Just Like Hamburger Helper

Copycat Hamburger Helper. Way better for you than store bought, and full of flavor!

Who doesn’t love hamburger helper?

Okay, maybe it’s not for everyone, but for me, I love it! I remember growing up and wanting this all the time, grabbing the box off the grocery store shelf and mixing together ground beef and that little spice packet. Problem is, this boxed stuff is terrible for you! I have made a healthy version, with all clean ingredients. Even better than the store bought boxed version of hamburger helper you are used to.

Creamy, but with NO dairy!

This recipe uses soaked, blended cashews, some plant milk, and spices, to get that same creamy consistency reminiscent of the boxed version of hamburger helper.

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 25 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 45 mins
Servings: 6
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

You Need

For the Cashew Cream Sauce

For the Pasta


Make the Cashew Cream Sauce

    • Cover the cashews by about 1 inch of chicken broth (about 3 cups, but this will vary depending on your pot size). Add garlic cloves.
    • Cover, bring to a boil. Continue to boil for about 1 hour, or until the cashews are soft like paste.
    • When the cashews are soft, drain, reserving broth. Add cashews to blender or food processor, along with all of the other ingredients except for the chicken broth. Blend until smooth. 
    • The consistency will be very thick, add a little of the reserved chicken broth at a time, until you have the consistency of sour cream. You want it to be thick, but runny enough to mix into the pasta later.

Make the Pasta

    • In a large skillet with lid, brown ground beef just short of being completely done, it will continue to cook with the pasta later.
    • Add up to a teaspoon of avocado oil, depending upon how much fat your ground beef releases. You might not need any extra oil.
    • Add garlic and onions, cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Stirring occasionally.
    • Add mushrooms. Cook 2 more minutes.
    • Add tomato paste & Worcestershire sauce. Stir. 
    • Add the remaining dry seasonings. Stir.
    • Add uncooked pasta and beef broth, stir. 
    • Bring to a boil. Cover. 
    • simmer until pasta is just shy of being done, add peas.
    • Add cashew cream sauce. Mix well.
    • Add more cashew cooking liquid as needed. Season with kosher salt & black pepper as needed. 


There is nothing better than good old comfort food! make this home made hamburger helper, cozy up with a good movie and enjoy!

Keywords: hamburger helper, ground beef, copycat recipe, beef and macaroni, pasta and ground beef, cashew cream sauce, creamy pasta, no milk, dairy free hamburger helper
Creamy Leek Potato Salad


Eat Smart Be Well

I am passionate about eating, and eating WELL!

Here you will find all of the delicious food you love to eat, without the ingredients that can cause your body to fight back. No inflammatory oil, no soy or dairy, and no inflammatory wheat or gluten.

I founded Eat Smart, a food wellness system that helps you feel your best by learning about ingredients in your food that are holding you back! Eat Smart provides clean recipes your body will love, clean food swaps for your favorite foods like chips, power bars and all of your favorite foods - without artificial ingredients, or sneaky additives that can wreak havoc on your health. Learn more here.

I never cared about the ingredients in my food, but I learned that lab made ingredients, gluten & dairy were having terrible effects on my body. For over a decade I struggled with cystic acne, joint pain & other health issues. Cutting out inflammatory foods & fake ingredients changed my life!

To learn more about achieving your own total wellness through food & get practical tips to cut through health-food confusion, be sure and follow me on instagram and subscribe to my youtube channel: EatSmartBeWell

Cooking has been my saving grace, and brings me bliss, even on the darkest of days. I hope cooking the recipes here can bring you bliss too!

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