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. I used ground beef but if you want to save a few points feel free to use ground turkey or chicken. Makes 6 servings at 8SP per serving on both blue & green, if you use whole wheat pasta it is 5SP on purple.

Homemade hamburger helper

8SP blue/green, 5SP purple *if using whole wheat pasta/ 7PP
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 6


  • 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


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
Keyword Featured



  1. Melanie Vandergaast Reply

    You may want to include the step that includes the minced garlic. Itโ€™s missing.

    • Drizzle Reply

      well it is part of “all the seasonings” but I did update it in case there is any confusion, thanks

      • This was a hit!! Made this for myself and the teens and there was nothing left haha

        Super easy recipe and very tasty! Definitely will be making again in the future!

        Thank you!

        • Drizzle Reply

          Hi Jeanette, yay!! I am so glad everyone enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Made this tonight for dinner and it was awesome!!! If you like hamburger helper you will love this! Also very little mess, my kind of meal. We will make this again and again for sure.

    • Drizzle Reply

      Hi Nicole, I am so glad you enjoyed the pasta dish, we all loved it here too!

    • Drizzle Reply

      Hi Shantelle, step #3 the pasta cooks once you add the broth and milk and simmer for 9-12 minutes

    • Drizzle Reply

      there is 2 tsp in the whole dish?? Sorry that it was too strong for you, each to their own I guess but really 2 tsp of a seasoning in a dish that size is not a lot

  3. Loved that we can enjoy โ€œHamburger Helperโ€ again, thanks to your healthier version!

  4. Delish! A big hit with picky kids, I snuck some spinach and peppers in there too. Will make again for sure!

    • Drizzle Reply

      Awesome, I love when it is picky kid approved cause I myself have one of those haha

  5. My husband and I love this! Have made it every week since you posted it. His coworkers are jealous when he hears up leftovers for lunch. Comes out great with nonfat milk too since thatโ€™s all I have.

    • Drizzle Reply

      Haha I love that!!! I’m so glad you both enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Ruth Taylor Reply

    I just saw this so I have not tried it yet but I have been looking for good recipes with less sodium and diet friendly that people say is really good so I will be trying this soon.

  7. Family approved!! Perfect for that comfort food craving. I didn’t tell my husband it had reduced fat cheese until after he said he liked it lol Will definitely keep the recipe to make again. Thanks!

  8. I input the ingredients in my WW builder and come out with 12 points on blue. I even used ground chicken breast. Not sure where this went wrong ;(

    • Drizzle Reply

      Hi Cindi, here is the breakdown in my App, sometimes products can vary but it should not be that high .. cornstarch 2, tomato paste 1, broth 1, milk 5, reduced fat cheese 12, extra lean ground beef 10, pasta (measured uncooked) 16

        • Drizzle Reply

          I buy a brand here in Canada that is a high fiber and it works out to 16 SP for 2 cups measured dry, just try scanning a bunch at the grocery store and see what you can find

  9. Sharon Sawyers Reply

    I am going to try this tomorrow for the first time, but with ground turkey.
    My question is – Do I precook the pasta?

    • Drizzle Reply

      once you have added the broth and milk then you add the pasta (dry) it cooks during this step (#3)

  10. We made this last week and it was so good we are making it again this week. Itโ€™s an easy recipe and a great comfort food in our house ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Drizzle Reply

      Hi DeAnne, yay, I am so glad you all enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Made this tonight and it was so yummy!! Very easy, love that itโ€™s all in one pot. Easy to make, easy clean up are my kinda meals during the week. Thanks for sharing with us โ˜บ๏ธ

      • Drizzle Reply

        Hi Becky, that is awesome to hear so glad you all enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I really liked it! And it was super easy, but I agree with someone else that it might be too much Thyme. Idk if mine is super strong but it seems a bit overpowering. I still enjoyed it though!

    • Drizzle Reply

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, easy enough to lower the amount of thyme for next time ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Tanya Murray Gendron Reply

    This was sooooooo delicious!!!! I enjoy many of your recipes!! Thank you for everything you do๐Ÿฅฐ

    • Drizzle Reply

      I am so glad you enjoyed it Tanya ๐Ÿ™‚ and you are very welcome!

  13. Natalie Ann Groom Reply

    I’m so happy to have found you ..These ideas are fantastic
    thank you so much

  14. Kate,
    โ€˜This was GREAT! Husband loved it. Did make a few changes as I didnโ€™t use the milk and used extra beef broth. Did partially cook the noodles in the beef broth as I needed to use gluten free pasta that cooks for longer than some gluten ones. Lastly I used fresh Tarragon as I had some in a pot outside my kitchen. Will definitely make this again. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Paula Mason Reply

    If you don’t use cheese in the recipe (my husband won’t eat cheese, crazy I know) should I still use the milk? Or is the milk there to make the cheese a sauce. Would substituting more broth for the milk work do you think?

    • Drizzle Reply

      Hi Paula, the milk does help the cheese sauce.. I would think using the broth instead will work ok, I mean it is definitely going to taste different than the recipe without the cheese sauce

  16. Thanks to Bre from YouTube, I have found you too. Can’t wait to check out more from Thank you for the hamburger helper recipe and points. I need all kinds of great ideas to make lower point versions of family favorites. Thank you.

    • Drizzle Reply

      Hi Joan, yay! I am glad you found me and I hope you continue to enjoy the recipes ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Delicious!!!! I wasnโ€™t sure if I like Thyme so I made it without it. Definitely will make it again.

  18. This was a family hit! Used rotini and added a shredded zucchini in the second step to add some veggie-bulk, that made it a little saucier but it was so good!! Thanks!

    • Drizzle Reply

      Awesome, so happy to hear you all enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚

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