Pasta and ground beef are sautéed and covered in a creamy tomato & cheese sauce for a satisfying version of Homemade Hamburger Helper! Made in one pot, in just 30 minutes, this just might be your new favorite family dinner!
8ozsmall pasta shells, or small elbow pasta (Keep in mind 8 oz is half of a normal 1lb box of pasta.)
½cupheavy cream, or half and half
2cupsshredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
In a large sauté pan with a lid, brown the ground beef over medium high heat. Remove cooked ground beef from pan and set aside, reserving 2 tablespoons of grease in the pan.
Lower the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic for the last 30 seconds.
Add the flour and stir to cook for about 1 minute, slowly stir in the beef broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
Pour in the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, seasoned salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder and pasta, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer, cover with lid and cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
Add in the cream and cheese and stir until all the cheese melted. Add back in ground beef, cook for 2 to 3 minutes more to re-heat ground beef and serve immediately!
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.Reheat: Reheat on the stove or in the microwave. Add a splash of broth and/or heavy cream to bring back its creaminess.Make Double: Feeding a crowd or large family? Use a large deep sided pot (like a Dutch oven) to double, or even triple, this hamburger helper recipe.Pasta Shells: This recipe works with elbow pasta as well. You want to make sure you are using a similar size for the liquid ratio to work out. If your noodles are not cooked through but your running out of liquid, you can always add a little more beef broth as they cook.Gluten Free: Use your favorite gluten free pasta and the flour for the cornstarch. Most gluten free pasta needs a little longer to cook with a little extra broth, so keep this in mind. Once the pasta is cooked, whisk 2 teaspoons cornstarch into 1 tablespoon of water and stir it into the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, until thickened and continue on with the recipe.Spicy: Want to add some heat? You can add some crushed red pepper flakes for mild heat, or cayenne pepper for a good punch of heat! I have also made a Tex-Mex version where I stir in a can of the Hot version of Rotel!