One-Pot Hamburger Helper Comfort Food

I don’t know about you guys but I’ve been in the mood for some comfort food.

And that is taking me back to my childhood, and some old staples. Like Hamburger Helper.

But I remember a pretty bland version of Hamburger Helper. And bland is just not going to cut it, not when you are stuck in a small RV.

That’s where this one-pot hamburger helper comfort food recipe comes in. It’s so much better than what you remember from childhood!

One Pot Hamburger Helper Pasta Recipe

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Don’t Forget The Spices!

One of the cardinal sins of all cooking, whether at home, in the RV, or on a grill is bland food.

That’s why I recommend lots of different spices and even experimenting with ones that you like.

For example, I’ve made this recipe with several different hot sauces. My current favorites are from All Spice Cafe.

JD Cowles, the spice man at All Spice Cafe, has been working on his spice recipes since the 1980s, trying to perfect the recipe. He lived in China for two years and now is in India for the past two years, learning all about their spice combinations and flavor profiles. You can tell with these spices that it has been time well spent.

That Chipotle Garlic Sauce is my current go-to sauce for those times when I don’t want something too spicy but still with lots of flavor. It is perfect for this recipe! If you like it a little spicier but still most excellent, go with the Cayenne Haberno Hot Sauce.

Another way that I add some lovely flavor to an old bland recipe is with one of my all-time favorite spices – Smoked Paprika.

You’ll recognize it as one of the secret ingredients in the World’s Best Smoked Macaroni and Cheese recipe.

And while not a spice, I highly recommend the use of beef broth in this recipe. Sure, you can substitute it for water, but the flavor is just not as robust and pleasing without the beef broth. Just trust me on this one, OK?

One Pot Wonders in An All-Purpose Pan

Cooking in an RV kitchen is an exercise in small, cramped spaces.

My RV kitchen is not nearly as well stocked as my sticks and bricks kitchen – fewer pots, pans, gadgets, etc.

But the Calaphon All Purpose Pan is awesome for RV cooking.

At 12 inches across and about 3 inches deep, it is big enough to prepare full meals for your family. But since it has just the small handles and not the long traditional handle of a pan, it is easier to store in between uses.

And the Calaphon All Purpose Pan is versatile! You can make this one-pot hamburger helper style meal. You can cook steaks or chicken breasts. Scrambled eggs in the morning.

Because of the higher sides than a standard skillet, you’ll also be able to contain oil splatters better. Combined with the non-stick surface, clean-up is a breeze.

Leftovers? Storing and Reheating Information

I’m usually a solo traveler, so 4 servings is going to be too much for one meal.

But this one-pot homemade hamburger helper recipe makes for great leftovers and an easy meal for travel days. Store any leftovers in an airtight container – Ziploc bags or glass containers are best. If you store the leftovers within an hour or so of cooking, then they should be good for three or four days.

To reheat, just spread out your serving on a microwave-safe plate and pop it in the microwave. Each plate full of pasta and ground beef needs about two minutes in the microwave at full strength to warm up and re-melt the cheese.

Like many chili and other ground beef recipes, often the flavors are even better as leftovers since the spices have time to really do their work and blend together.

Without further delay, here’s the One-Pot Hamburger Helper-Style Pasta Recipe…

One pot hamburger helper pasta with ground beef and a fork on a black plate

One-Pot Hamburger Pasta

Yield: 4 Servings
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

An easy to cook one-pot meal, perfect for feeding a family in the RV.



  1. In a large deep pan, brown ground beef on medium-high heat, with smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to season the ground beef.
  2. Drain the grease from the pan and return cooked ground beef to pan.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add macaroni, beef broth, ketchup, dijon mustard, and hot sauce. Add enough water so that all contents are submerged. Stir well to combine.
  4. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes until macaroni is cooked through and liquid is gone.
  5. Uncover, add cheese and mix well.
  6. Enjoy!


Want it a little more spicy? Try the Cayenne Haberno All Spice Cafe

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 626Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 154mgSodium: 1389mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 49g

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