Homemade Hamburger Helper

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Welcome back to Childhood Eats, where we take those classic childhood favorites and give them a grown-up twist that’s even better than you remember.

Ever wondered about Hamburger Helper? It’s like Kraft macaroni & cheese but with beef, and it hit the scene back in 1971 when beef prices were soaring. Originally aimed at busy moms, it turned out single guys loved it too. I remember making it with my brothers, jazzing it up with peas and spices. There are tons of flavors, but we’re keeping it classic with cheeseburger macaroni.

Now, imagine this: homemade cavatelli pasta, freshly ground beef, creamy sour cream, and sharp cheddar cheese. This isn’t your ordinary Hamburger Helper; it’s a trip down memory lane with a gourmet twist.

Sure, I went all out with fresh pasta and hand-ground meat, but Hamburger Helper is all about ease. You can use store-bought pasta and pre-ground beef for convenience.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dinner, Main Course
Servings 6



  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  • 1/2 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Frank’s Red Hot
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese



  • Mix flour, salt, olive oil, and water in a bowl until it forms dough.
  • Knead the dough until smooth, then let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough, cut it into strips, then shape the cavatelli.
  • Freeze them if making ahead.


  • Cook onion and garlic until translucent, then brown the ground beef with spices.
  • Boil the cavatelli until they float, then drain.
  • Stir in Frank’s Red Hot, sour cream, and broth with the beef.
  • Add the cooked cavatelli and cheese, stir until melted.
  • Season to taste, garnish with green onions, and enjoy!

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