Homemade Hamburger Helper

I know… this is NOT soup. So, why is it on a soup blog? Because it’s important to be educated in all types of cuisines including the ones that mimic sort of gross boxed pasta with questionable seasoning packets. Let’s move on…

I used to love it when my mom would make Hamburger Helper for dinner when I was a child. I would request it every week like it was taco Tuesday.

I remember a couple of years ago, after getting over my infatuation for Hamburger Helper, I wanted to recall it’s deliciousness and make it again.

The honest answer, it was gross. If I wasn’t sober, it might have been better but after that encounter, I wanted to try to make it from scratch.

I’ve had homemade Hamburger Helper before. I googled homemade versions and found that there weren’t too many steps to making this better.

Also, this is the lasagna version because that was the flavor that I grew up eating. If you’re into a different flavor, you’ll have to google a different recipe.

The recipe I used comes from Jo Cooks One Pot Hamburger Helper Lasagna

I’ve modified her recipe to match my preferences and I also used ingredients that I had in my kitchen already. For example, the typical Lasagna Hamburger Helper uses Mafalda pasta but I had a box of trio pasta, I added Parmesan as well as fresh spinach. In my recipe, I used pizza sauce because I didn’t have any marinara and still tasted top-notch.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes

What You Will Need:

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 Small Onion, diced
  • 4-5 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of Italian Seasoning
  • 2 cups of Marinara Sauce
  • 8 oz of any Pasta of your Choice
  • 3 cups of Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup of Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 4-5 cups of Fresh Spinach

The How-To:

  1. Start by browning the ground turkey. If you’re using a fattier meat, you may want to drain the fat afterward.
  2. Add onion and cook until almost translucent. Add garlic and Italian seasoning and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the marinara sauce, chicken broth, and pasta. Stir until well combined. Bring this to a boil, then turn down the heat and cook for 15 minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked. You will also notice that the sauce has thickened quite significantly.
  4. Stir in the Mozzarella and the Parmesan cheese until they have melted.
  5. Then wilt the spinach. This will take 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve and Dobrou Chut’!

Sausage, Potato, and Spinach Soup

I swear by this soup as being one of the best soups I’ve ever eaten and will continue to make to keep in the refrigerator for times when I don’t feel like cooking. I have fallen so deeply in love with this soup, I will eat it for breakfast or as a small snack. If breakfast is for champions, then I’m the champion who eats soup for breakfast.

I found this soup when I wanted to start eating more potatoes because I heard people were living off of just potatoes and vegetables using the Potato Reset. If you know anything about the Potato Reset then you know this soup doesn’t fall under those qualifications.

If you’ve ever eaten at Olive Garden, then you may know about the infamous Zuppa Toscana soup. This soup is very similar but Olive Garden adds heavy cream to the soup. I reserve the dairy intake for the extra Parmesan cheese for optimal melty goodness at the end.

If you need a Parmesan cheese recommendation that is cheaper than the blocks you find in the fancy cheese department, try Sargento Shaved Parmesan Cheese. At my local grocery store it’s just over $3.00 but I can often find it on sale for $2.50. This cheese melts well but if you want a rich, nutty cheese shredding your own cheese is always worth the effort and price.

My favorite part about this soup is the thickness the red potatoes give the soup especially after it has been in the refrigerator overnight. I have seen other recipes for this soup where russet potatoes are used but I think russet potatoes add a grittiness to the soup that I don’t particularly enjoy. But, hey, you do you.

In my recipe, I use 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of red potatoes for two reasons. 1) I like this soup chunky! I love having a bigger potato to sausage ratio. It definitely makes it more filling. 2) Maybe this is just me, but red potatoes tend to have more bruising/markings on them so I never use all of the potato, anyways.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes

What you will need:

  • 1 lb sausage of your choice (I use turkey)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs of red potatoes (chopped into small cubes)
  • 5 to 6 cups of baby spinach
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth (I use low sodium.)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (add as desired/needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

**Adjust ingredients according to desired taste**

Optional Extras: Parmesan cheese or croutons for topping, a hard bread such as a french baguette for dipping! All delicious options. If you’re trying to keep this on the healthier side omit all these tempting extras.

The How To :

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. You can omit this step if using a non-stick pot.
  2. Remove casing from sausage. Brown and crumble. Add onion to pot and cook for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes to pot while stirring to prevent burning and heat until fragrant. This usually takes about 1 minute.
  3. Add chicken broth to pot and let come to a boil.
  4. Place potatoes in the pot and cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. The cook time will vary depending on the size of your potatoes.
  5. Reduce temperature to simmer. Add spinach, chop if desired. Let the spinach wilt.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve, add cheese, bread, or croutons as desired and Dobrou Chut’!

Inspired by Damn Delicious

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