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!

copycat hamburger helper in a bowl

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.
  • Onion.
  • Seasonings. Like parsley, oregano, and nutritional yeast.
  • Elbow pasta. I like to use the Jovial cassava pasta to keep this recipe grain-free!

ingredients for copycat hamburger helper

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)


  • Author: Michelle
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This copycat hamburger helper tastes just like the real thing made healthier! It’s grain-free, paleo, and can even be made AIP!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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)
  • 12 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Using a large bowl, stir the coconut milk, broth, arrowroot, oregano. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes or until lightly translucent.
  4. Add the beef back to the pot and stir in the broth mixture, tomato sauce, and pasta. Stir well to combine.
  5. 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.
  6. Stir in nutritional yeast to taste and serve topped with parsley.

Notes

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.

  • Category: One Pot
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • 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