Don’t have time to cook a lasagna from scratch? Homemade Hamburger Helper lasagna is here to come to your rescue!
It’s packed with everything you crave, minus the fuss. Ready in just 30 minutes, you can make the whole thing in one skillet.
Homemade Hamburger Helper Lasagna
Homemade Hamburger Helper lasagna is nostalgic comfort food at its finest.
It tastes like the store-bought stuff you remember as a kid. Only this version is even better because you make it from scratch.
This way, you won’t get all those unwanted additives you can’t pronounce. It’s just a hot meal packed with all the flavors you crave.
Hearty and meaty, this is a deconstructed lasagna made in one skillet. It’s overflowing with juicy beef and Italian sausage, all smothered in red sauce and cheese.
It’s easy to make, and cleanup is fuss-free, too!
Hamburger Helper boxed mix works in a pinch. But this dish is far better from scratch. It lets you control what goes in it, and you can customize it accordingly.
Here’s what you need:
- Ground beef. Regular or lean both work. Just be sure to drain any excess fat so it’s not greasy.
- Italian sausage. My secret to this dish is adding Italian sausage. It tastes so good and makes it extra savory. As an alternative, you can double up on the beef.
- Sweet onion. It adds more depth but isn’t too strong. Yellow onion is also a great substitute. I would avoid white or red because the flavor isn’t the best match.
- Garlic. Mince three cloves worth. If you’re a garlic lover, add a couple more.
- Italian seasoning. You can blend your own or make life easier and opt for store-bought.
- Salt and pepper. Add a pinch or two of each to taste.
- Marinara sauce. Homemade marinara sauce will take it up a notch. There’s also no denying the convenience of store-bought. Either way, both work.
- Milk. Whole fat will have the best flavor and texture. But I say go with what you have on hand.
- Chicken stock. For simmering the mixture and cooking the pasta. Beef or vegetable stock are also options as substitutes.
- Short-cut pasta. Any type of short-cut pasta works. I prefer Campanelle. Mafalda pasta also has a nice ribbon shape that works great.
- Cheese. What’s a lasagna without the cheese?! Melt shredded cheddar and mozzarella in the pasta. Then top it with freshly grated parmesan. Yum!
- Parsley. Add a pinch on top to make the dish pop. For a substitute, use basil.
How to Make Hamburger Helper Lasagna
The great thing about this meal is it’s ready in just 30 minutes. And all you need is one skillet!
Here are the steps:
- Cook the meat. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and Italian sausage over medium heat. Break up the meat mixture with a wooden spoon as you cook, stirring occasionally. Cook it until the meat has browned.
- Add onion, garlic, and seasonings. Drain off any excess fat from the meat. Add the onions, garlic, and Italian seasoning to the skillet. Cook it for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Season it with salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix additional ingredients and simmer. Add the marinara, milk, chicken stock, and pasta to the skillet. Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to low. Simmer it for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is done.
- Add the cheese and serve. Stir in the cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Serve it with fresh parsley and grated parmesan if desired. Enjoy!
Tips for Success
Homemade Hamburger Helper lasagna is a staple in my household. Meaning, I’ve made it a lot!
Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about preparing this dish. So here are some tips to take it from good to great:
- Substitute the meat. For a leaner meal, use ground turkey or ground chicken instead of beef and sausage.
- Try different seasonings. You don’t have to stick to just using Italian seasoning. Use any spices or herbs you like. Basil, oregano, paprika, cayenne, and garlic powder are just some ideas.
- Finish it under the broiler. A minute or two under the broiler will get the cheese nice and melted. If you take this route, be sure to use an oven-proof skillet like cast iron.
- Shred your own cheese. Freshly grated cheese melts better and tastes better than the pre-shredded stuff. Sure, it’s an extra step. But it’s worth it!
- Opt for blocked mozzarella. Normally, I’m all about chewy, fresh mozzarella. For this dish, though, I prefer the block. It shreds a lot easier and blends better.
- Use a large skillet. You want plenty of room for cooking and for all the ingredients. So use a big skillet.
- Spruce it up with leafy greens. Sneak in some veggies like spinach, kale, or Swiss chard. Stir them in when the pasta is ready, then add the cheese.
- Add a spicy kick. Are you a Scoville seeker? Add a pinch of cayenne, a drizzle of chili oil, or red pepper chili flakes.
What to Serve With Hamburger Helper Lasagna
Want to serve this dish as part of a larger meal? You’re in luck! There are a bunch of scrumptious dishes that go with it.
Here are a handful of my favorites:
- Garlic bread with homemade garlic butter
- Pan-fried green beans
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating
Have leftovers? Not a problem!
Let the dish cool down to room temperature. Then, grab your containers and follow these instructions:
- To Store: Place the leftovers in an air-tight container and refrigerate them. Enjoy them within 4 days.
- To Freeze: Transfer the leftovers to an air-tight container, label, and freeze. The leftovers will last for 3 months. Be sure to thaw in the fridge overnight. You can also defrost them in the microwave.
- To Reheat: Place the leftovers in an oven-proof dish. Reheat them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until they’re thoroughly warmed. Likewise, you can reheat leftovers in the microwave. Be sure to use a microwave-safe container and check in 1-minute intervals.
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