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Hamburger, Help Her

The following post was originally published on Hunger and Thirst:

Hamburger is my dad’s all-time favorite food. Not a traditional burger, grilled to perfection on the outside, and still succulent and pink on the inside. No, he prefers his burger to be cooked so long that it resembles a dirt clod in texture and flavor. No wonder I hated hamburger growing up, especially Hamburger Helper. But as an adult, I find this dish oddly comforting. And no matter who is sitting at my dinner table – a grumpy old man, teenagers, or my picky aunt – this dish always gets eaten with gusto. Nothing fancy here, but people like it. This is an adaptation of Roben Ryberg’s recipe.


1/2 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tbsp. ancho chile powder
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. uncooked gf pasta elbows (or regular pasta elbows)
1 3/4 c. water
1 tsp. corn or potato starch
1 Tbsp. cold water
1/4 c. sour cream


Sauté the hamburger, onion, and spices until browned. Add pasta and water, cover and simmer 20 minutes, or until pasta is tender. In a small cup, mix together 1 tsp. starch and 1 Tbsp. cold water, and add to the hamburger mixture. Turn off the heat, and stir in sour cream

ButterPoweredBike is the author of Hunger and Thirst. She is a forager, a gardener, a cyclist, and an intuitive cook and eater.

This post is linked to $5 Dinner Challenge , Slightly Indulgent TuesdayGluten-Free Wednesdays and Ultimate Recipe Swap.

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About Alea Milham

Alea Milham is the owner and editor of Premeditated Leftovers. She shares her tips for saving money and time while reducing waste in her home. Her favorite hobby, gardening, is a frugal source of organic produce for her recipes. She believes it is possible to live fully and eat well while spending less.


  1. The Book Lady Online says:

    Looks like a great recipe :) I might try it out on the family tonight since I have some hamburger that is thawed and needs to be used today. Thanks :)

  2. Oh I love some hamburger helper!! Will try this recipe!

  3. says:

    Wow! HBH is one of those foods I kind of hate myself for loving. This is a must try…extra credit for using ancho powder!

  4. Jessie at Gluten Free 4 Goofs says:

    I might have to make this tonight! I could use some comfort. :) I'm waiting for baby #5 to decide to grace us and I'm watching a blizzard outside my window.

  5. This sounds like a great family meal. I'm sure my gang would go for it.

  6. Okay, we tried it and my kids are drooling for more. I love how easy it is. Thanks for the idea!

  7. gfe--gluten free easily says:

    Great post title and photo, Alea! Homemade Hamburger Helper is where it's at. ;-) My hubby would love this one. :-) I have a homemade Hamburger Helper recipe that I need to share soon, too.


  8. All credit for the phot and title must go to Butter at Hunger and Thirst. I am indebted to her for sharing this wonderful post!

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