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Friday, June 15, 2012

Homemade Taco Helper

OK, I love the concept of Hamburger Helper, but for some reason, all the powders and lack of freshness just really gross me out. "Homemade" Hamburger Helper is "almost" just as easy to make, and taste so much better.

Here is my recipe for Taco Helper, but have many a variation under my recipe belt!

So, here we go...


1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1 VERY SMALL jalapeno, finely chopped
1 t. jarred minced garlic
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
¼ teaspoons Oregano
½ teaspoons Paprika
1.5 teaspoons Cumin
2 teaspoons Adobo Seasoning (see my favorite seasonings)
1 can (14.5 Oz. Size) Mexican Diced Tomatoes, DON'T DRAIN!
2 cups Beef Broth
8 ounces pasta of your choice. I like rigatoni because some of the beef works its' way into the center!
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 cup whole milk or half and half (you can do skim milk but it is disgusting...just sayin')
1 cup Mexican blend Cheese, Plus More For Topping
1 Tablespoon Sour Cream


1) Brown ground beef with onion, green pepper, jalapeno, garlic in a large skillet. Drain well.

2) Stir in chili powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, Adobo. Cook for a minute, stirring constantly.

 3) Add the diced tomatoes, beef broth, and pasta. Bring to a boil. Cover pan and reduce heat, simmer for about 15 minutes or as long as it takes for your pasta to be al dente. IMPORTANT: Be sure to stir occasionally to keep it from sticking to the pan and to evenly cook your pasta.

4) While the mixture is simmering, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until well blended. Slowly add the milk or cream and bring to a low boil, reduce heat and add cheese. Immediately turn off the heat and whisk until cheese is melted.

5) Add the cheese sauce to your skillet. Stir to combine, stir in sour cream. Top with extra shredded cheese and cover to allow cheese to melt.

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