Homemade Hamburger Helper: 9 varieties

4 Apr

Print any of the hamburger helper recipe cards!  

salisbury       potato stroganoff      cheesy jambalaya           

cheesy italian shells        cheesy beef taco       

cheeseburger macaroni      lasagna

beef stroganoff        chili mac

We’re all looking for an easy way to get dinner on the table.  Most nights we’d like it to be without too much thought and without having to worry whether the family is going to eat what we make.  Betty Crocker and other manufacturers have made a killing on the idea of “dinner in a box” albeit with the price of preservatives, colorings and chemicals added in.  Enter Suzanne McMinn.  This gal heads up the site “Chickens in the Road” and she’s figured out a number of the Hamburger Helper boxed dinners for us, allowing us to enjoy the convenience we want minus the additives we don’t.

Now I have to be honest, I’ve never bought Hamburger Helper and only learned about this website and recipe idea from a reader who asked for a food storage version of it.  But I’m so glad she did!  And can we say “pantry meal time”??  I love it when I see people naturally coming up with the same idea.  Ready packed meals make sense whether you’re using them day to day or to have on hand in case of emergency, whether the emergency be immediate –to have ready to grab and go with your 72 hour kit– or longer term.

Thanks to Suzanne doing the hard work,  I’ve done the much easier part of translating them to food storage.  And btw, there are all kinds of additions you can make to these recipes, I’d suggest visiting Suzanne’s original blog post for more ideas on that.  Also, all of the recipes call for 1 lb. ground beef (or about 2 cups cooked), so if you’re using fresh ground beef (or hamburger from the freezer) that’s the amount you’d need.

Each recipe serves 4-6

***

The Process

This post is a little backward, in that I’m going to show you the process before listing the ingredients but it’s because every recipe here uses the same steps.

There are just three things you have to remember:  1)  Freeze dried ground beef (if you use it) has to be rehydrated before making the helper.  2)  Mix the sauce packet first into the water.  3)  Freeze dried cheese (if it’s called for) can be added right into the pot while it cooks.  If you’re using fresh cheese, add it at the end while the meal is thickening.

  1. Start by heating a pot of water.  Use the hot water to rehydrate the ground beef if you’re using it and for the amount of hot water called for in the recipe.
  2. Add your sauce packet to the water and whisk to combine.  Add in the other ingredients.
  3. Heat the pot (with it’s lid on) and get ready to move to your wonder oven.
  4. Simmer for 12 – 20 minutes.

Homemade Hamburger Helper (10)Homemade Hamburger Helper (14)Homemade Hamburger Helper (16)

Btw, if you don’t have a wonder oven yet, but want to make these meals in your food storage plan, you’ll need one (or something similar) to conserve fuel.  All of these require a 12-20 minute simmer time. Continually heating a pot for 12-20 minutes without one is going to use up your fuel reserve quickly.

Alternately, there was a GREAT idea left in the comments on making this in a sun oven, which would work beautifully as well.  Begin by boiling your water in a sun oven and then add your ingredients as described here (freeze dried meats already rehydrated, etc.).  Replace to the sun oven to cook.  I’d probably give it a half an hour in the sun oven (assuming that you’ve achieved a decent 300 degree-ish temperature) before pulling it out.

Homemade Hamburger Helper (17) Homemade Hamburger Helper (18)

And that’s it!

Let stand to thicken at least 5 minutes (though I noticed there was bigger difference in the thickening after 15).  Serve!

You’ll notice that all of the recipes are very similar.  The recipe itself is a template and there are a probably a million different ways you could take this once you see the pattern.  While they’re not fantastic (they’re Hamburger Helper after all), they’re fast to make and convenient and extremely kid friendly.  There weren’t any that my kids just wouldn’t eat.  The five that were liked best were the Cheeseburger Macaroni, the Cheesy Italian Shells, the  Cheesy Beef Taco, the Chili Mac and the Cheesy Jambalaya.  The two at the bottom of our family’s list were the stroganoffs, they were just kind of boring.  The other ones were okay in our opinion, but nothing to write home about.

Homemade Hamburger Helper (20)

Our Homemade Hamburger Helper buffet … lol!

***

Cheeseburger Macaroni

Homemade Hamburger Helper (1)

1 3/4 cup freeze dried ground beef (rehydrated using 1 cup warm water) — or– 1 pint home canned ground beef

3 1/3 cups hot water

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked

3/4 cup freeze dried cheddar cheese –or– 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (more if you want it really cheesy)

Sauce packet

1/4 cup instant powdered milk

1 TBS cornstarch

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

Homemade Hamburger Helper (19)

***

Cheesy Jambalaya

Homemade Hamburger Helper (2)

1 3/4 cup freeze dried ground beef (rehydrated using 1 cup warm water) — or– 1 pint home canned ground beef

3 1/3 cups hot water

1 cup rice

1 cup stewed tomatoes (about 1/2 of a 14.5 oz can–or–3/4 cup FD tomato dices with 1/2 cup water to rehydrate)

3/4 cup freeze dried cheddar cheese –or– 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Sauce packet

1/4 cup instant powdered milk

1 TBS cornstarch

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

Homemade Hamburger Helper (24)

***

Cheesy Italian Shells

Homemade Hamburger Helper (3)

1 3/4 cup freeze dried ground beef (rehydrated using 1 cup warm water) — or– 1 pint home canned ground beef

3 1/3 cups hot water

1 1/2 cup small pasta shells

1 cup stewed tomatoes (about 1/2 of a 14.5 oz can–or–3/4 cup FD tomato dices with 1/2 cup water to rehydrate)

3/4 cup freeze dried cheddar cheese –or– 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Sauce packet

1/4 cup instant powdered milk

1 TBS cornstarch

1 TBS mixed Italian herbs

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

Homemade Hamburger Helper (23)

***

Salisbury

Homemade Hamburger Helper (4)

1 3/4 cup freeze dried ground beef (rehydrated using 1 cup warm water) — or– 1 pint home canned ground beef

3 cups hot water

1 1/2 cups small egg noodles

Sauce packet

1/4 cup instant powdered milk

1 TBS cornstarch

1 TBS onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. pepper

a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce (*necessary for taste)

Homemade Hamburger Helper (25)

***

Potato Stroganoff

Homemade Hamburger Helper (5)

1 3/4 cup freeze dried ground beef (rehydrated using 1 cup warm water) — or– 1 pint home canned ground beef

2 cups hot water

1 1/2 cups very thinly sliced (or diced) dehydrated or freeze dried potatoes (per product instructions, mine required 3 cups boiling water to rehydrate)

1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms — or 1/2 cup dried/freeze dried mushrooms

Sauce packet

1/4 cup instant powdered milk

1/2 cup sour cream powder

1 TBS cornstarch

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. parsley

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. pepper

Note:  For this one, I decided to use my freeze dried potato dices that I hadn’t tried before.   I discovered that they require boiling for 15 minutes before they’re even rehydrated enough to use!  If you’re storing a similar product be sure you have some kind of thermal device (even a thermos would do) since boiling  a single ingredient for 15 minutes — before it’s even useable — is crazy.  I opted to rehydrate the taters ahead of making up the recipe since I wasn’t sure how much of the liquid they would soak up (btw, to rehydrate 1 cup of potato dices required about 3 cups of water).

Boiling the potato dices and heating with the lid on before putting into the wonder oven to rehydrate.

Homemade Hamburger Helper (11) Homemade Hamburger Helper (12) Homemade Hamburger Helper (13)

Continue with the recipe as usual.

Homemade Hamburger Helper (22)

***

Beef Stroganoff

Homemade Hamburger Helper (6)

1 3/4 cup freeze dried ground beef (rehydrated using 1 cup warm water) — or– 1 pint home canned ground beef

2 cups hot water

1 1/2 cups small egg noodles

1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms — or 1/2 cup freeze dried mushrooms

Sauce packet

1/4 cup instant powdered milk

1/2 cup sour cream powder

1 TBS cornstarch

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. parsley

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. pepper

Homemade Hamburger Helper (21)

***

Cheesy Beef Taco

Homemade Hamburger Helper (7)

1 3/4 cup freeze dried ground beef (rehydrated using 1 cup warm water) — or– 1 pint home canned ground beef

3 cups hot water

1 cup rice

1 cup stewed tomatoes (about 1/2 of a 14.5 oz can–or–3/4 cup FD tomato dices with 1/2 cup water to rehydrate)

3/4 cup freeze dried cheddar cheese –or– 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Sauce packet

1 TBS instant powdered milk

1 TBS cornstarch

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

Serve with 1 cup of corn chips (go here to see how to make homemade corn tortilla chips).  Testing it out I didn’t go to the trouble of making the chips.  Now that I know we like it, I wouldn’t make them just for this but I’d serve with chips if they were already made.  It’s fine without them too.

Homemade Hamburger Helper (27)

***

Lasagna

Homemade Hamburger Helper (8)

1 3/4 cup freeze dried ground beef (rehydrated using 1 cup warm water) — or– 1 pint home canned ground beef

2 cups hot water

1 1/2 cups (either) casserole lasagna noodles, lasagna noodles broken into small pieces or small egg noodles

1 cup stewed tomatoes (about 1/2 of a 14.5 oz can–or–3/4 cup FD tomato dices with 1/2 cup water to rehydrate)

3/4 cup freeze dried mozarella cheese –or– 1 cup shredded mozarella cheese

Sauce packet

1 TBS instant powdered milk

1 TBS cornstarch

1 TBS mixed Italian herbs

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

*Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese just before serving.

Homemade Hamburger Helper (28)

***

Chili Mac

Homemade Hamburger Helper (9)

1 3/4 cup freeze dried ground beef (rehydrated using 1 cup warm water) — or– 1 pint home canned ground beef

3 cups hot water

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni

1 cup stewed tomatoes (about 1/2 of a 14.5 oz can–or–3/4 cup FD tomato dices with 1/2 cup water to rehydrate)

3/4 cup freeze dried cheddar or monterey jack cheese –or– 1 cup shredded fresh

Sauce packet

1 TBS instant powdered milk

1 TBS cornstarch

1 TBS chili powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

Homemade Hamburger Helper (26)

15 Responses to “Homemade Hamburger Helper: 9 varieties”

  1. Nan April 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Thank you so much for this. They all look and sound easy and delicious. Just what I am looking for to put in my BOB

    • myfoodstoragecookbook April 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

      Oh, you’re very welcome! I’m glad you’re going to be able to use them :)

  2. June April 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Do you have a sun onen? Wonder how this would work in one. June

    • myfoodstoragecookbook April 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

      Yes, I do and yes, it would work; thanks for thinking of that!! I’d boil the water in the sun oven and add the ingredients just as you would here and replace to the sun oven to finish cooking. Great idea!!

  3. Mary Rigby April 16, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    Love this so much ty

  4. Tauna July 1, 2013 at 4:03 am #

    I’m confused on the Wonder Box time.
    Does the pan simmer on the stove for 15-20 or do you bring it to a boil and Wonder Box cook it for 15-20 min?

    Such great ideas. Thanks so much for all the detail work you have put into it.

    • myfoodstoragecookbook July 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

      Yes, you’ll bring it to a boil then transfer it to a Wonder Box to cook it for 15-20 min. If you were making it as an everyday meal — without concern of fuel consumption– you could definitely just simmer it on the stove. The Wonder Box/ Wonder Oven is for that “worst case” scenerio when every little bit of cooking fuel counts. Thanks for reading, Tauna!

  5. Becky Burney October 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    I am loving your site! I will dif be looking into your wonder over! Never heard of it before here! I HAVE to get something done…or else I would be on your site for hours! To think, I was just looking for some “homemade” hamburger helper to make ahead for those busy days without the junk in it! Thanks.

    • Megan October 24, 2013 at 12:56 am #

      :) that made me laugh! Glad you’re enjoying it! Please keep coming back!

  6. RaLene January 25, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

    The Hamburger Helper Salisbury recipe card link seems to be broken

    • Megan January 25, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

      Thanks for letting me know! I checked it though and it worked for me, so I don’t know. Give it another try and see if it was just a temporary glitch.

  7. Kay Cee May 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    How many servings would this be? If I were feeding 4 adults and 3 kids, should I double or triple the recipe? Three of the four adults are males. Thanks so much for posting this. Can’t wait to try it out!

    • Megan May 6, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

      This is a guess, but I’d say for 4 adults 3 kids I’d probably just double it. I’m thinking each recipe yields about 4 healthy servings.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Week #10 Winners! | My Food Storage Cookbook - April 19, 2014

    […] 6)  Cheeseburger Mac […]

  2. 9 Great-Tasting Ultimately Convenient Survival Meals | My Food Storage Cookbook - September 29, 2014

    […] 9 Hamburger Helper {copy cats} made w/ Food Storage […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 613 other followers

%d bloggers like this: