I grew up on hamburger helper boxes and loved them. They were easy to learn how to make. I use to eat this stuff with tons of store bought sugar filled bread. I especially loved the lasagna version. Now a days since I read ingredients and am more aware of what I am actually eating, I can’t believe what’s in a box of hamburger helper lasagna, a lot of added stuff that isn’t necessary: lots of wheat, sugar, and dairy. I decided to try to play around with ingredients I had at home to see if I could make something similar and satisfying.
With a few ingredients I came up with a gluten free, refined white sugar free, and dairy free lasagna tasting hamburger helper. And I filled up with only one bowl because of the added spinach, I didn’t need to eat this with bread. I was left full without feeling like I needed to keep eating which would happen to me in the past with the processed box stuff. What I love even more is that my daughter who doesn’t like greens didn’t even notice the cooked spinach in this!
-1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey. Or any type of ground meat you like. Or 3 cans of any beans if you’re vegan or want to make it a meatless day.
-1 cup of gluten free lasagna noodles. Or any type of noodle you want. (I used brown rice shell shape noodles because it’s what I had on hand)
-1 can of tomato sauce (read label make sure there isn’t added sugar in your can)
-1-2 cups of spinach or any vegetable you want to add
-1 tsp of salt
-1-2 tsp of black pepper
-1-2 tsp of garlic powder
Brown the ground beef until it is fully cooked. I like to cook mine in my stainless steel pan. While you’re waiting for the meat to brown start boiling a pot of water. Once the pot is boiling add in your pasta and follow pasta directions. My brown rice pasta usually takes 10-15 minutes to cook. Once the meat is finished add in your spinach and let it wilt. Once the spinach is done wilting add in the pasta. Next, open the can of tomato sauce and pour it all in with the spices. I like to let it all heat up before service. If you want your sauce to thicken up you could add more tomato sauce. You can also add in other spices. Sometimes I like to add in smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper and chili powder for an extra flavor boost.
I love playing around in my kitchen and coming up with my own healthier versions of my childhood favorite meals. I know exactly what goes in my food and this meal doesn’t add to my waste-line. If you like this let me know! I hope you enjoy and remember you can add/subtract and modify this to your liking!