Gluten-Free Homemade Hamburger Helper

Published on Sep 11, 2021

  by   Kristina Stosek

7 reviews

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Serves: 4
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A healthier classic Hamburger Helper with a depth of flavour and nutritious veggies. This easy one-pot gluten-free pasta dinner is made with ground beef, shredded carrots, zucchini, cheddar cheese, sour cream, spices and gluten-free pasta.

Remember the boxed version? This recipe is a healthier and more delicious option made entirely from scratch in under 30 minutes using only one pot.

classic hamburger helper but healthier

Nothing beats a meal made from scratch. Lean ground beef and fresh veggies cooked in a rich meaty sauce, with gluten-free pasta and classic hamburger helper seasoning. So much goodness in a simple 30-minute one-pot ground beef recipe.


hamburger helper with pasta in a pot

a healthier version of hamburger helper

Firstly, you will need only one pot. So the recipe is simple. The added grated carrots and zucchini add healthiness, moisture and flavour, The best part, you can’t tell the hamburger helper is made with veggies. So, even the pickiest eaters will love this healthier version. And you control the seasoning and salt: no additives, colours or excessive sodium.

gluten free hamburger helper recipe details

Start with a big pot. We love this stunning pot. It is a perfect size and pretty so that you can serve the classic hamburger helper dinner straight from the stove to the table, making it an easy cleanup dinner recipe. 


ground beef, grated zucchini and carrots with hamburger helper in a pot


Brown the ground beef with onions, which is pretty standard. Next, add the seasoning, ketchup, mustard, zucchini and carrots with some water. Simmer everything for about 15 minutes. Simmering the sauce adds depth of flavour and softens the beef and veggies.


hamburger helper sauce simmering in a pot

Add the pasta to the sauce.

Now that the sauce is rich and flavourful, add the pasta. I used gluten-free penne, but you can use any short cut gluten-free pasta. The reason we used penne is that this is a tube-like pasta, and the sauce fills the inside, so every bite is rich and meaty, not just coated with the sauce. 

beef broth is not needed for this hamburger helper recipe

You may have noticed we have not added beef broth to this hamburger helper recipe. The reason for this is, by simmering the beef and veggies first, the beef flavour intensifies and you do not need to add the broth—another saving for this budget-friendly ground beef recipe.

the secret is not to overcook the gluten-free pasta

The pasta is cooked briefly. You don’t want to overcook the pasta, or it will become mushy and the dish will become dry. The penne should be al-dente, cooked but firm to bite. Don’t worry; the pasta continues cooking even after you turn the heat off..


hamburger helper with pasta in a bowl topped with parmesan

At the very end, stir in sour cream for creaminess, and cheddar cheese for extra flavor. YUM, so so good! I haven’t met anyone yet that didn’t enjoy this childhood classic hamburger helper.

A Healthier ground beef pasta dinner kids love!

What got me excited when I started creating this gluten-free version of the classic hamburger helper recipe is that I could include veggies that are not visible to those picky eaters. You can shred the veggies, or if you have super fussy younger children, grate them. The veggies will be invisible.

difference between shredding and grating

Shredding will form small strands visible to the eye, and some picky eaters may object. Grating reduces the food to tiny fragments making the veggies pretty much invisible. 

In a gluten-free carrot muffin recipe the carrots are grated. Grated carrots add moisture to the muffin, and kids will eat them because they can’t spot them. 


close up of hamburger helper penne in a bowl with a fork

One of most visited pages on our site is the gluten-free one-pot casserole dishes. So, check them out. If this ground beef pasta dish isn’t for you, I am sure you will find something tasty and simple to make.

This gluten-free hamburger helper is a cozy weeknight meal made from scratch in under 30 minutes. It is a delicious pasta dish to add to family favorite dinners. 

Besides the flavour, the best part about this gluten-free ground beef recipe is, that this is a budget-friendly pasta dinner. Enjoy!

Let’s Connect!


Many thanks!

Kristina xx

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thank you Peter, so nice to hear


flavourful and easy to make, thank you

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