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:
- 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.)
- In a large sauce pan brown the ground beef. Drain any fat from the meat.
- Add the beef broth, milk, and tomato sauce to the meat and bring to a boil.
- Add the macaroni noodles. Stir often. These tend to try to stick to the bottom of the pan.
- 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.
- When the pasta is tender and done, stir in shredded cheese and sour cream if using.
- Let sit 5- 10 minutes before serving and it will thicken more.