This One Pot Hamburger Helper by The Defined Dish was a massive success in my house. How massive? Well, my eldest inhaled 3 helpings of it. The best part? ONE POT, people. I made it in a dutch oven on the stove and loved only cleaning one big pot. (Well, let’s be honest, my husband does the dishes! He loved it too!)

This recipe makes a ton of food so you can have leftovers or freeze extras. We used beef bone both for more minerals and promote gut health. Use whole grain elbow pasta if possible (gluten-free if needed).

Here’s the recipe straight from The Defined Dish – modifications listed below:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced finely – we used 1 whole onion
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste – we used 2 T.
  • 12 oz. dried elbow pasta (original use is Jovial Brown Rice Pasta, we used a whole wheat pasta)
  • 2 cups beef bone broth
  • 2 cups milk or 2 cups additional bone broth (we did the 4 total cups bone broth because I didn’t have plain milk)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, optional – we used sharp cheddar 
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley (optional)


  1. Heat a very large skillet, or a pot, over medium-high heat.
  2. Add olive oil, onions, and ground beef. Season with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  3. Saute, breaking up the ground beef with the back of a spoon, until the beef is cooked through, no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add in the tomato paste and stir to combine.
  5. Add the pasta, the beef broth and the milk if using.
  6. Stir to combine and let cook until pasta is tender and the liquid is soaked up, which is usually close to the same time as the box of the pasta says.
  7. Remove from heat and add in the cheese, if using, and stir to combine. Serve and enjoy!


Want tips for feeding your kids and discounts? Sign up for our newsletter.