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Feb 7, 2014

Hamburger Helper Hack

Some of my favorite meals growing up as a kid were the infamous Hamburger Helper meals. They're nice to keep around for a quick, spontaneous meal. However, since I started my #gluten free diet for health issues, Hamburger Helper was pretty much out of the question of finding a home in my pantry. There are a few gluten free options that Mrs. Leeper's makes but they're expensive and you don't get a lot of noodles. They're good, don't get me wrong. 

I decided to come up with my own version of hamburger helper one night when I was craving it. It turned out absolutely amazing. My #recipe flavor is sort of a mix between Hamburger Helper's Cheeseburger Mac and Original. I used gluten free noodles but you can use whatever kind you would like! 

My secret to this recipe is simply this pouch of goodness:

However, I will DISCLAIM: This specific pouch is NOT gluten free. I learned that the hard way. Old El Paso's regular taco seasoning mix is #gluten free, but for some reason their cheesy mix is not. I didn't make that discovery until I wrote this #recipe and double checked the packaging. I don't think it affected me entirely too much as there is just a trace of wheat but it's hard telling. I've had some issues this week, but it could also be from something else. 

It happens, though. And by the way, my friend Laura over at Waiting For Bedtime informed me that regular Reese's Cups are gluten free but the seasonal shapes are not. That's a bummer. Oh the joys and adventures of a food intolerance. Anybody else out there going through the same thing?

I definitely think you should keep this recipe tucked away. On one of those nights where you just have absolutely no idea what to make, pull out some ground beef and make this. It's not gourmet, but it sticks to the ribs. Serve with some steam veggies or a salad for a well-balanced meal. Minus the fruit. ;) Hey, this isn't a health food blog after all. It's just a feel good cozy kind of blog feel good cozy kind of food!

Hamburger Helper Hack
By Old Blue Silo

  • 1 Lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Pouch Cheesy Taco Seasoning
  • 2 Cups Beef Broth
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Water (Optional)
  • 8 oz Rotini Pasta
  • 1/3 Cup Dehydrated Onion (Or 1/2 onion diced thin)
  • 1 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Tbs Dried Basil
  • Pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large skillet with the onion, fry the beef until brown. Drain if desired.
  2. Stir in cheesy taco seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, basil and crushed red pepper flakes. Pour in beef broth and stir. Slowly pour in milk and stir.
  3. Bring mixture to boil and add pasta. Lower heat to medium-low and keep pasta simmering. Cook for about 10-12 minutes (or according to pasta's directions), stirring every few minutes. Keep a cup of water on the side and add in as necessary. You want the sauce to thicken but you don't want it to dry out.
  4. Remove pan from heat and let pasta and sauce sit 5 minutes before serving.


  1. I can't wait to try this! I found a GF box (Mrs. Leepers?) and it isn't awesome, but will do. McCormick's taco seasoning is GF but the cheesy isn't. Cheese powder must = gluten. Ha. Keep up the good posts :)

    1. Thanks, Laura!

      I bet this would work with regular seasoning and like 1/2-1 cup of shredded cheese!

      Give that a whirl and let me know if it works :)

      And Mrs. Leepers is the one I have tried.. not Annies... thanks for reminding me! I revised the post.

  2. Kelly,
    Neither J or I have food intolerances. In our own personal way we seem to be picky eaters. J is very to textures and is not a big fan of seasonings. I grew up with big flavors and lean towards foods that are not highly processed or fried. Somedays I feel like a short order cook, but we both get to eat what we like.

    Mom always said a recipe is for guidance. I like the sounds of your creation.

  3. This looks absolutely delicious! I am a huge Hamburger Helper fan (I am the odd one out in our family, as no one else seems to like it) and I am going to make this while my husband is traveling the stock show circuit this year. I'll bet I could get 4 or 5 meals out of this, and honestly, I would be willing to bet that it freezes well, too! Thanks, Miss Kelly!

    1. Oooohhhh, Sarah, I have a feeling you will LOVE this! We got about 4 servings out of it and I definitely could have gotten 5-6 if it were just me! You welcome and I can't wait to hear your review ;)


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