Cowboy Hamburger Helper

Did y’all grow up on Hamburger Helper or some sort of variation of it?  I bet you did, because it’s a classic. But instead of using the box, let’s do this homemade style and get some really great flavors going on. This is a budget friendly, one-pot meal that will feed a crew!

Ground Beef

Of course traditionally, this dish was made with ground beef. That is what we are using today a good 80/20 blend of Certified Angus Beef. However, I’ve made this with a mix of ground sausage and beef, deer, etc. So, use whatever meat you’ve got on hand, it’ll work just fine.

One- Pot

As I mentioned this is a one heaping pot meal! If you’ve got a 12-inch cast iron skillet, I’d sure love for you to make it in that. But a large stew pot will work well, or you can even divide this into 2 smaller skillets.

Adding the Homemade Flavor

I really want to emphasize the great flavors of this dish versus the boxed version. We’re adding one of my favorite ingredients- Hatch green chilis. You can typically find these in the Hispanic aisle of the grocery store. Hatch brand gives the best flavor to me.

Another really important tip here is to use our Smoked Cheese Recipe! Now, folks you can use any type of shredded cheese in here you’l like but we took our easy smoked recipe recipe and shredded it up in this and it gives it such a  unique taste. I really would love for ya’ll to try it that way if you’ve got the time.

Simmer Together

We’re simmering all this goodness along with some cream cheese and sour cream for a creamy consistency. You want to cook it just until the noodles get tender, but be sure they don’t get mushy. Then stir in that good shredded cheese until it melts and then scoop out the goodness.


This will make about 4 hearty servings or 6 regular. You can also serve this alongside some good of our good cornbread or homemade biscuit recipes.

However, you switch this up- make it your own and enjoy with the family!


Join us in our Video…

Homemade Hamburger Helper- Cowboy Kent Rollins

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 to 6


  • 2 lbs. ground beef 80/20 blend
  • 1 large white onion diced
  • ½ tablespoon Red River Ranch Original or seasoning of your choice
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1-2 cans chopped Hatch green chilis
  • 2 cups dry elbow macaroni
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups beef broth
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup cream cheese
  • 2-4 cups shredded cheese see note below


  • In a large cast iron skillet or stew pot, brown the meat over medium-high heat. If needed, drain the grease.
  • Stir in the onion, seasoning, garlic cloves, green chilis, macaroni and broth.
  • Cover and bring to a simmer for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the macaroni is tender.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sour cream and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Place the pan over low heat and stir in the cheeses. Cook until the cheese has melted, stirring occasionally. Serve warm.


We highly recommend using our smoked cheese to add better flavor to this dish. Find the recipe here:
Red River Ranch Original Seasoning can be found at 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!