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Cue all of the nostalgic feelings because Hamburger Helper is making a comeback — and this One-Pot Hamburger Helper is still just as simple.

One-Pot Hamburger Helper

Raise your hands if you grew up on Hamburger Helper? My momma made it all the time and I mean, we can all agree that stuff is freaking delicious and pretty genius! But good grief, if I only knew then what I knew now I would have NEVER put that stuff in my body. It is just packed full of fake and horrible ingredients! So let’s clean it up with this One-Pot Hamburger Helper. And if you’re looking for a take on their Italian Shells and Cheese, check out my One-Pot Italian Shells and Cheese.

But, Hamburger Helper is freaking delicious, easy, and saves a Mom’s life for dinner when she doesn’t have time to think or cook dinner! So Amen to that. However, I made this clean version for my kiddos the other day, and WOW, its delicious. Plus, it doesn’t take any longer than the toxic filled boxed version! So you momma’s out there with picky kids and husbands,  rejoice! This is the answer to your prayers. 

One-Pot Hamburger Helper

I’ve told you many times that my favorite brand of gluten-free pasta I use in my house is Jovial Brown Rice Pasta. It only has two ingredients (organic rice flour + water) and the taste and texture is outstanding. I buy mine at Whole Foods and I use it in this dish to keep it gluten-free and clean. Also, if you are a dairy-free family– you’ll see that the dairy I included in the dish is optional. 

So here we have it: a one-pot, easy, delicious Hamburger Helper that your kids will say DANGGGG GIRRRL.. haha, maybe they won’t say that but they will definitely say positive things and you only have to dirty up one skillet to make it. I just LOVE it. 

If you enjoyed this One-Pot Hamburger Helper, try my other one-pot meals!

One-Pot Hamburger Helper
4.91 from 53 votes

One-Pot Hamburger Helper

A cleaner re-make of the classic boxed Hamburger Helper that the whole family will LOVE.


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 12 oz. dried elbow pasta (I use Jovial Brown Rice Pasta for Gluten-Free) *regular pasta or even chickpea pasta works here
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups milk *for dairy-free, sub 2 cups almond milk or just do 4 cups of beef broth
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese optional, omit for dairy-free
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley optional, for garnish


  • Heat a deep skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onions, and ground beef. Season with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Saute, breaking up the ground beef with the back of a spoon, until the beef is cooked through, no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Drain off excess fat if necessary (I like to keep at least 2 tbsp in there for added flavor).
  • Add in the tomato paste and stir to combine.
  • Add the pasta, the beef broth and the milk and Stir to combine. Bring contents in the pot to a boil and once boiling, reduce the heat to a very subtle simmer and let cook until pasta is tender, stirring very often, until most of the liquid has absorbed and the pasta is al dente, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and fold in the cheese. Garnish with parsley, if using.
  • Serve and enjoy!


For reheating: Heat in a skillet over medium heat and add beef broth to rehydrate the noodles. I splash it in about 1/4 cup at a time (depending on how much I am reheating) until it reaches the consistency I want and the noodles are tender again.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Photography by Eat Love Eats.

Welcome! I’m Alex.

I’m a food lover sharing healthy, simple, delicious, recipes from my kitchen to yours. Here you’ll find lots of Whole30, lots of healthy, and a little indulgence here and there because…it’s all about balance y’all!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is one of my family’s favorite recipes! I’m wondering though, can it freezer-friendly? Hoping to make it before baby #3 comes. Thanks!

    1. Hi Melanie! Glad you loved it, and congrats to you!
      I love this one for an easy and fast weeknight dinner, but it’s not my favorite frozen as the pasta gets a little too dried up and the milk gets weird.

  2. 5 stars
    This is on the weekly dinner rotation because we love it so much! So easy for a busy weeknight meal. Also is great for cooking up any veggies you need to get rid in the fridge 🙂

  3. This was delicious! My kids loved it! I seemed to have had the opposite problem as some and rather than the liquid not absorbing, mine seemed really dry and wasn’t creamy at all! Still had great flavor, but the beef and noodles were completely separate, as if the noodles soaked everything up. I used everything exactly in the recipe other than the cheese and cooked the time recommended as well. Any ideas on why it didn’t turn out creamy?

    1. Hi Taylor! What type of noodles did you use? I am surprised it didn’t absorb because, like you mentioned, usually people have the other problem. It makes me think the noodles you used weren’t starchy enough to add a creaminess to the liquid or soak it up!

        1. The first time I made this recipe I used the entire box/bag of pasta – which is 16 oz. I had similar result as you. The n realized it calls for 12 oz of pasta. Maybe you made the same mistake I did?

  4. This is so delicious! I’ve also made a spicy chicken version! I swapped the beef for chicken, beef broth for chicken broth, ran out of tomato paste (so I used Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce), and followed the recipe the rest of the way. Yum!!

  5. 5 stars
    I added a jalapeño, mushrooms, carrots and greens. I also added better than bouillon beef instead of salt. Nice hearty recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    i made it with impossible meat and veggie broth and it was SO good !! i was happily surprised because a lot of recipes like this don’t work super well with meat substitutes but i’m so happy 🙂 and i have leftovers for a while!