This Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells combines ground beef, pasta, tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices to make a healthier version.

Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells

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.

This Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells combines ground beef, pasta, tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices to make a healthier version.

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.

This Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells combines ground beef, pasta, tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices to make a healthier version of the dish.

Here is what you need.

You could also use Italian sausage instead of the ground beef, or a combination of the two.

This Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells combines ground beef, pasta, tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices to make a healthier version of the dish.

The spice blend.

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.

This Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells combines ground beef, pasta, tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices to make a healthier version of the dish.

A great accompaniment to this dish would be these Light Yogurt Drop Biscuits or these Super Soft Yeast Rolls. 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.

This Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells combines ground beef, pasta, tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices to make a healthier version of the dish.

Making this healthier, Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells takes about the same amount of time as the boxed version.

Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells

This Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells combines ground beef, pasta, tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices to make a healthier version. Related

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 20m
  • Total Time: 35m
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

This Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells combines ground beef, pasta, tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices to make a healthier version of the dish.

10 Comments

  • Deanna April 7, 2017 at 11:48 am

    What type of cheese do you use? Cheddar is the obvious choice, however the ingredients on BC brand Hamburger Helper contain both Ricotta and Cheddar and Ricotta is listed first so there’s probably more of that in the box version. I’m gonna try half and half and see how that goes…

    Reply
    • Mindy Boyd April 7, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      I just use cheddar, I don’t use Ricotta because I never keep it around. I only buy it if I am using it in a specific recipe and then I use the whole container (usually). So because this only calls for 1 cup, I just use the cheddar so I don’t have part of a container of Ricotta leftover. I think using half and half is a great idea!

      Reply
  • Brianna R. Miceli January 11, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    I’m a college student and this was just as easy to make as the box. Great for dinner and leftovers for the week. I made mine with Darigold 2% lactose free milk and Daiya dairy free cheddar cheese. Tasted great! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
    • Mindy Boyd January 11, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      That is awesome. Thanks!

      Reply
  • Mel January 9, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    I was craving the hamburger helper Italian shells on this cold and snowy evening and was disappointed when I realized we didn’t have a box in the pantry, but a bit of internet browsing led me to your recipe. Wow! I’ll never make the boxed version again! This was so much more flavorful, loved the hints of tomato flavor, and my husband and two kids gobbled it up too. I like to mix a can of peas in mine as well. Thanks for saving our dinner and satisfying my craving!

    Reply
    • Mindy Boyd January 9, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      That is awesome! I am going to have to try the peas next time I make it. I am always looking for ways to “slip” veggies in to our dinners.

      Reply
  • Irish Lafantano August 1, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    ty!

    Reply
  • Wendie July 27, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Looks delicious Mindy! So creamy and cheesy, I might have to try this.

    Reply
    • Mindy Boyd July 27, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      My 15 year old loves this stuff. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  • Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells - Yum Goggle July 26, 2016 at 8:21 am

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