This Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells is just as easy as the boxed version. Ground beef combined with tomatoes, tomato sauce, spices, milk, water, and cheese is sure to satisfy!
My daughter just loves this stuff! I wanted to make a healthier version so that I could feel better about her eating a dish like this.
I used Pipe Regate because it was what was available at Aldi that day.
Any bite-sized pasta could be used for this dish. You might need to adjust the cooking time to fit your particular pasta.
I cooked the pasta for a couple of minutes longer than the directions on the package and then it cooked for an additional couple of minutes while the cheese melted.
The pasta was cooked perfectly, not to al dente and not too mushy.
You could also use Italian sausage instead of the ground beef, or a combination of the two.
When my daughter eats this dish she tends to leave a lot of the ground beef on her plate, so I only use half a pound of ground beef in mine. There is enough sauce to put in the whole pound, so you could do it either way.
It makes it cheaper to use less meat and it makes me happy to be able to spend less at the grocery store.
When I make this dish I am usually trying to get dinner on the table in as little time as possible, so I serve it with Crescent Rolls to save time.
Making this healthier, Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells takes about the same amount of time as the boxed version.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cups shell or similar shaped pasta (I used Pipe Regate)
- 1 can tomatoes with Italian seasoning, 14.5 ounces
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup cheese, grated
- In a large skillet brown ground beef over medium-high heat. While the ground beef is cooking, combine the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and corn starch in a small bowl. Set aside. Drain browned ground beef and return to the skillet.
- Over medium-high heat add water, tomato sauce, milk and spice mixture, mix until combined. Stir in the canned tomatoes and pasta, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover; cook for 13-15 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in cheese and cook a couple of minutes stirring constantlty until cheese is melted. Take off the burner and let stand to thicken, about 5 minutes.
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