Some call it comfort food; others convenient; while others simply have that warm nostalgic feeling whenever they think of Hamburger Helper – the meal in a box from the early ’70s. The problem with Hamburger Helper is that its packed with artificial “stuff”. No one wants to feed their family “stuff”. Still, the convenience of it all – some milk and ground meat was all you needed to add to the stuff in the box. With this recipe, you can have that same convenience, minus the box and the “stuff” inside.
Kids of all ages love this yummy, quick meal. The recipe can easily be package as a gift for busy new moms or caregivers without a lot of time on their hands. You could even make a few packages to keep in the pantry for those nights when cooking from scratch is the furthest thing from your mind. Simply measure the pasta into a large freezer bag; and the seasonings into a small plastic bag such as a sandwich bag. Then put the seasoning package into the pasta bag along with the instructions. And there you go, Hamburger Helper without the box. Just think, an easy and yummy meal at your fingertips that can be on the table in under 30 minutes. And I’d even bet ya that you have all the fixings in your pantry right now.
Hamburger Helper Chili-Cheese Macaroni
Ingredients – Chili-Cheese Macaroni
1 lb Lean Ground Beef (or Turkey)
1 Cup HOT water
2 Cups Milk
1 ½ Cups Elbow Macaroni
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Ingredients – Seasoning Package
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch (or other thicken agent)
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Sugar (optional)
½ Teaspoon Paprika
In a large skillet, brown the ground meat. Drain well.
Add water, milk and macaroni. Bring to a boil. Stir in seasoning package (everything else but the cheese). Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 12-15 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and noodles are tender.
Stir in the cheese, cover and simmer a few minutes more to allow cheese to melt.
Remove from heat, uncover and allow to sit for 5 minutes for sauce to thicken.