Homemade Gluten-Free Healthy Hamburger Helper
This copycat one pot hamburger helper tastes just like the real thing made healthier! It’s gluten-free, paleo, and can even be made AIP!
What is Hamburger Helper?
Hamburger helper is a serious throwback! Hamburger helper comes in a box that includes pasta, and dry seasonings, and sauce so all you have to do is add ground meat like the ground beef for a meal. Needless to say, it’s not necessarily the freshest one-pot meal. However, it can easily be made healthier and homemade while still being super simple!
This healthier hamburger helper is gluten-free, dairy-free, and can even be made paleo and AIP-friendly! It’s made with simple ingredients and all in one pot for an easy weeknight meal.
The Ingredients for the Hamburger Helper
- Ground beef
- Canned coconut milk. I like to use the native forest simple variety.
- Tomato sauce. Or you can use nomato sauce to keep it AIP.
- Seasonings. Like parsley, oregano, and nutritional yeast.
- Elbow pasta. I like to use the Jovial cassava pasta to keep this recipe grain-free!
How do you make hamburger helper gluten-free?
- Use gluten-free pasta. I love using Jovial gluten-free pasta, but you can very easily modify this recipe with any gluten-free pasta of your choice. Simply keep an eye on the pasta and adjust the cook time or liquid if it needs more time to cook!
- Use arrowroot starch to thicken the sauce. This is used as a thickener for that sauce that’s also grain-free and gluten-free!
How to Make Gluten-Free Hamburger Helper
- Combine the sauce. Using a large bowl, stir the coconut milk, broth, arrowroot, and oregano. Set aside.
- Brown the ground beef and onion. Use a large, deep pot to brown the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Add the onion and garlic and saute.
- Combine the sauce with the beef mixture and pasta. Add the beef back to the pot and stir in the broth mixture, tomato sauce, and pasta. Stir well to combine.
- Simmer. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, bringing the pot to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through and the sauce is reduced.
- Serve! Serve topped with parsley.
Tips and Tricks for Gluten-free Hamburger Helper
- Keep an eye on the pasta to make sure it’s cooked to your liking. Cook times can vary depending on the pasta you use, so keep testing to make sure it’s cooked to your preference!
- Drain the excess fat from the beef if needed. You don’t necessarily need to do this if you’re using lower fat ground beef but if you’re using something like an 80/20 beef, you may need to drain some of the excess fat.
- Add vegetables if desired. This recipe is great with some finely chopped broccoli, or you can opt for Hamburger Helper Stroganoff with mushrooms instead!
Can you make this recipe ahead of time?
For sure! It’s great for meal prep. I recommend slightly reheating on the stove.
Can you use a protein other than beef?
Beef is the classic for this recipe, but you could also use ground turkey.
What pasta should you use?
The jovial grain-free cassava pasta is a game-changer and it perfect for this recipe to keep it paleo! You can also use the jovial rice pasta if you can have grains, which is another favorite of mine and what I used in this recipe.
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Copycat Gluten Free Hamburger Helper (Paleo & AIP)
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
This copycat hamburger helper tastes just like the real thing made healthier! It’s grain-free, paleo, and can even be made AIP!
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 cup chicken broth
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/4 cup tomato sauce (sub nomato sauce)
- 2 cups gluten-free elbow pasta (Jovial rice pasta for gluten-free, or jovial cassava pasta for paleo/AIP)
- 1–2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- Using a large bowl, stir the coconut milk, broth, arrowroot, oregano. Set aside.
- Use a large, deep pot to brown the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Set aside, leaving about 2 tbsp of fat in the pot.
- Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes or until lightly translucent.
- Add the beef back to the pot and stir in the broth mixture, tomato sauce, and pasta. Stir well to combine.
- Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, bringing the pot to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 10-12 minutes, stirring often, until the pasta is cooked through and the sauce is reduced. See notes in the pasta needs more time to cook to your liking.
- Stir in nutritional yeast to taste and serve topped with parsley.
All nutritional information are estimations and will vary. Estimations do not include optional ingredients.
If the pasta needs more time to cook to your liking, add about 1/3 cup of broth and simmer for 2-3 more minutes until the pasta reaches your desired doneness.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Category: One Pot
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 517
- Fat: 16.9g
- Carbohydrates: 55.2g
- Fiber: 3.7g
- Protein: 36.3g
Keywords: gluten free hamburger helper, gluten free pasta, hamburger helper
Loved it! My husband and I had this recipe for dinner last night and it was delicious!
Yay! Thank you, Judith!
I made this tonight and it was delicious. My husband enjoyed it too. I will definitely be making this again in the near future.
Very tasty! Made this recipe for dinner tonight.
This was great! We added a block of plain goat cheese to make it creamier/higher protein. Will definitely make again!
Good for the whole family!
I highly recommend holding off on the oregano depending on what type of tomato sauce you’re using. Unfortunately mine is way too overpowering but I will definitely try again, maybe next time with just some fire roasted tomatoes instead of sauce.
Definitely takes me back to my childhood when my mom would make hamburger helper. Tastes like comfort food! Delicious!
Yay! Thank you so much, Megan!
I made it tonight and my wife and I loved it.
Yay, so glad! Thank you!!
Loved this recipe! We are a lot of hamburger helper in college and this tastes so much better! Can’t wait to make it again!
Sooo good! I used rice pasta and ground turkey. Rice pasta made it creamy. YUM comfort food. Will try beef and cassava pasta next time!! THANKS AGAIN!!
Thank you again for a delicious recipe that didn’t take hours in the kitchen!! I had the Nomato Sauce premade so the rest was super easy. So delicious and not one time did I ever feel deprived or like I was eating “special food!” Eating meals is enjoyable once again❤.
Will this recipe work the same with lentil pasta?
I haven’t cooked with lentil pasta, so not sure!
Yum! One of my new favourite week-night meals. So easy and satisfying! I use chickpea pasta and it tastes great!
My family LOVED this dish. They aren’t even GF or DF but they ate it all!
New family favorite!!
I have made this multiple times and actually have it cooking on the stove again as I type. I made it for non-paleo family and they loved it. I have made it without oregano before (because didn’t know I was out) and subbed half/half basil and parsley and liked it just as much. I’ve made it with crushed tomatoes (again, only thing on hand) and think the sauce works better. One thing about leftovers, though; I don’t think the noodles hold up well after the initial cooking. My family member who also ate the leftovers the next day was disappointed that the perfect al-dente noodles from the first serving turned mushy the next day. Thanks for another delicious recipe!
We loved this dish, & will definitely make it again. But because I’m not a fan of coconut I was wondering if I could substitute the coconut milk with almond milk instead?
I made this tonight and it is SO good! Perfect for a cold snowy day in Wisconsin. I had a generous helping and I’m pretty sure I need some more! 🙂 I love the ease of the recipe and the nostalgic taste. This recipe will definitely be in our regular rotation!
Delicious! Some tips that made this recipe even better—added some dairy free cheddar cheese, a good amount more salt and a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce. My whole family went bonkers for this healthy take on an unhealthy classic 🙂
So glad to hear that you all loved it!
So delish! Our family loves this recipe!
YAY! So glad you enjoy it!!
Hello! New here:) is the onion AIP? Just trying to get started and learning!
Welcome! Yes it is!
I tried this tonight for my kids and it was a huge hit! Swapped regular noodles for GF noodles for my daughter, and in the final product you can’t even tell the difference!
This recipe always turns out so well! I usually have to add garlic & onion powder, more salt to suit my taste. I also use the whole can of tomato sauce and coconut cream.
Thank you so much!!