Friday, January 11, 2013

Homemade Cheeseburger Helper that is RIGHT ON!



One of the most dependable food blogs for recipes that I can think of is Lynn's Kitchen Adventures.  I can always depend on her recipes to turn out perfect!  Last night I tried Lynn's recipe for Homemade Cheeseburger Helper

I had my doubts, ha!  I had seen similar recipes before but I just could not imagine that a recipe with TOMATO SAUCE in it could really taste like the Cheeseburger Helper my family LOVES from the box (eek!).  I thought maybe Lasagna Helper or one of the other flavors but surely not Cheeseburger Helper.  I decided last night to give it a shot.  It could not have been more PERFECT!  Lynn!  You really nailed it.  And, I cannot thank you enough for this delicious, easy, super cheap and EXACT replica of Cheeseburger Macaroni.

I say its an EXACT replica!  But it's even better.  Ya know how?

  • It's CHEAPER!  I figure I spent less than $1.00 on the ingredients I used to make this (not counting the hamburger, which I would also have to buy with the storebought box mix for Hamburger Helper).
  • It made about 3 TIMES MORE! than the box would make.  That makes it a super good deal!
  • It didn't have any of those weird ingredients in it!  I knew exactly what was in our supper!

I did not buy a bag of grated cheese.  Those things have some kind of powder in there.  Ick.  Not for me.  I bought one of those little rectangle of cheddar and grated up less than half of it. 

One hint:  measure the macaroni in a DRY cup measure.  I measured mine in a liquid measuring cup and I had a little too much.  I was worried my macaroni didn't have enough liquid to cook properly so I added about 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup of water after mine looked like it needed a little "juice."

Also, I didn't use a full pound of hamburger.  I keep small portions of cooked hamburger in my freezer and I probably only used 2 cups of cooked burger, which made it extra frugal.

Here's how I made Homemade Cheeseburger Helper AT HOME MY WAY:

Cheeseburger Helper

  • 1 lb ground beef (I used about 2 cups cooked frozen burger from my freezer.)
  • 1 cup beef broth ( Lynn makes this using a bouillon and water) (I used bouillon cube + water - from Aldi.)
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce (One of those short cans is 8 ounces.)
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni (A little less would be fine also.)
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream (optional) (I added just a couple of spoons and stirred it in.)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (I grated my own for more $$$ savings.)
  • Salt to taste (Not much salt is needed.  The bouillon and cheese are plenty salty.)
Directions:
  1. In a large sauce pan brown the ground beef. Drain any fat from the meat.
  2. Add the beef broth, milk, and tomato sauce to the meat and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the macaroni noodles.  Stir often.  These tend to try to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 17-20 minutes. Test at 17 minutes to see if the pasta is done. If pasta is not done, cook a few minutes longer.
  5. When the pasta is tender and done, stir in shredded cheese and sour cream if using.
  6. Let sit 5- 10 minutes before serving and it will thicken more.


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