hamburger helper

30-Minute Hamburger Helper Copy Cat

Hamburger Helper was something that I enjoyed every once in a while when I was a kid. Now I can’t really stand it. That being said, I recently had a homemade Hamburger Helper recipe, and it was fantastic! It was one of the lasagna recipes, I think. I remember really enjoying the taco flavored Hamburger Helper when I was a kid. After having that comforting and tasty homemade Hamburger Helper version, I’m excited to try my hand at the taco flavors!

This is what I call trash food, but it’s not necessarily an insult to the food or cooking. It’s just something that I probably wouldn’t cook for anyone outside of the household because it’s not fancy enough. It’s delicious though, and you should absolutely try it out! 

I always enjoyed the taco Hamburger Helper because it had macaroni noodles, and it tasted like something you’d get from Taco Bell. Yes, I love Taco Bell. That’s more of that trash food I was talking about. No shame… ok, just a little, haha. This is an easy 20-minute meal that you’re sure to love!


  • large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 cup SMOOTH salsa
  • 1 cup Rotel Tomatoes
  • 2 cups can water
  • 2t cumin
  • 2t chili powder
  • 1t ground coriander
  • 1/4t cayenne (OPTIONAL)
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown ground beef and onion.
  • Add spices stirring to coat. Add water, salsa, tomatoes and pasta. Stir until well combined.
  • Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until the pasta is fully cooked.
  • Stir in cheese until melted.
  • Remove from heat and let stand for 2-3 minutes before serving.

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