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Healthier Cheeseburger Mac

Healthier Cheeseburger Mac

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If you are anywhere in my age range then you no doubt had Hamburger Helper as a kid. I loved this stuff when I was young. It was one of those things my friends and I would make when my mother allowed us to “make dinner” for the family. Oh to be young and stupid again.

Have you ever read the ingredient list on the back of one of these boxes? Honestly, I hadn’t until now. I don’t even know what some of these ingredients are: Butter oil (is it butter or is it oil)? Color, yellow lakes 5&6? Oh, and don’t forget good old MSG.

I am totally guilty of buying up boxes of Hamburger Helper when it’s on sale and donating it to the local food pantry. That stuff is like a buck a box, no wonder why people love it!

I found this great recipe called Hamburger Buddy on the EatingWell website and it reminded me of Hamburger Helper, only healthier. I decided to make a few small changes and health it up a tiny bit more and that’s how this Healthier Cheeseburger Mac was born.

Cheeseburger Mac n Cheese

The thing I loved about this recipe is all the added veggies. The original recipe calls for chopping the vegetables, however, I really like to hide those veggies good. I remembered reading a recipe of Anne Burrell’s, where she builds flavor by processing all the vegetables into a paste and cooking it down and I decided that this was a great recipe to incorporate that technique. Your kids won’t even know there are veggies in there because they are pulverized down into a paste. Brilliant, right? I know. You’re welcome.


2 carrots, roughly chopped

4 oz sliced Portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 sweet onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 T olive oil

1 lb lean ground turkey

1 tsp thyme, fresh

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

3 C + 1/4 C beef broth, low sodium

10 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni

2 T worcestershire sauce

2 T flour, all purpose

2 T Greek yogurt, plain

1/2 C cheddar cheese, shredded (use low fat for an even lighter version)

Optional: fresh parsley for garnish

Cheeseburger Mac n Cheese


Place all vegetables in a food processor and process until vegetables are made into a paste. Set aside.

In a large, high sided skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over medium high head and add turkey. Cook turkey until cooked through, breaking up and stirring occasionally. Add processed vegetables and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Stir veggie mixture and turkey together and then cook, 5 minutes.

Add broth, worcestershire sauce and macaroni. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium/low. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked through (about 10 min).

In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 C broth and flour; stir into meat mixture then stir in yogurt. Simmer 3-4 more minutes, stirring often to make sure everything is combined.

Garnish with parsley if desired.


Did you enjoy this recipe? Comment below!

For more foodie tips head to Sandra's blog!


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