Does Hamburger Helper Come With Meat? How To Improve Flavor?

A hamburger helper may be one of your top choices from your list of favorite dishes. This quick and straightforward hamburger helper recipe can satiate your hunger at any time of the day or night. It is a popular household name that can be made in just 30 minutes. Even so, there are not many unanswered questions about your preferred food. We are, therefore, here with your responses.

Usually, milk is needed for your favorite hamburger helper recipe. However, you can always locate good dairy and non-dairy milk substitutes if you are in a rush. You can use a cornstarch mixture to thicken the runny sauce. You can choose meat replacements if you do not feel like eating meat today. When using ground meat, you should, however, remove the grease from it.

Not only is Hamburger Helper a quick choice at any time, but it is also a hearty, nutritious supper for your family. It offers a wide range of flavors to satisfy you. For this mouthwatering meal, you do not need high-end ingredients. Everything is readily available nearby, or you can just come up with clever substitutions without sacrificing flavor.

What Is Hamburger Helper?

What Is Hamburger Helper
What Is Hamburger Helper

The packaged pasta company, Hamburger Helper, began operations in 1971. The company that makes it is General Mills. The basic Hamburger Helper recipe is packaged with dried macaroni and seasoning in a box. It is intended to be prepared using ground beef.

However, many flavors are available, such as lasagna, bacon cheeseburger, cheeseburger macaroni, Philly cheese stick, and many more. Over the years, various modifications have been created for various meats. Here are a few of them:

– Tuna helper

– Chicken helper

– Pork helper

– Asian helper

– Fruit helper

– Whole-grain helper 

*** Read more: English Muffin vs Bagel: Nutrition, Calories & Toppings!

Substitutes For Milk In Hamburger Helper

#1. Sour Cream

Milk is what gives Hamburger Helper its creamy texture. However, milk can be effectively replaced by sour cream in this situation. Sour cream will add a distinctive texture and flavor to hamburger helper.

Sour cream is frequently utilized to add a creamy touch to items like Hamburger Helpers. Due to its acidity, it also aids in thickening the consistency. Therefore, you need to be careful with the sour cream you use. A dish with too much sour cream may become overly thick, detracting from the flavor.

#2. Heavy Cream

Due to its thick, velvety texture, heavy cream is a good substitute for milk in Hamburger Helper. It has a richer consistency. So, dilute them with water before adding them to the Hamburger Helper.

You can use a half cup of heavy cream and a half cup of water instead of one whole cup of milk. Even without milk, the mixture will provide impressive results in giving your food a rich and creamy texture. Heavy cream may be the best choice if you are lactose intolerant because it is a high-fat food that nearly lacks lactose.

#3. Cream Cheese 

Cream Cheese 
Cream Cheese

You can use cream cheese as a decent milk substitute in your recipe. It has the desired amount of creaminess. Moreover, it gives your Hamburger Helper a fantastic cheese flavor. However, cream cheese will not be an option if you keep track of your calories due to its high calorie and fat content.

Hamburger Helper tastes require varying amounts of milk. Typically, a quarter cup of cream cheese and a quarter cup of water are needed to replace a half cup of milk. For a proper recipe, keep the cheese percentage rather than the milk.

#4. Mayonnaise

If you are out of milk, look around for some readily available items, such as mayonnaise. Even mayonnaise can be made at home with oil, egg yolks, and acids like vinegar or lemon juice. Mayonnaise has a much thicker texture than milk does.

Due to its thick consistency, three tablespoons of milk equals one teaspoon of mayonnaise. To your recipe, carefully add the necessary amount of mayonnaise. If not, you can think that the texture is excessively thick. Using the right amount of mayonnaise will enhance your dish’s texture and flavor.

#5. Plain Yogurt

Not having milk while making Hamburger Helper is not a huge problem. Milk can always be substituted with plain yogurt. When milk is added, the dish’s viscosity typically becomes more fluid. However, yogurt gives the meal a creamy smoothness while ensuring the right thickness.

So, if you are in a rush and do not have any milk for your Hamburger Helper, use plain yogurt in its place. You can use it in an amount comparable to what the recipe would call for in milk. However, if you use Greek yogurt, you should first thin it with water.

#6. Water With Butter

Water With Butter
Water With Butter

Surprisingly, water can be used instead of milk with a small amount of butter added. If you were to add butter as a replacement, it would be pretty thick. You can substitute one cup of water and one teaspoon of butter for each cup of milk. If you prefer a thicker consistency, increase the butter content.

Water helps to thin out the sauce because it is lighter and flavorless. By adding butter in the right amount, you may further retain consistency and thickness. A mixture of water and butter is generally preferred in place of milk.

#7. Margarine

If you enjoy butter, margarine will probably be your preferred milk substitute. Butter and margarine taste remarkably similar. However, it functions more like a butter substitute made without dairy. Therefore, you can add margarine to get a texture similar to cream.

Instead of each cup of milk, you must add one cup of water and one teaspoon of margarine. If you already enjoy butter, you will love this flavor of margarine. So give this milk alternative a try in the Hamburger Helper recipe.

#8. Stock/ Broth

If you prefer a different flavor, you can substitute stock or broth for the milk in your recipe for Hamburger Helper. For instance, you can use chicken stock if you use a hamburger helper with a chicken flavor. Similarly, if you have one with beef flavor, pick that stock. Due to its lighter consistency, it might add a less creamy texture, however.

Stocks may be the best alternative if you do not want milk-based products to be used instead of milk. Your Hamburger Helper will taste delicious thanks to the delicate and light texture of the stock. Additionally, lactose intolerant individuals would be prudent to choose it.

#9. Plant-Based/ Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives

Plant-Based Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives
Plant-Based Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives

Using these non-dairy milk alternatives will help you greatly if you have lactose sensitivity. These aid in giving your food a creamy texture. These plant-based milk substitutes are also very beneficial to your health. They will aid in boosting your immune system.

For vegetarians, plant-based milk alternatives are far more ideal. There are numerous non-dairy milk substitutes available in a range of consistencies. The following list includes some of their names:

– Almond milk

– Cashew milk

– Coconut milk

– Soy milk

– Oat milk 

*** Read more: Can You Freeze Cooked Hamburgers? The Best Way To Do It!

Why Drain Grease From Hamburger Helper?

There may be a sizable amount of fat left over if the grease from Hamburger Helper is not drained. Consuming much fat over an extended period might frequently harm you. Therefore, it is preferable to drain the grease and take action to approach any recipe more healthily.

Typically, ground beef has a significant quantity of fat. For all of us, overeating fat is harmful. For this reason, it is advised to drain the grease from the ground beef. Ground beef’s fat and calorie content can be significantly reduced by cooking and draining the meat.

Although we know that we need to remove the fat from the ground beef, we are negligent about how to do it correctly. We cannot just dump the grease into the sink. The plumbing lines may become blocked by a buildup of thick fat.

How To Get Grease Out Of A Hamburger Helper?

To remove all the fat from the hamburger helper, drain it, dab it with a paper towel, or use a filter.

A crucial step in making a hamburger helper is draining the fat. You must carefully remove the grease. While performing it, you can choose from the following options:

– Use a fork or spoon to move the meat to the opposite side of the pan. Tilt the pan along the empty portion to assist the grease build-up in that skillet corner.

– Use a large metal spoon to scoop off the fat from the pan. You can scoop the grease into an aluminum foil-lined cup or bowl.

– To clean it, absorb the grease with some paper towels. If there is still some grease, keep dabbing it with additional towels.

– Make a basin out of tin foil and place a sieve on top. After that, add the fat and ground meat to the filter. Wait a few minutes for the interior leak to finish. Once finished, discard the tin foil once the grease has cooled.

*** Read more: How To Reheat Burger In Air Fryer: Additional Safety Tips!

How To Give Hamburger Helper More Flavor?

How To Give Hamburger Helper More Flavor
How To Give Hamburger Helper More Flavor

The flavor of your hamburger helper can be significantly improved by including other ingredients such as diced onions, pepper, chiles, mushrooms, spinach, etc.

You can always get inventive to make your favorite Hamburger Helper recipe taste even better. There are numerous flavors of Hamburger Helper. You can add more ingredients to give it a new flavor and increase its delectability. Here are a few standard add-ons for Hamburger Helper:

– To brown the meat:

Dice one whole white onion and add it to the uncooked beef.

Add 1-2 tbsp of freshly minced garlic or garlic powder to taste.

To the browned meat, add Italian spice and black pepper.

Add green or jalapeno chilies.

– For beverages and spaghetti:

A tiny can of chopped mushrooms or a container containing them.

Dry broccoli and peas or canned broccoli.

Black olives, whole or sliced, in a can.

A bunch of uncooked spinach


#1. Do You Have To Add Meat To Hamburger Helper?

Making a meatless hamburger helper is quick and straightforward. Use the same amount of liquid as usual. The consistency can alter depending on adding extra vegetables and which ones. This evening, give Helper a novel spin!

#2. How Much Meat Is In A Box Of Hamburger Helper?

For five one-cup servings (half a box), you will need 1 cup of hot water, 2 cups milk, and 1 pound of lean ground beef.

#3. What Do You Need For Hamburger Helper?

– 5.8-ounce package of Hamburger Helper (contains sauce mix and dry pasta)

– 1/2 pounds ground beef (at least 80% lean)

– 1/4 cup milk.

– 2/3 cups hot water.

#4. What Goes With Hamburger Helper?

– Garden Salad.

– Corn on the Cob.

– Sauteed Mushrooms.

– Grilled Peppers.

– Mac & Cheese.

– Dinner Rolls.

– Roasted Vegetables.

– Green Beans.

*** Read more: What To Serve With Venison Tenderloin: 4 Best Side Dishes

#5. Do You Need Milk For Hamburger Helper?

Do You Need Milk For Hamburger Helper
Do You Need Milk For Hamburger Helper

You can, indeed. This meal can be made creamy enough without milk because of the starches that are produced by the pasta while it cooks. However, if you add milk to the mixture, it tastes and feels better.

#6. Why Is Hamburger Helper Bad For You?

There is a substantial quantity of sodium in Hamburger Helper. The cooked meals can have up to 990 milligrams of sodium per serving, while the mixes may have 580 to 810 milligrams. The American Heart Association advises adults to keep their sodium consumption to an average of 1,500 mg/day.

#7. Can I Use Chicken Instead Of Beef For Hamburger Helper?

Ground chicken is a good and adaptable substitute for ground beef. The ground chicken will make your Hamburger Helper meal taste lighter than beef, and you do not need to drain out the fat while cooking it like you would with meat. You may also use whole, chopped-up chicken instead.

#8. Can You Substitute Tuna In Hamburger Helper?

Vegetarian Crumbles can be used to make Hamburger Helper. There are varieties of hamburger helpers that do not utilize beef or chicken but tuna or fish instead!

#9. How Do You Make Hamburger Helper Less Watery?

Use less liquid than recommended and extra butter while making Hamburger Helper. You can occasionally add a little cream or sour cream toward the end. If things get terrible, you may always use a little cornstarch: mix one teaspoon with one teaspoon of water.

#10. Does Hamburger Helper Make You Gain Weight?

Does Hamburger Helper Make You Gain Weight
Does Hamburger Helper Make You Gain Weight

You can, indeed. You can still lose weight as long as the total number of calories you burn exceeds the number you consume. However, eating a hamburger will not give your body the nutrition for maximum fitness improvements.

#11. Is Hamburger Helper Good?

It has simple instructions and is a quick supper with a satisfying flavor. For that, Hamburger Helper is renowned. On television, they consistently show a family of three to five eating it as a meal and enjoying reasonable amounts. However, there is not enough food for two people to thoroughly consume. It is not a remarkably inexpensive supper at almost two bucks per box.

#12. Is Eating Hamburgers Bad For You?

According to science, eating junk food occasionally can harm your health because it is high in calories, fat, and sodium. One hamburger, for instance, has 500 calories, 25 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugar, and 1,000 milligrams of sodium, all of which might be detrimental to your health.

#13. How Does Hamburger Helper Reduce Sodium?

You can cut the cheese to 1 cup for supper with fewer calories, but the pasta will not taste as cheesy. Alternatively, up the cheese factor by topping the pan with cheese and placing it under the broiler for a minute. If you use standard beef broth, omit the salt from the recipe and use a low-sodium beef broth instead.

#14. Can I Cook Hamburger Helper Without Milk?

Yes, you can always make Hamburger Helper without necessarily using milk, which is a quick response to the inquiry. As was already said, one of the uses for milk in food is to give it a creamy texture and exquisite flavor.

*** Read more: Do Frozen Waffles Go Bad? Ways To Properly Store Waffles


In conclusion, it comprises dried pasta packaged in boxes and packets of seasoning powder. Other starches, like rice or potatoes, are also included in the product line. Browned ground beef (“hamburger”), water, and, in some cases, milk are added to the contents of each box to provide a full one-dish dinner.

Leave a Comment