Now, I’m not a big fan of Hamburger Helper usually, and “hotdish” doesn’t make it’s way to our table often as my husband is just NOT a fan of it….maybe one too many as he was growing up, after all we do live in MN and we ARE known for being “hotdish” people. I never had hotdish growing up, so me it’s still a great comfort food, plus it all gets made in 1 pot and comes together quickly.
Price-wise I wouldn’t necessarily say this version is cheaper then the stores, but probably around the same. Though you are not really saving money, I do think it tastes better plus you can spice it the way you like it, sometimes the boxed versions are too salty for me and there never seems to be enough noodles!! The recipe below is an adaptation of Hamburger Casserole off of recipezaar.com. Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients, half of them are spices. Enjoy!
Italian Hamburger & Pasta Hotdish (feeds3-4 people):
- 1 TBLS cooking oil
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 small onion-diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic-pressed or finely diced
- 1 1/2 TBLS Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Emeril or Lawry’s seasoning salt-or similar meat seasoning blend
- 10 oz. of small bowtie pasta, elbow macaroni, or other small pasta shape
- 1 can of condensed tomato soup
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Once it is hot, add in the diced onions, pressed garlic, and ground beef. Cook for a couple minutes, add in all of the spices, and cook a few minutes more, until done.
- Reserve the meat mixture in a large bowl and set aside then fill the stock pot with enough water to cook the noodles.
- Bring the heat up a little in order to boil the water, add in the noodles and cook until al-dente/just tender (6-7 minutes).
- Drain the noodles, turn the heat down to med or med-low, and put the pot back on the stove. Put the noodles, and meat back into the pot, then add in the tomato soup and diced tomatoes, mixing well. Cover the pot and allow the dish to gently simmer for a few minutes so the flavors can “meld” together.
- Add in the cheese and stir, cook a few minutes more then salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve while hot.