Want to learn how to make Hamburger Helper mix from scratch? This simple recipe is easy and totally customizable!
How to Make Hamburger Helper Mix
Those boxed mixes from the store are so handy but completely scary and even though they seem like a good idea at the time, they are actually costing you more than you think.
So I love to make homemade mixes for so many reasons. Ingredients, cost, the ability to customize…and much more. I’ll also be sharing cost comparisons on various products from the store and how much the homemade version costs.
Why Not Hamburger Helper from the Store?
How many of you grabbed a box of Hamburger Helper at the grocery store when you were in a panic of not knowing what to make for supper? I know that I have in the past! First, let’s take a peek at what exactly is in the fancy box:
Enriched Pasta (Whole Wheat Flour, Semolina Wheat, Durum Wheat, Vitamin D, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid (B Vitamin)), Whey, Salt, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Corn, Soy, Wheat, Calcium Carbonate, Artificial Color, Sugar, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Maltodextrin, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Monoglycerides, Diglycerides, Calcium Lactate, Natural Flavor, Nonfat Milk, Onion Powder, Dried Parsley, Mushroom Powder, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Spice, Beef Stock, Mushrooms, Dried Corn Syrup, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Lactose, Garlic Powder, Dried Soy Sauce (Soybeans, Wheat, Salt), Egg
Oh my goodness. Artificial colors and flavors. Hydrogenated oils, MSG (Autolyzed Yeast Extract), corn syrup. Do I really need to go on?
Boxed Hamburger Helper Cost:
The regular price of this in my local grocery store is $2.29 per box. I know it goes on sale for around $2 per box so we will work off that price. Let’s get on to the recipe!
How to Make Hamburger Helper Mix
A few notes before we get started….
- If you have my book, you can find this recipe on page 167. It also contains tips on how to make this gluten and dairy-free as well as how to make a chili cheese version. Plus my book also has a recipe for Chicken Helper Mix and Beef Stroganoff Mix so you might want to check that out!
- Be sure and add the pasta to the recipe first and not the spices or they will clump to the bottom.
- My recipe does not contain cheese powder because I prefer to add it in fresh but if you’d like to add cheese powder to the recipe, you can find it here.
- If you want to easily make this gluten free, these are our favorite Gluten Free Elbow Noodles. You can get them in bulk!
Homemade Hamburger Helper Mix
How to make your own Hamburger Helper Mix from scratch.
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch arrowroot powder, or flour
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
Mix ingredients together in a bag or jar. When we are ready to make, brown up 1 pound of hamburger. Add in the mix and 1 c. water and 2 c. of milk. Cover the skillet and let the pasta cook. Stir in 1 c. of shredded cheddar cheese before serving. That's it!
These mixes are super easy to put together, less than 5 minutes of prep time!
Homemade Hamburger Helper Mix Cost:
The spices in this mix are in such small amounts they really only cost pennies but for the sake of adding it up, we will say $0.25 for all the spices. A bag of elbow pasta costs around $1, a little bit more if you decide to do whole wheat. One bag will make 2 mixes.
So we are at a total of $1.50 for 2 mixes (each mix serves 4) or $0.75 each. That’s 33% of the cost of the on sale box of Hamburger Helper from the store.
Of course, the boxed version has that good old dried cheese already in it and you will have to go through the trouble and cost of adding fresh cheese to your homemade version but I’m thinking that might be a plus??
Want to make this Hamburger Helper mix with me? Here’s a video (sorry for the poor sound!) of me making some of my homemade mixes!
Looking for even more mixes that you can make from scratch? Here are some of my favorites!
- Homemade Cream of Soup Mix
- Homemade Chocolate Brownies Mix Recipe
- Homemade Rice Roni Mix
- Frugal Dried Bean Soup Mix
- Homemade Muffin Mix Recipe
- Find more here on my Mixes Page!
Looking for more mixes that you can make quickly and easily? My book, Little House Living: The Make Your Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self Sufficient Life has over 130 recipes just like this one!
Does your family enjoy Hamburger Helper?
This post on How to Make Hamburger Helper Mix was originally posted on Little House Living in August 2012. It has been updated as of March 2020.