Friday, July 25, 2014

From a Box, At Home: Homemade Hamburger Helper

As I child, I didn't grow up with "convenience meals."  Almost every meal we ate was something crafted from scratch.  No bisquik, no boxed cake mixes, no kraft mac and cheese, and no hamburger helper.  And honestly, because my parents never made a big deal about cooking, it didn't seem like these "harder" methods of preparing food were all that hard.

Thatboy on the other hand, grew up on all these foods.  Even though his father prided himself on his amazing cooking abilities, I never saw the man prepare potatoes that didn't come poured out of a box as powder.  And his mother consistently reverted to frozen lasagnas, because making lasagna yourself "is an all day affair." 

I feel as though I am constantly having to prove to Thatboy that making things from scratch isn't so difficult and tastes just as good as the boxed things he grew up with.  I have completely converted him when it comes to mashed potatoes.  Even he now recognizes it's a pretty quick side to throw together.  And this homemade version of hamburger helper also won him over.  It's the cream cheese.  It gives it that really creamy consistency that makes it taste like something decadent.  Add in the cheddar, because all pasta should have cheese, and you have a meal that can win over even the biggest doubter.

Now, if only I could convince him that you can make pancakes without bisquik...

 Homemade Hamburger Helper
1 1/4 lbs ground turkey
1/2 lb pasta
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp oregano
salt and pepper
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
  1.  Cook pasta according to directions.  Drain, reserving one cup of pasta water.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Cook ground turkey until browned.
  3. Add the cumin, chili powder, oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add cooked pasta, the reserved water, cream cheese, and sour cream.  Stir until cheese melts.
  6. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Take off heat and stir in cheddar cheese.


  1. My family is in the same boat! No convenience foods for me, but the husband grew up on em.
    I make my own "hamburger helper" too. I even deign to eat it ;)

  2. I'm still working on the.boy and's a process.