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!
This is a fancy gluten free hamburger helper recipe that I created for those busy weeknights. Hamburger Helper is the name of a popular packaged food product that 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 spends 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?
- Convenience: One-pot meals are easy to prepare and require a lot less clean-up, making them a great option for busy families who don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. If you love quick one-pot meals, also try this Cajun Rice and Beans recipe.
- Versatility: One-pot meals can be made with a variety of 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.
- Flavor: Cooking ingredients together in one pot allows the flavors to blend together, resulting in a delicious and flavorful meal.
- Nutritious: One-pot meals often include a variety of healthy ingredients such as vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat, making them a nutritious meal option. I never use junky processed ingredients in my recipes.
- Cost-effective: One-pot meals are often made with affordable ingredients and can be a cost-effective way to feed a large family.
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.
- 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 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 really don't like spice, omit this ingredient.
- Seasonings - I used garlic powder, sweet paprika, a bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
- 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 I 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.
Tools For One-Pot Meals:
Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:
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.
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.
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.
Step 7: Add the shredded cheese and stir it into the hot pasta. Serve hot.
- These Roasted Italian Green Beans make a tasty side dish.
- My kids say bacon makes these Roasted Brussels Sprouts even better!
- Make a batch of these Gluten Free Dinner Rolls or Gluten Free Breadsticks to dip into the sauce!
You can omit the wine or reduce the amount. If you omit the wine, you may need to add more broth.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep fresh for up to 4 days.
I do not recommend freezing leftovers. Gluten free pasta does not hold up well to being frozen.
Yes, this is an easy recipe to make dairy-free. Just use So Delicious Dairy-Free Heavy Cream and a dairy-free cheddar like VioLife brand.
More Gluten Free Dinner Recipes:
- The Best Gluten Free Meatloaf - This is a family favorite. Even my picky eater loves this recipe.
- Ground Turkey Meatballs - These are amazing in sauce over pasta or served in a meatball sub sandwich!
- Easy Air Fryer Roasted Cornish Game Hens - This is a great recipe. These hens are seasoned to perfection!
- Sloppy Joe Pie - This is pure comfort food the whole family will love.
- Gluten Free Salisbury Steak - Another great comfort food to try.
30 Minute Gluten Free Hamburger Helper
- 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
- ⅓ 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
- 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.
- 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.
- You can use any ground meat including vegan meats in this recipe.
- The white wine adds incredible flavor, but it can be omitted. Add additional broth if you omit it.
- 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.
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.
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.
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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!
I am so excited you loved the recipe. Please keep me posted on how it freezes. I am not sure how it would hold up.
At what point do you add the wine?
Add it in after the meat is browned. I had it above and added it to the recipe card.
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.
I am so glad you loved the recipe. Thank you so much for coming back to let me know!
How much more broth should I add if I’m omitting the wine?
The wine amount is 1/2 cup so you swap that with 1/2 cup broth.