Friday, 1 April 2016

Globecooking recipe : Cheeseburger macaroni (USA)

As a keen globecooker, I love trying out authentic products from foreign countries so I'm always trawling the supermarket shelves, on and offline, trying to spot new (to me) products to try.

 One such product that kept popping up in various shapes and forms in the US import aisles was Hamburger Helper, which, it appears, is basically a box of dried pasta with seasoning that you cook with mince and milk. That sounded easy enough to recreate so I decided to try it from scratch. It's basically a hob-top pasta bake and the fact that it was ready in 15 minutes and the kids loved it means that we'll definitely be having it again. I tried the classic Cheeseburger Macaroni version but I'll be tempted to try different combinations of ingredients to see what else works.

Cheeseburger macaroni

ingredients : 

1 pack minced beef
2 onions
3tbsp tomato concentrate
seasoning : 1tsp each of smoked paprika, garlic pepper, garlic granules, sugar, oregano, 1/2tsp salt
3tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 beef or chicken stock cube
2 cups water
3 cups uncooked macaroni
2 cups cheese - grated cheddar would be fine, as would mozzarella, but I went for the cheese slices that you use in hamburgers, to stick with the theme
optional : ketchup & American mustard to serve

Put the mince in a large pan with the onions and cook until all the pink has turned brown.

Add the seasoning, herbs and spices.

Toss in the tomato concentrate and the flour and give it a good stir.

Add the milk (don't panic when it goes a really bright yellow colour !), the stock cube and the water.

Drop in the macaroni and give it all a good stir so the pasta is covered in liquid.

Cook for 10-15 minutes until the pasta is cooked through, stirring every now and then.

Stir through the grated cheese or lay cheese slices on top. Turn off the heat and leave for a couple of minutes for the heat of the dish to melt the cheese.

If you really want to stick with the cheeseburger theme, serve with a dollop of ketchup and American mustard on the side.

*** Don't miss my country-by-country globecooking recipe index ! ***

 If you want to try some more American recipes, how about Hoppin' John & Collards (South Carolina)Parmesan Chicken BreastMinnesotan Hotdish, General Tso's Chicken or Snickerdoodles ? 


  1. I always wondered what hamburger helper was, this looks nice

    1. I was a bit disappointed when I saw what it was in the box - I thought it was a lot more complex !