I think a lot of us grew up on hamburger helper! My homemade version is 1000 times better if you ask me, a delicious meal the whole family can enjoy.

Sometimes I get odd cravings for things like canned alphagetti or hamburger helper..I’ll blame it on growing up in the 70’s haha.. I was really craving hamburger helper one day but I knew I had all the things in to make a homemade version so I saved myself the trip out to the grocery store and the $2 lol and created this delicious dish. It is so simple to make and the whole family can enjoy it.

It is made with simple ingredients and customizable with ground beef, turkey, or chicken, this dish is sure to satisfy your nostalgic cravings while still being Weight Watchers-friendly at just 8 points per serving. Plus, it’s easy to make and perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Give it a try today and save yourself a trip to the storeI used ground beef but if you want to save a few points feel free to use ground turkey or chicken. Makes 6 servings at 8 points per serving on WW.

Ingredients used

  • Ground beef
  • Thyme
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Garlic
  • Salt & pepper
  • Tomato paste
  • Corn starch
  • Beef broth
  • Milk
  • Pasta
  • Shredded cheese

I love using the small shell pasta in this dish, this type of pasta just seems to suit the recipe but any pasta can be used. If you prefer a penne or rotini noodle it will work just as well.

You could also swap out the ground beef for ground chicken or turkey if you are looking to lighten up this dish, if you follow WW and turkey/chicken is a 0PP food for you then it is a great option to swap it out and I promise it is just as delicious.


I love my Stove & Dove cast iron skillet for this dish, I definitely suggest having a good cast iron skillet in your kitchen, some recipes just taste so much better made in one. While a high-quality one is great to have you can still find a low-priced option on Amazon that will work just as well if it fits better in your budget.

I like using cheddar cheese in this recipe, it adds to the overall flavor of the sauce. If you don’t have cheddar in the fridge you can definitely try it with a different kind of shredded cheese.

This recipe should yield 6 heaping 1 cup servings. It pairs well with a salad, I like to serve it with some garlic toast and spoon some onto the toast, so good!

4.09 from 87 votes

Homemade hamburger helper

By: Drizzle
Servings: 6
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
8P range, 8SP blue/green, 5SP purple *if using whole wheat pasta/ 7 points plus


  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1.5 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt/pepper
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1.5 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups pasta, I used small shells *measured uncooked
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese


  • Cook the ground beef in a pan or skillet over medium heat, drain fat and return to pan.
  • Add in the tomato paste, all seasonings, garlic and the corn starch, mix well.
  • Stir in the broth and milk and then add the pasta, bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover with lid and let simmer for 9-12 minutes, stirring a couple of times..
  • Remove from heat and mix in the shredded cheese, cover again for a few minutes to let cheese melt and the sauce thicken.
  • Makes 6 heaping 1 cup servings.. *Note- you can swap out the ground beef for turkey/chicken to lower points on blue/purple


Points- 8
Personal Points- 5-8 depending on your 0PP foods 
Smart points- green & blue- 8 using WW recipe builder
Smart points- purple- 5 using WW recipe builder
Points plus- 7 using PP calculator
Nutritional info per serving..Calories 280...Fat 9.3g..Sat fat 4.7g...Carbs 28.3g...Fiber 1.3g...Sugar 4.9g...Protein 20.5g using My Fitness pal *includes all ingredients
Tried this recipe?Mention @drizzlemeskinny or tag #drizzlemeskinny!

You can store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. This recipe freezes well making it a great option for meal prep.

To reheat from frozen, let dethaw then you can cook it in a pan over medium heat on the stove, use a casserole dish in the oven or you can use the microwave.

Looking for some similar recipes? Try my Bacon cheeseburger pasta bake or One-pot turkey rigatoni 

You May Also Like

About Drizzle Me Skinny

Kate founded DrizzleMeSkinny in 2014. Since then she has shared nearly 1000 weight watchers friendly recipes with DrizzleMeSkinny's over 500,000 social media followers.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    So I see that no one has commented on this recipe in the last two years. I just happen to stumble on it because I was hungry for hamburger helper but I wasn’t going to use a box.my only changes were; added in 1 tablespoon of unami seasoning, used Mostaccioli instead of shells and 2 tablespoons of Marsala wine to deglaze. It was delicious, we loved it. Can’t wait to take to the next potluck!