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Easy Cheesy Hamburger Helper (aka Hangover Helper)

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Pure comfort food to the max! A simple retro, feel-good, comfort food recipe that’s perfect for Game Day Grub, as well as a quick, weeknight, throw-together that fills the tummy and warms the soul on a cold winter’s eve!  Cheesy, beefy noodles that everyone, young and old, can really appreciate! Dig in!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, just sharing a few of my favorite things!


Is there anything better on a cold winter’s night than a piping hot bowl or plate of simple comfort food that takes you right back in time to simple pleasures of a cheesy, beefy noodle dish that takes the chills out as soon as you walk into the kitchen and the aromas warm you like a familiar cozy blanket?

You remember that feeling. Coming home to a warm kitchen full of wonderful smells that just made you feel comforted, safe, and loved. Where the troubles of the day melted away, and the worries disappeared like magic.  

Well, simple times can still be had in this chaotic world of fast-moving technology. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, just stop for a breather, sit down, and just take it easy for a moment or ten. Nothing is so important that it has to be right that second. Second after second. Just. Breathe. 

This is one of those dishes that you can make quickly. VERY quickly, that will get you where you need to go without killing yourself. It really only takes about 30 minutes, maybe a wee bit longer, or less, if you’re SuperMomCook in the kitchen. But no one is expecting you to be. Pour yourself a glass of wine, make it at your own pace, and don’t worry about it. Enjoy your life before it’s gone. You’ll miss the IRL important things.


I hope this helps anyone and everyone who needs to hear this. You are ok. Just take the time YOU need, and don’t worry about anything else. Life is short, enjoy it while you’re here. It’s not a race, it’s a marathon at your own pace. Your OWN speed. And any speed is perfectly fine. 


So with all that said, I’ll hold your hand and lead you right through. Okay? We got this. 


Just get a big pot. No, not the little itty bitty one, not the dutch oven either, (*unless you want to halve this), as we’re going to make something, that with little effort, will get us through for several days and freezes well, too. That way, the work that it needs will last you quite awhile to give you break to get the other constantly nagging things done.

Don’t worry, I’m right here. 

Just add the ground beef and chopped onion to your 6 quart pot. (Your average soup pot.) Sauté the beef and onions over medium heat, breaking the beef up as you cook it, until it’s no longer pink and it’s cooked well through. Then add your chopped garlic and cook about 1-2 minutes longer. I just dump this into a colander in the sink, (with hot water running), to rinse down the excess grease and water that companies usually add. Then dump the meat, garlic and onions back into the pot.  



Next, (*and you’re going to love this part!), you’re going to just add everything else except the pasta and cheese! I know. It’s a sigh of relief, isn’t it?! It really is. Because, now you know that you’re almost there after you’ve only just started! Can’t beat that, right?!!




A few cans of this, and some basic spices, (nothin’ fancy that you don’t already have), and you’re WELL on your way!! 





Just give it a nice stir, place on the lid so that you can bring it all up to a boil fast, and add your pasta! 

Stir in those beloved macaroni noodles, and cook them and the whole mess until they’re al dente. Not soft-mushy, but could still stand another minute or two before they get too done. 

You leave the lid off during this cooking time, and you’ll need to tend to it. Just stir it now and then so that it doesn’t clump and stick to the bottom, no biggie. It’s about 7 minutes is all. (*Follow the directions for “al dente”, the earliest time on the box that you’re using.) I use Barilla and it takes 7 minutes for mine. 





Then, after the pasta is cooked, add your cut up cheese by the handfuls, folding infer each addition, until all the little cubes have been added. Then put the lid on and turn off the heat. 

Yep! Let it sit a minute or few. This allows the heat from the very hot pasta mixture to melt the cheese without over stirring and wrecking the noodles. Remove the lid after a few, and then  gently fold everything until the cheese is melted and mixed in throughout, and everything has become a creamy-delicious, noodle heaven. OH MY, YES.





I really love meals like this. Just a simple, yummy, meaty, hearty noodle mess that really sticks to your ribs and just makes you sigh after the first bite! 

And that first bite REALLY takes you to a special place, where things weren’t so complicated and so technical. It reminds us that we don’t have to be the “next sensation on TicTok”, or have a silly thing go viral to feel important. 

We are ALL important. We ALL matter. Especially to those we love and who love us back. THAT’S all that matters. 




We are human. We get tied, and we get frustrated. We even get scared at times, thinking that we don’t measure up to this now overly fast-paced world that hit us like a freight train.




Hey. It’s ok. We don’t have to be all that. We just have to be us. Just us. Maybe we have our hair up in a poneytail because we overdid it yesterday, and we’re sore, we’re tired, and there’s dust all over the living room. 


So what. 


It will be there tomorrow. And who’ll care? Just laugh and do ONLY what YOU can do, and don’t worry about measuring up to what you see on the internet. That’s not real life. Just be happy with whatever you do, even the littlest of stuff, as that’s what most important anyway.




No fancy pants ingredients, no spectacular video that took hours of your life to make.  Hoping that it will go crazy and have thousands of likes. Who needs that silliness and approval from people we don’t even know. The people we do all this for are the only ones that matter. 

Just pure, plain and simple comfort food that tastes good, and doesn’t take away from your own self preservation of happiness and what is doable without massive stress and guilt that we aren’t measuring up.  

Happiness is where WE find it ourselves. And whatever we find that makes us happy, is fine in my books.

Never take the little things for granted or write them off as unimportant. 

It’s the littlest of things that matter the most! Love to all and enjoy every minute. Life is too short for silly, unnecessary stress.

Just. Breathe.  

You are loved just as you are. 



Easy Cheesy Hamburger Helper (aka Hangover Helper)
Yield: 6 quarts

Easy Cheesy Hamburger Helper (aka Hangover Helper)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Super cheesy, beefy comfort food that will warm you up from your nose to your toes! Perfect football grub, and quick enough for busy weeknight suppers made all in ONE POT!


  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 cups beef broth or stock
  • 1 (24 oz.) jar Rao's Marinara Sauce
  • 1 (14 oz.) can stewed tomatoes with the juice, break up tomatoes with hand
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tbl. salt, less if hypersensitive to salt (2 tsp.)
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dark chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp. chipotle powder, can sub cayenne
  • 1 Tbl. dried parsley
  • 1 (1 lb.) box elbow macaroni
  • 24 oz. processed cheese, cut into small cubes, I used Clancy's Cheesemelt from Aldi, can sub Velveeta


  1. In 6-quart, heavy-bottomed pot, add hamburger and onion. Sauté until no longer pink, breaking up beef as you go. Add chopped garlic and cook 1 - 2 minutes longer. Drain grease. (I use a colander for this, then add back to pot.)
  2. Add rest of ingredients except pasta and cheese. Stir to combine. Place on lid and bring to a boil over Med-High heat, stirring now and then. When boiling, add pasta, stir, reduce heat to Med-Low, leave lid off, and simmer for 7 minutes (or until al dente), stirring often.
  3. Turn heat to Low, add cheese by the handful folding in after each addition. Place on lid, turn off heat, and let rest for 5 minutes. (This helps cheese to melt without overstirring and breaking up the noodles.) Remove id and fold until cheese is fully melted and combined.
  4. Serve with bread and butter or garlic bread, and a salad or vegetable. Enjoy!



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Saturday 6th of January 2024

Serious comfort food - looks delicious.

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