If you love to make easy one-pot meals, this upscale Gluten Free Hamburger Helper recipe is a winner. I gave it a delicious makeover with fresh ingredients. It is easy to make with simple ingredients in under 30 minutes. I also include a tasty dairy-free version!

Two bowls of Gluten Free Hamburger Helper on a wooden table.

This is a fancy gluten free hamburger helper recipe that I created for those busy weeknights. Hamburger Helper is a popular packaged food product you can buy in any grocery store. The original mix is not gluten free.

When I saw this Hamburger Helper recipe on the NYT Cooking site, I knew I needed to make a gluten free version that cooks in a lot less time. I loved how the recipe had some complex flavors. I did tweak the recipe quite a bit because I wanted this recipe to cook in under 30 minutes. The original recipe takes 25 minutes just to caramelize onions, which I am too lazy for.

The recipe has been modified to make it gluten-free by using gluten-free elbow macaroni and ensuring that all other ingredients are also gluten free. If you are looking for more recipe inspiration, I have tons of easy Gluten Free Dinner Recipes to try.

Why Are One Pot Meals Great?

  • One-pot meals are easy to prepare and require much less clean-up, making them a great option for busy families who don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen. If you love quick one-pot meals, try this Cajun Rice and Beans recipe.
  • One-pot meals can be made with various ingredients, including vegetables, grains, and protein sources, making them versatile and easy to customize. I love tossing in veggies that are in the back of the fridge.
  • Cooking ingredients together in one pot allows the flavors to blend, resulting in a delicious and flavorful meal.
  • One-pot meals are often made with affordable ingredients and can be a cost-effective way to feed a large family.

Reader Raves

I made this, but I make it dairy-free as well, and it is soooo good. I used Daiya cheeze sauce, vegan shreds, and plain almond milk.” Amanda D.

I tried this, and it was a great easy meal! The whole family loved it.” Jason N., Pinterest comment.

If you love easy one-pot meals, try this Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese.

Ingredient Notes:

Photos of the hamburger helper ingredients.
  • Gluten Free Elbow Macaroni – Not every brand will hold up to cooking in a big pot, so I recommend the Jovial and Tinkyada brands.
  • Ground Meat – I used 90% lean ground beef to make this recipe, but ground turkey, chicken, pork, and impossible meat all work well.
  • Bacon – Any bacon will work in this recipe. I used applewood smoked bacon.
  • Onion – I recommend yellow onions.
  • White Wine – I used an inexpensive white wine.
  • Beef Broth – Use regular or low sodium.
  • Heavy Cream – I do not recommend using half and half.
  • Cheddar Cheese – I used a Mexican blend of shredded cheese; you can use this or cheddar.
  • Ketchup – I used this in order to reduce the hot sauce in the original recipe. My kids are not into spicy. If you want yours to be spicy, you can use all the hot sauce.
  • Hot Sauce – I used sriracha, but any brand that is gluten free will work. See this list of gluten free sriracha. If you don’t like spice, omit this ingredient.
  • Seasonings – I used garlic powder, sweet paprika, a bay leaf, salt, and pepper.

Substitutions:

  • You can use chicken broth in place of beef broth.
  • If you really don’t like spicey, omit the hot sauce ingredient.
  • You can use minced garlic in place of garlic powder.

Tips For Sucess:

  • As mentioned above, use gluten free pasta that can hold up to cooking in a one-pot recipe.
  • Be sure to cook this recipe with the cover on the pot. It will help the gluten free pasta cook quickly, so it has a shorter cooking time.
  • Feel free to add any vegetables you like. I sometimes will add carrots and other chopped veggies.

You may also love this one-pot Gluten Free Cheeseburger Pasta recipe.

Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:

Photos of steps 1 and 2 making hamburger helper.

Step 1: Add oil to a Dutch oven and add the diced onions, chopped bacon, salt, and pepper. Note: I keep my bacon in the freezer and just cut it from there. Use 4-5 slices. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Add the ground beef and cook until the ground beef is mostly cooked. Use a wooden spatula to chop the meat as it cooks into bite-sized pieces.

Photos of steps 3 and 4 making hamburger helper.

Step 3: Add the white wine and stir.

Step 4: Add the broth, heavy cream, hot sauce, ketchup, and seasonings. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

🔑 Sandi says: Some gluten free pasta is prone to getting mushy. I always recommend using either Jovial or Tinkyada elbow macaroni. It seems to hold up a lot better to cooking in sauces.

Adding the gluten free elbow macaroni to the pot.

Step 5: Remove the lid and add the gluten free elbow macaroni to the pot. Stir so the macaroni is mixed in. Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low.

Step 6: Stir after 5 minutes. Cook until the pasta is al dente. This will vary by brand, but I used Tinkyada gluten free macaroni, and it took about 9 minutes.

Cooked gluten free hamburger helper in a Dutch oven.

Step 7: Add the shredded cheese and stir it into the hot pasta. Serve hot.

Serve With:

Recipe FAQ:

Can you omit the wine?

You can omit the wine or reduce the amount. If you omit the wine, you may need to add more broth.

How do you store gluten free hamburger helper?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep fresh for up to 4 days.

Can you freeze Hamburger Helper?

I do not recommend freezing leftovers. Gluten free pasta does not hold up well to being frozen.

Can you make this hamburger helper recipe dairy-free?

Yes, this is an easy recipe to make dairy-free. Just use So Delicious Dairy-Free Heavy Cream and a dairy-free cheddar like the VioLife brand.

Even my non-GF husband said this was delish! About to make it again 💕

Jill E., Facebook comment
A closeup of the gluten free hamburger helper in a bowl.

More Gluten Free Dinner Recipes:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. Include which flour blend you used. This helps others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

Two bowls of Gluten Free Hamburger Helper on a wooden table.

30 Minute Gluten Free Hamburger Helper

Sandi Gaertner
This upscale homemade gluten free hamburger helper is a quick and easy family favorite. No boxed mixes or junky ingredients.
5 from 22 votes
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Gluten Free Dinner Recipes, Meal Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 574 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 14 ounces gluten free elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound ground beef lean
  • 5 strips bacon
  • ½ cup yellow onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • ½ cup white wine see notes
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups beef or chicken broth regular or low-sodium
  • cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce more if you like spicy.
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

Instructions
 

  • Add oil to a Dutch oven and add the diced onions, chopped bacon, salt, and pepper. Note, I keep my bacon in the freezer and just cut it from there. Use 4-5 slices. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef (or ground meat) and cook until the ground beef is mostly cooked. Use a wooden spatula to chop the meat as it cooks into bite-sized pieces. Add the wine.
  • Add the broth, heavy cream, hot sauce, ketchup, seasonings. Cover and cook for 5 minutes so the liquid gets hot.
  • Remove the lid and add the gluten free elbow macaroni to the pot. Stir so the macaroni is mixed in. Boil 5 minutes then reduce the heat to medium low.
  • Stir after 5 minutes. Cook until the pasta is all dente. This will vary by brand but I used Tinkyada gluten free macaroni and it took about 9 minutes.
  •  Add the shredded cheese and stir it into the hot pasta. Serve hot.

Notes

  1. I recommend Jovial and Tinkyada brands of gluten free elbow macaroni. They seem to hold up the best to cooking in sauces like this recipe requires.
  2. You can use any ground meat including vegan meats in this recipe.
  3. The white wine adds incredible flavor, but it can be omitted. Add additional broth if you omit it.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing this recipe because the pasta gets mushy.

SPECIAL NOTE

Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 574kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 21gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 1059mgPotassium: 339mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 779IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 139mgIron: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @FearlessDining or tag #FearlessDining!

Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

5 from 22 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




36 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time tonight. It’s so delicious. I’ll definitely be making this again.

  2. 5 stars
    Making this for dinner tonight. Halved the recipe so enough for the two of us then the other half of the box for tuna macaroni salad and ribs for dinner tomorrow. 🤗

  3. 5 stars
    Amazing! Easy to follow instructions, great taste and good leftovers. Here is a picture of our leftovers, we couldn’t wait to eat it so we took a pic of the leftovers. I used Barilla GF pasta so we will see how it holds up to reheating.

  4. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! It’s so flavorful and hits all those “comfort food” high points-even my non GF husband loves it and requests it! I use Rummo rigatoni because I find that it hold up really well and even the hubby doesn’t complain about it being GF. Truly one of my favorite GF recipes (and you have a LOT of great ones!).

  5. 5 stars
    So yummy!!!! And so easy! I make mine with ground turkey and I use chicken broth in place of the wine. My whole family loves this. It will surely be in the regular rotation from now on. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  6. 5 stars
    We made this week before last and my 17 yr old celiac son had three helpings! He was so happy! Even the gluten eaters in our house loved it! Will absolutely make this recipe again.

    1. 5 stars
      Excellent meal and super easy to make. I use ground chicken and chicken broth and omit the wine and it still turns out perfect! Thanks for a great quick cook meal!

  7. 5 stars
    I tried this just as written and it was delicious! We have one daughter that has to be dairy free, so I am going try coconut cream for the dairy creamer. This recipe reminded me of hamburger help back from the 1980’s!

    1. I am so glad this recipe brought back memories. There are several brands of dairy-free heavy cream in grocery stores, which may be better than using coconut cream. So Delicious is one I saw at our grocer.

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe will be going into my favorites for certain. I struggle to find recipes that I enjoy with gluten free pasta and this one is FIRE!

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe twice now. It’s a new family favourite even with non GF eaters! Excellent recipe & easy to make. I used Catelli pasta and no problems the next day. Thank you!

    1. I am so glad you loved the recipe. I saw Jovial has two new pasta shapes for their gluten free pasta…this would be a great recipe to test fun shapes, like the catelli, with.

  10. 5 stars
    I made this for my family and everyone loved it. My gf son and his not gf sister both gave it a thumbs up! This recipe is full of flavor and is hearty. I used ground turkey and Tinkyada elbows-and it was delicious. I love the fact that it is a one pot meal with not much mess to clean up as well!

  11. 5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight for dinner and I LOVE it! This is definitely a keeper. I used GF Barilla elbow macaroni and since I cook for one, I’m hoping it freezes well. Either way, I’ll be having this for lunch and dinner the next few meals and won’t mind at all as it is delicious!

      1. 5 stars
        This was easy to make and the flavors blended so well to make a delicious dish. I only added one tablespoon of my favorite hot sauce and it was spicy enough for us.