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, start breaking up the meat with a spatula while cooking.
  3. Continue to keep cooking until meat is browned and ground up to fine pieces.
  4. Add garlic powder, onion powder, seasoning salt, paprika, ketchup and mustard. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
  5. Pour broth over the meat and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add pasta, stir and cook at a simmer for 20 minutes, until most liquid is absorbed.
  7. Stir in milk and shredded cheese until fully combined. If needed season with salt and pepper.
  8. Top with chopped parsley (optional).
  9. Serve.

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


EMILY NESS is a full-time food and lifestyle author who’s passionate about developing simple yet mouth-watering recipes that anyone can make. Since founding her website in 2013, she’s went on to share her passion for cooking healthy and tasty recipes with the thousands of people around the world.
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Emily Ness - Cruise

Sharing a passion for food and fitness to live a healthy lifestyle - with the occasional hint of chocolate.