Sometimes you just need a quick and easy meal. I lamented the other day on Facebook that I sometimes miss boxed mashed potatoes. The other thing I used to make often was boxed burger helper. But I've tweaked and tweaked, and I finally got a homemade hamburger helper version The Hubs likes.
Homemade Hamburger Helper is perfect for busy moms, working moms and on those nights when roasting a chicken or rolling out pot pie dough is just out of the question. In the time it would take for me to order a pizza and drive for it (no delivery in this neck of the woods), I can whip up this meal, serve it with a salad and bread, and save about $12.00.
In our house, we exclusively use a venison/beef mix for our ground burger. If you have ground venison and don't know what to do with it, this is a great starter recipe. If your venison is not mixed with beef, I recommend adding a pat of butter when you brown your burger, as most venison, if prepared properly, will have little fat. If you're new to venison and other game meats consider this post on the myths of game meat.
Here's my cheesy version of Hamburger Helper:
Cheesy Burger One Skillet Meal (Venison or Beef)
- 1 Pound ground venison or beef
- 2 3/4 Cup milk
- 1 1/4 Cup hot water
- 2 Cups elbow or spiral macaroni
- 1 Tablespoon arrowroot
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 Teaspoon sugar
- 1 Teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 Teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
- Brown burger in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Once cooked thoroughly, discard any fat using a strainer.
- Return burger to skillet and add pasta, milk, water and spices. Stir until well combined and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Finally, add shredded cheese and nutritional yeast and serve immediately.
Time Saver Tip:
Make baggies or small containers of the seasoning listed above and keep them in your spice drawer. This shaves off even a few more minutes and makes this homemade hamburger helper really like a box mix.
If you're low on milk just use more water. I've gone as low as 1 3/4 milk. Just get to 4 cups of liquid. You can always add a bit more cheese if you want. Speaking of cheese, if need be, use up cubed cheese by cutting it into really small cubes and allowing it to melt, stirring frequently.
Unfamiliar with nutritional yeast? Here are 7 Uses for Nutritional Yeast.
If you're a wine drinker, this pairs nicely with a good Zinfandel.