Healthy Hamburger Helper

healthy hamburger helper

When I think of the meals I loved growing up, so many dishes come to mind… But Hamburger Helper is at the top of that list!

I remember when I was younger my Mom would work a few nights a week which would mean Dad was cooking; my favorite thing that he would make for my sister and I was Hamburger Helper… Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper, to be exact!

I’m sure you have had Hamburger Helper at some point in your life, but if you haven’t – it’s a pre-packaged meal that’s a combination of pasta, ground beef, seasonings, and cheese… Basically, the ultimate comfort food!

Healthy Hamburger Helper - Cooking Up Happiness

I haven’t had it since I was a child; to make matters worse, while I was in the grocery store the other day I looked at the nutritional information on the package for one of the mixes – and couldn’t believe it! …Needless to say it quickly went right back on the shelf!

This version of cheeseburger hamburger helper has been lightened up in calories, but absolutely not in flavor. Using leaner meat, less pasta, and cheese brought this recipe down to less than 200 calories per serving!

Healthy Hamburger Helper Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef, 93/7
  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni noodles
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 3 cups fat-free reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped parsley (optional)

Healthy Hamburger Helper - Cooking Up Happiness


  1. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.
  2. Add ground beef, break down with a spatula and cook until meat is browned.
  3. Add garlic powder, onion powder, seasoning salt, paprika, ketchup and mustard. Mix well until all ingredients are fully combined.
  4. Pour broth over the meat and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add pasta to that and cook at a simmer for 20 minutes, until most liquid is absorbed.
  6. Stir in milk and then shredded cheese until fully combined. Serve.
  7. Top with chopped parsley (optional).

Nutritional Information:

Servings: 13
Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Calories: 157
Fat: 5 g
Carbohydrates: 14 g
Sugar: 1 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sodium: 186 mg
Protein: 13 g

Healthy Hamburger Helper - Cooking Up Happiness