I personally think is gross). My 1.5 year old and 3 year old gobbled this up so fast. I added broccoli and selery for a little extra veg. Will be made again. Thanks Erin!!5 stars

  43. Another winner!!! I used ground Turkey in place of the beef and gluten free elbow macaroni—it turned out great and my picky eaters loved it served with a bit of ketchup. Will definitely add this to our regular rotation.5 stars

  44. This was so good and my picky eater actually ate it with no fuss! I used 1 less tsp of smoked paprika and used the Banza chickpea pasta. Very tasty!5 stars

  45. We loved this recipe. We have never eaten Hamburger Helper so we can’t compare it but, this was excellent! We have never tried one of your recipes before however we are already looking forward to trying more.5 stars

  46. Flavor was good, but my liquid-to-noodle ratio must’ve been off. I doubled the meat, noodles, and liquid but it ended up really watery.

    Any ideas on how to tweak it to double the recipe? 1 pound of meat and 8 ounces of noodles won’t feed my horde.

    1. Hi Haley! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, but it sounds like you might need to just allow the liquid to simmer at a higher heat so it can cook off a little if it has to much liquid for you. Doubling this should be fairly easy. Hope this helps!

      1. Doubled the recipe ended up with way too much liquid as some others have said too. Might 2x the dry ingredients and 1.5x the liquid next time.

  47. SO delicious! I substituted ground turkey for ground beef, used Cybele’s Free to Eat Superbfood Shells (green lentil, cauliflower & parsnip) for the pasta, and used both sharp cheddar and pepperjack cheese. Otherwise followed recipe as written. This will be a ‘keeper’ at our house!5 stars

  48. This sounds amazing, but I have one question. Why is sodium never listed in the Nutrition section of the recipes? Everyone should watch their daily sodium intake. This information might be helpful to many. Thanks.

    1. Hi Chelle! I stopped including sodium info because it can vary so much depending upon what products you used, and I found a lot of conflicting info online, so ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable publishing it because sometimes it wasn’t even in the ballpark. If you’d like to calculate it yourself, there are lots of free tools online ( is popular). I hope that helps!

  49. I added some fired roasted diced tomatoes, a small amount of crushed tomato and cumin! It’s a delicious recipe and a family + friend favorite!5 stars

    1. Hi Kelsey! I strongly recommend using the beef broth, as it adds richness and flavor to the recipe. If you decide not to use it, you definitely still need a liquid, so you could try swapping in water.

  50. Great recipe! We’re definitely adding this into our rotation. I used rotini pasta and ground chicken and was happy with those swaps. I also used frozen crinkle cut carrots to save time on the carrot chopping. Thanks, Erin!5 stars

  51. Excited to try this recipe! What would you recommend replacing the beef with if you wanted to make this vegetarian? Thanks!

    1. Hi Aly, maybe you could try a plant-based ground for this, or leave it out? I haven’t tried this myself, so if you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!

  52. What can I substitute in place of the Greek yogurt to make this dairy free. I really like this recipe but my son can’t have dairy

    1. Hi Marissa, I would try a dairy free sour cream if you can’t find a dairy free Greek yogurt. Hope this helps!

  53. I just made this for today’s dinner. Picky toddler didn’t reject it and it’s a delicious, comforting meal.5 stars

  54. I made this recipe loosely just today. In place of the onion called for I used Mrs. Dash because I had no onion nor onion powder on hand and I also did not have mustard (I don’t care for mustard and don’t stock it) In place of beef broth I used beef bouillon cubes following the instructions on the packaging. I used 10% milk fat plain Greek Yogurt in place of The fat free Greek yogurt the original recipe calls for. I put 1/4 less water than the recipe called for and had too much liquid to every other ingredient in my stainless steel cookware. I recommend leaving out the 2 cups of water called for after the 14 ounces of beef broth. I only used 1 cup of cheddar and found that to be plenty enough cheese for my tastes. I’d like to add a photo of my finished product because it tasted spectacular and looked wonderful as well despite having a bit more liquid that I prefer. Erin did a phenomenal job by creating the recipe as she did and I want to honor her creativity not criticize what she did that I didn’t and wouldn’t. Good job Erin.5 stars

  55. I love most of Erins recipes but this was tasteless…i even added double the salt and pepper, added garlic powder too. Was not a cheesy looking as the picture. Mine was water as well, maybe didn’t let cook long enough before adding cheese but didn’t want the noodles mushy. Would not make again. Sorry2 stars

    1. I’m sorry this recipe wasn’t to your tastes, Valerie. I (and many other readers) have truly enjoyed it, so I wish you would’ve too!

  56. Too much liquid at the end, was more soupy than what our family prefers. Ended up adding a cornstarch/water mixture to help thicken it up3 stars

    1. Sorry to hear that you had trouble with the recipe, Poli. The amounts, flavorings and timing have worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would of been a hit for you too! I know it can be so disappointing to try a new recipe and it not turn out for you.

  57. I’m making this recipe tonight and excited to try it but I like to track everything I’m eating. I see you put the nutritional facts for 1 serving but what is 1 serving? Is it 1 cup? A certain amount in grams or ounces? Any information would be helpful with tracking

  58. I want to try this. It sounds delicious! Can I substitute cream cheese for the yogurt? (Wife won’t eat yogurt.) Also, if I were to make this in a crock pot, what accommodations would you suggest if any?

    1. H Allen! You could try that or even sour cream. Also I haven’t tried this in the crock pot but here is a guide that might help: Hope you enjoy it!

      1. Hi Erin, we tried it with Cream Cheese. It was great. Next time, I might only use half a block of the cream cheese though, as the dish was a bit thick, though very tasty. We enjoyed the recipe immensely and will add it to our menu rotation.5 stars

  59. This was so good! I made it GF by adding rice noodles and a little added water. I had to cook the noodles a little longer but they turned out amazing! This would also work nicely with adding shredded zucchini or spinach. What a great way to hide veggies!5 stars

  60. Just tried this as written tonight. My family enjoyed it, although it came out a little watery. The next time I will add less water and a little more cheese. Also may try adding more seasoning to the meat when browning. Thank you for sharing your recipes!4 stars

  61. This sounds fantastic. But, before I try it, I think that the value you posted for potassium of 1047 mg would kill us all. Perhaps you meant sodium?

    1. Hi Mike! The recipe card actually calculates that and I am not able to control what amounts it gives. If you’d like to calculate it yourself, there are lots of free tools online ( is popular). I hope that helps!

  62. This has become a staple in our household. It’s a great way to be “chef-y” without requiring too much skill. It’s flavorful, filling, and makes great leftovers. I actually use all beef broth rather than water, and the results are satisfactory.

    For all those saying there is too much liquid at the end—cook the liquid off. This is why the recipe calls for al-dente before adding the cheese and yogurt: the yogurt and cheese have liquid that will be absorbed by the pasta and also need to be cooked off. Once I realized this, it’s come out perfect.5 stars

    1. Hi Patrick! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review! And thanks for the tip!

  63. This was delicious!! And so easy to make. I used 2lb ground beef and threw in a little more spices to make up for it. Eyeballed the yogurt but prob did 3/4 cup. Thank you!5 stars

  64. Very tasty! I added extra veggies I had on hand and I couldn’t taste it in the recipe! I also didn’t have Greek yogurt so I added some sour cream in my own bowl and it was tasty. I had a hard time keeping the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan, but overall I enjoyed it. This pregnant momma is very happy!5 stars

  65. I doubled the recipe and added cream cheese. Also, I didn’t have elbow macaroni on hand so I used 2 boxes of macaroni and cheese, including the dried cheese packets. Yummy!5 stars

  66. Easy to follow recipe! Had this cooked up in less than an hour with preptime. I used a block of Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar, shredded myself – I also added a container of Kaukauna Sharp Cheddar spread. Used 1 5.3oz container of Fage 5% plain yogurt. Cavateppeli noodles and 2 cups beef broth with water added as needed. Everyone loved it.5 stars

  67. Made this this afternoon, very tasty. I didn’t have Dijon or paprika, so used yellow mustard and Sriracha and it turned out well. Much better than store-bought hamburger helper and not much more effort.5 stars

  68. I probably make this once a week for my family. It’s quick and mess free and the kids love it so does the hubby. We skip the hot sauce but it’s still delicious5 stars

    1. Hi Susan! I haven’t tried it myself but you probably could. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!

  69. The flavors of this dish were spot on. It’s being added to the rotation of dinners. Instead of whole wheat pasta, I used Cheddy Mac Goodles (healthy-ish box Mac and cheese). I boiled the noodles in a separate box and then mixed it in with the cheese packets and unsweetened almond milk in the meat mixture. This dish was packed with protein and delicious! The hot sauce takes it up a notch🔥5 stars

  70. I cut the sodium down further to suit our dietary needs and used less salt and it’s still delicious and packed with flavor!5 stars

  71. this dish was very delicous.I used my homemade beef broth and it was rich and creamy..I will be making this again5 stars

  72. Made this for dinner last night and it was so yummy! I’ve tried other homemade hamburger helper recipes and I tend to find them a bit bland. Not this one! So flavourful…the hot sauce gives the dish great flavour without being overly spicy. I realize it probably depends on the type or brand of hot sauce you are using…I used Valentina’s Mexican Hot Sauce. My son and my husband both gobbled it up and went back for seconds. It was also very quick…great weeknight meal!5 stars

  73. We have tried and use several of the recipes from here and like them. This was not one of them unfortunately. Disappointed- none of us liked it and opted to grab a quick takeout after all the prep that went into this.1 star

    1. I’m sorry to hear you had problems with the recipe, Nikki! It has worked well for myself (and others) and I wished it would have been a hit for you too. I know it can be so disappointing to try a new recipe and it does not turn out for you.

  74. I made a double recipe of this, trusting Erin’s reputation in my house. We spent all week gobbling it up. Rich flavor and a variety of flavors make it the perfect dinner. I froze some as well.5 stars

  75. Despite my deviations from the recipe, e.g. light sour cream for yogurt, regular pasta, etc. I got a very tasty result! I used the spec’d amount of liquid but ended up with a -lot- more sauce than the pics, which I was happy with actually, I like sauce. I overcooked the noodles, so watch that al dente. I used 90 lean beef and didn’t drain, there was a little fat that didn’t fully emulsify but the sauce didn’t break or curdle, so a very sturdy, cook-friendly recipe. I like an herbal note wherever possible so I tried a little dried oregano which was nice enough, I think thyme, basil, or even tarragon or herbes de Provence might have been better. Were I to make it again I’d go maybe a 1/4 cup less water since you can add but not subtract it, maybe have a little cornstarch slurry standing by if needed to integrate the sauce, and a little more dente on the al dente. But yah, yummy, thanks!4 stars

  76. This was really really good. Amazing actually. I dont buy Dijon so I used horseradish and I realized i was out of onion at prep time so I had to omit and used some onion powder and extra garlic it was still amazing. Will try again with onion as well5 stars

  77. This was good! I substituted sweet paprika for smoked, since my 2-year old can detect the faintest hint of capsaicin and will scream her head off about it being too spicy. Also went with a squeeze of ketchup in place of the hot sauce for the same reason. I meant to mix in a dash or two of worcestershire at the end but completely forgot….maybe next time!5 stars

  78. I made this tonight and it was delicious. I was looking for a quick and easy recipe to use with the ingredients I had at home. I did not have all the ingredients the recipe called for but it still turned out good with the substitutions. Looking forward to making this again with all the ingredients it asks for. Thank you for a simple and tasty recipe.5 stars

  79. What a fun and delicious recipe! We enjoyed it with the suggested ingredients, and it was equally yummy with dairy-free Greek yogurt and dairy-free cheese shreds. Thank you for the recipe!5 stars

  80. Hi, Erin. I have made your Instapot Hamburger Helper and Beef Stew. Both have become staples in my repertoire. I am curious. In your nutrition facts you list potassium but not sodium. Why is that? I am on a very low sodium diet and can kind of figure the sodium myself, but it’s usually listed, not potassium.5 stars

    1. Hi Lisa! I stopped including sodium info because it can vary so much depending upon what products you used, and I found a lot of conflicting info online, so ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable publishing it because sometimes it wasn’t even in the ballpark. If you’d like to calculate it yourself, there are lots of free tools online ( is popular). I hope that helps!

  81. This was WONDERFUL! I didn’t have carrots, and I used Bison instead of hamburger, but it turned out delicious. Reminded me of cheeseburger hamburger helper, only MUCH BETTER! The Greek yogurt gave it a creamy zing. Definitely adding this to the rotation! Thank you!5 stars

  82. Erin – how will homemade pasta work in this dish? I make my own pasta and didn’t know if some of the cooking times would need to be adjusted. It sounds and looks so good, I’m prob gonna make it today. ❤️

    – Emily, NC

    1. Hi Emily, I haven’t tried it with homemade pasta but you wouldn’t need to make any adjustments until Step 7. You’ll need to watch for when your pasta becomes al dente, which I believe would happen quickly with homemade pasta. If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to know how it goes!

  83. You have a lot of great recipes on your site, but this one is by far our family’s favorite. It is so flavorful and creamy and comforting. My kids cheer when I tell them that it’s hamburger helper night. I’m not sure I’ve ever rated a recipe on your site, but I decided today is the day because this is so good.5 stars

  84. I love this recipe. I have made this recipe many times, It is easy to make and it qualifies as comfort food. I use brown rice pasta (for gluten free option) which works perfectly in the recipe.5 stars

  85. My family absolutely LOVED this meal!! I was looking for a “better than the box” hamburger helper and this is a winner for sure! I was pleasantly surprised! I did tweak a bit with what I had on hand, but the base recipe is a great guide.5 stars

  86. Absolutely perfect. I felt like a kid at the dinner table again, even served canned green beans with it like my dad did. It tasted exactly like I remember, but better. I only had egg noodles on hand and Colby Jack cheese, they worked out just fine. Thank you for this wonderful recipe, my family and I loved it and I’ll be making it again!5 stars

  87. I just made this for the first time. I wanted something simple, and I had been craving a hamburger helper. I made it with ground turkey, which I happened to have on hand. My kids and my husband love it, no leftovers. It was really good. Thanks so much for the recipe.5 stars

  88. I love this recipe and I love the tips Erin gives because they make a big difference with the flavor, this time I was like “ugh do I really want to grate my own cheese?” Well I listened to what she said and it was totally worth it. I ended up adding more smoked paprika and hot sauce and even some chipotle chili powder because I like it with a BIG kick. I’ve made it multiple times and its SO good!5 stars