My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper. Easy, Casual & Simple. I did not grow up eating "Hamburger Helper" and I personally don't really care for the stuff out of the box. However, I do like my homemade version. (I think I don't like the taste of the powdered cheese in the box version). This recipe is very economical, super easy (just about as easy as dumping it out of the box) and the flavor doesn't even compare with the box version. My version is so cheesy!

The other nice thing about this recipe is that you can change it up by substituting different flavors of cheese or switching out a few spices. You can use traditional hamburger but you can also substitute vegetarian crumbles, chicken, turkey, steak, ham, pork, sausage or tuna. It all works great. It is a great way to use up leftover meat!

All I had to do to this recipe to convert it to gluten free was switch out the noodles. I used the Ronzoni gluten free noodles in today's recipe. If you don't have a gluten allergy then you can use regular noodles (any shape). How easy is that?

Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe:
  • 1-2 pounds of hamburger (you can substitute any meat you like or use vegetarian crumbles)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (you can substitute coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk or broth)
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 2 cups uncooked noodles, any shape (I used gluten free Ronzoni noodles today)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch (make sure it is gluten free if you have a gluten allergy!) or tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (I like to use Chipotle but you can use any chili powder). You can add less if you don't like it spicy or you can substitute a different spice in it's place.
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (not garlic salt) or you can use 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp. salt (I start off using 1 tsp. and add more if I feel it needs it)
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, optional (I don't add these if my grand-daughter is eating it with us)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese, any flavor (I used shredded cheddar cheese today). You can also substitute the creamy Velveeta sauce packets which are also gluten free. I prefer shredded cheese but both types will work in this recipe.
  • * Note: You can add any type of spices or steak seasoning, etc that you have on hand. These are the basic seasonings I used today. I have used a pre-mixed hamburger seasoning, steak seasoning or Mrs. Dash seasonings in the past. It all works fine. Use whatever you like or whatever you have on hand. Keep in mind that if your pre-made seasoning contains salt, you may want to omit adding any additional salt. 
 Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook your hamburger (or whatever type of meat you are using). If your meat is pre-cooked then skip this step. Discard any grease in the pan. Add the dry, uncooked noodles, milk (or broth), water and spices. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until noodles are "al dente". Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese. Serve warm. (Note: Do not pre-cook the noodles before adding them to the pan. They need to be uncooked so they absorb the liquid...that is why this is such a great pan!)

Simmering on low heat until noodles are cooked

Noodles are cooked, ready to add cheese

Adding cheese and stirring.
  I love recipes that go together quickly and you can get dinner or lunch to the table in about 20 minutes. It is great for those busy work nights or a quick weekend lunch. It is a ONE SKILLET dish that has minimal clean up! It is also a great way to use up left over chicken, turkey, pork roast, roast beef or whatever you have on hand. I also like the flexibility of this meal. You can use whatever meat you want, whatever cheese you like and whatever spices you have on hand. How convenient & economical is that?
Cheese is now stirred in and it is ready to serve!

Up close view of Hamburger Helper

See how cheesy?

Add a side of vegetables and you have a quick yet delicious dinner!

 I hope you enjoy this super easy dinner recipe. You can even add vegetables to make it a one dish complete meal. Feel free to post any substitutions or pictures of your Hamburger Helper dish. We all learn from each other and I enjoy hearing from you.

Gluten Free Casually


  1. This looks good and sounds so easy. I made a different version of this last night and was not impressed with it. The liquid amount wasn't right. I'll be making this next

  2. This recipe is truly easy and it works. Just make sure you DON'T cook the noodles first. You need to put them in the mixture UNCOOKED so they soak up the liquid or it could turn out runny. That is why I like this recipe. Only one pot to clean up...I don't have to pre-cook noodles first! :)