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Macro Friendly Hamburger Helper (High Protein)

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Dinner, Recipes

Skip the box and enjoy our Macro-Friendly Hamburger Helper instead! Our healthier, lightened-up version of the family favorite is high in protein, full of flavor, and sure to be a hit with your whole crew.

While there's nothing wrong with using a box of Hamburger Helper every so often, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to know that, with just a few extra steps, you can make your own homemade version that'll be much lighter and healthier without sacrificing flavor.

Macro Friendly Hamburger Helper (High Protein)

Tami Smith
Our Macro-Friendly Hamburger Helper is high in protein and a healthier alternative to the traditional boxed kit.
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 378 kcal


  • 1 Large Skillet or Pan
  • 1 Wooden spoon or spatula
  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Serving Plates or Bowls


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb. 99% lean ground turkey
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 10 ounces rigate pasta
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, reduced fat


  • In a large skillet or pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the diced onions and minced garlic to the skillet. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes, or until the onions become translucent and fragrant.
  • Add the lean ground turkey to the skillet. Break it apart with a spoon and cook until it's no longer pink, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour in the chicken broth, milk, and tomato sauce. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Sprinkle in the paprika and dried oregano. Stir again to evenly distribute the spices.
  • Carefully add the pasta to the skillet. Make sure it's evenly distributed in the liquid.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet with a lid. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 12-15 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked al dente. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Taste a small piece of pasta to ensure it's cooked to your desired tenderness. If needed, add a little more broth and continue simmering until it reaches the desired texture.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, remove the skillet from heat. Sprinkle the shredded sharp cheddar cheese over the top of the mixture.
  • Cover the skillet with a lid and let it sit for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt and the flavors to meld together.
  • After resting, spoon the hamburger helper on plates and enjoy!


You can add more vegetables to this recipe for extra nutrition. Bell peppers, mushrooms, and spinach are excellent options. Just sauté them along with the onions and garlic before adding the ground turkey.
While rigate pasta works well in this recipe due to its ridges that hold the sauce, you can use any pasta shape you prefer or have on hand.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a splash of milk to maintain creaminess.


Calories: 378kcalCarbohydrates: 42.3gProtein: 31.8gFat: 8.3g
Keyword high protein, macro friendly
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