Homemade “Hamburger Helper”

Guys, when deciding what recipe to share with you this week, I’ve realized I have a clear obsession with noodles at the moment. Sorry about that! With spring around the corner (ahem…except we are anticipating a foot of snow this weekend…WHY?!?), I’m looking forward to making recipes with fresh ingredients for you.

In the meantime, let’s enjoy warm comforting dishes while we can without the guilt.

This dish can be made with regular penne pasta, but I used a rice penne that is gluten free. My advice when cooking gluten pasta, do not follow the instructions. In my particular case, the product I used stated to cook the pasta for 7  minutes and no longer than that. But after 7 minutes it was still super crunchy. It took a total of 12 minutes for it to be al dente. So don’t be afraid to ignore the directions and taste the pasta until it is done to your likeness.

I LOVED Hamburger Helper as a kid. It was one of my favorite dishes, but my sister didn’t like it. I got Hamburger Helper as a special treat here and there, which is why I think it stands out as one of the dishes I liked during my childhood. Our little one loved this dish!

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Serves 4



2 cups of penne pasta

1 lb ground beef

1 cup spinach, chopped

3 garlic clvoes

1 Tbs Oregano

1 Tsp Parsley

1 Tsp Thyme

1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes

3 Tbs Tomato Paste

1 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar




Bring water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Drain pasta.

While your water comes to a boil and pasta cooks, heat up olive oil in a large pot (I like to use my Le Creuset). Add garlic and simmer for about 30 seconds. Add seasonings and stir for 30 seconds. Add ground beef. Cook beef thoroughly, breaking up with a spatula as you cook. Once beef has been thoroughly cooked, add tomato paste and vinegar. Stir to incorporate.

Add spinach to beef and stir. Add drained pasta and pasta water. Stir until well incorporated.

Serve in a shallow dish. Add grated Parmesan cheese. Bon appetit!





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