Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Eat at Home Tonight - MY version of Hamburger Helper

I've been needing a lot of comfort food lately. I don't have to worry about fitting in my wedding dress anymore, bikini season is pretty much over, so when I want a great bowl of comfort, it's on. This is another great fridge-cleaner-outer-recipe so it's super practical too.

This one is so good, so comforting and even if it's not my healthiest dish, hey -it's all about moderation anyway, there are veggies in here! This is my version of homemade hamburger helper casserole. When I was little, we never had hamburger helper. We always ate healthy at home and my Mom always made us delicious Polish food but that didn't stop me from missing American food! I'm the girl who loved school lunches, remember? Anyway, those days when you're feeling homesick, or just need some a super-feel-the-love kind of comfort dish, use what you've got in your fridge to make this amazing casserole!

Check out my video here!

Here's what I used (but feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand to make this dish):

For the Alfredo sauce:
3/4 Cup of Heavy Cream
3/4 Cup of Butter
Couple of Tbsp Parmesan Cheese

1 Pound of Shell Pasta
About 3/4 lb Ground beef (or ground turkey)
1/2 Cup - 1 Cup leftover Gazpacho (can substitute jarred tomato sauce or even just used canned tomatoes)
2 large tomatoes diced
1/2 large zucchini - diced

Melt the butter in a small suacepan, add the heavy cream to the butter and stir often for about 10 minutes. Add the parmesan cheese to the saucepan. Take it off the heat and set aside.

In another pan or skillet, brown your ground beef. Season it with salt and pepper. You can add garlic and onion at this point if you'd like but since I was using my leftover gazpacho, it was garlicky enough already :) Once it's browned, add in your diced tomatoes and zucchini (and any other vegetables you're using) and sautee them for a few minutes. Then, I poured in the gazpacho (again, you can use tomato sauce) and brought it all up to a boil. Once it boils, turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add your alfredo sauce to the mixture in your pan. Stir it up to combine and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Give it a taste and see what other spices you might like to add. I added a bit of paprika to mine to give it a little something extra. Then, pour over your warm, creamy, and decadently meaty sauce onto your pasta. Eat immediately (you probably won't be able to wait to bake it up) but you can bake it for a few minutes in the oven (with some cheese on top) on 350F or 175C. The leftovers are EVEN better (if that's even possible!) but trust me, the leftovers won't be around for long. You'll want to eat this one for dinner and then breakfast, if there's any left. Amazing!

Please try this one next time you're feeling down and need a pick-up because this calming remedy will do just the trick!


  1. I'll admit, I've been vegetarian for a long time now, but Hamburger Helper is definitely something I miss about eating meat.

    Yours looks great, and is probably waaaaay better than the boxed stuff, I bet.

  2. Umm, this just sparked a big discussion about Alfredo sauce kod nas. Apparently, even though it was invented in Rome, Italians have no idea what it is. (D lived in Rome for a while, and his brother still lives there!) Anyway, I love it, and that's all that really matters. ;)

  3. Mmmm I love alfredo sauce. It's one of our favorites. and Phew! Bikini season IS over so comfort food season begins! Luckily I didn't have to worry about that this year! But I always love the end of summer knowing there is no more worrying for the year!

  4. I think I like your version of hamburger helper.

  5. Looks amazing! I love your cooking show - you're so cute! And I totally hear you on comfort food, sometimes I just want mac and cheese - and sadly mac and cheese in Australia just isn't the same!



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