Hamburger Helper

Hamburger Helper

“Mmm, Mmm, Mmm! I don’t know why they call this stuff Hamburger Helper. It does just fine by itself.” – Cousin Eddie in National Lampoon’s Vacation.

Sometimes, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to plan a home-cooked meal without a little assistance. And what better assistant to help you in your meal-planning than a friendly white-gloved appendage, eager to guide you towards the boxed food aisle of your local supermarket for a comfort food called Hamburger Helper.

First introduced to American housewives by Betty Crocker (General Mills) in 1971, Hamburger Helper has provided over 50 varieties of their dinner in a box to anyone with a skillet and a pound of ground beef. Intrinsic to the very product he sells, the iconic Helping Hand has pointed television viewers looking for a quick, easy and inexpensive meal in the direction of Hamburger Helper since 1975.

For those who haven’t experienced this easy-to-make comfort-food, one box of Hamburger Helper provides a cook with (almost) everything necessary to turn a pound of ground beef into a total meal (milk, it should be noted, is also required for most versions). Included in the box are packets of seasonings, powdered cheese (or sauce), and either noodles or dehydrated potato slices, eager to delight your taste buds with the savory flavor of processed food. Brown the meat, add the packets, and simmer until thickened. What could be easier than that?

Hamburger Helper offers a number of tasty varieties for your consideration, including classic favorites like Beef Noodle, Cheeseburger Macaroni, and Beef Stroganoff. For those seeking something a bit more cutting-edge, a number of new flavors have been introduced in recent years, such as Crunchy Taco, Cheesy Jambalaya and Tomato Basil Penne. And should you not have an affinity for red meat, never fear – Tuna Helper and Chicken Helper are always close by and eager to please.

If Hamburger Helper is one of those comfort foods from childhood you find yourself craving from time to time, we hope you’ll share your memories of this Betty Crocker mainstay in our comments section below.

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