Hamburger Helper Shortcuts
Hamburger Helper Shortcuts
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I grew up on Hamburger Helper, and many times the hamburger (hamburger meat for all my friends in the deep south of the US) was substituted with ground venison. My early years in the Navy, my wife and I made Hamburger Helper to stretch those dollars between paydays. This is basically hamburger, pasta (maybe potatoes), spices, milk, and water, and a load of preservatives. So I did a bit of research on the internet and found a site that replicated all of the dishes available. The basic instruction is brown the ground beef and drain, then add in the ingredients for each version you wish then simmer. Enjoy. Links to the shortcut are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings
4 servings
Servings
4 servings
Hamburger Helper Shortcuts
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I grew up on Hamburger Helper, and many times the hamburger (hamburger meat for all my friends in the deep south of the US) was substituted with ground venison. My early years in the Navy, my wife and I made Hamburger Helper to stretch those dollars between paydays. This is basically hamburger, pasta (maybe potatoes), spices, milk, and water, and a load of preservatives. So I did a bit of research on the internet and found a site that replicated all of the dishes available. The basic instruction is brown the ground beef and drain, then add in the ingredients for each version you wish then simmer. Enjoy. Links to the shortcut are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings
4 servings
Servings
4 servings
Ingredients
Chili Mac
Lasagna
Cheesy Beef Taco
Beef Stroganoff
Potato Stroganoff
Salisbury
Cheesy Italian Shells
Cheesy Jambalaya
Servings: servings
Instructions
Chili Mac
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items except the cheese. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the macaroni is tender.
  3. Stir in the cheese and when it is melted in, serve and enjoy.
Lasagna
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items except the two cheeses. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the egg noodles or lasagna noodles are tender.
  3. Stir in the Mozzarella cheese and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on the top. Cover for 5 minutes to let the Mozzarella melt in, serve and enjoy.
Cheesy Beef Taco
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items except the cheese and Fritos. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the rice is tender.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese, sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top then the Fritos, Cover and let sit for 5 minutes, serve and enjoy.
Beef Stroganoff
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the egg noodles are tender. Serve and enjoy.
Potato Stroganoff
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the potatoes are tender. Serve and enjoy.
Salisbury
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the egg noodles are tender. Serve and enjoy.
Cheesy Italian Shells
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items except the cheese. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the pasta shells are tender.
  3. Stir in the Cheddar cheese and cook for another 5 minutes or so to let the cheese melt in, serve and enjoy.
Cheesy Jambalaya
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items except the cheese. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the rice is tender.
  3. Stir in the Cheddar cheese and cover for another 5 minutes or so to let the cheese melt in, serve and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Shortcuts: Italian Seasoning, Sour Cream.

Notes: 1. If using true Thai chili powder, cut the amount back by 1/3 to 1/2 as it is quite hotter than chili powder in the US. 2. The salt and sugar are OPTIONAL! I have made several of these and you can certainly leave out the sugar. Salt is used in the boxed version of this much the way McDonald's uses salt, sugar is used in the box version much the way cereals in the US are made, to get you to not like the meal, but love the meal, and buy more. When I make these, I do not add sugar, but I do add salt, a touch less than what is stated.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Chicken Spaghetti
Chicken Spaghetti
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This is from a good friend and it is absolutely delicious. This is an easy recipe and most of the ingredients you will have on hand.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Chicken Spaghetti
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This is from a good friend and it is absolutely delicious. This is an easy recipe and most of the ingredients you will have on hand.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, add the chicken and cover with water, this can be a whole chicken, 3-4 breasts, or 3-4 quarters (separated), simmer until tender and cooked through, you are making a broth.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside to let cool to room temperature (makes for juicer chicken). Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Strain the broth and return to the pot. Debone and chop the chicken.
  3. Preheat your oven to 200 C (400 F) and get out a large baking dish, 9x13 should be perfect.
  4. Add water as needed to the pot in order to boil your pasta. Bring the pot of broth to a boil, and cook your pasta until just tender, drain pasta and return pasta to the pot.
  5. To the pasta, add the cheese, chopped tomatoes, chicken, soup, and season with salt, pepper, and onion powder to your liking, and mix together until the cheese is melted in. If the mixture is too thick, add some reserved tomato juice or water.
  6. Pour mixture into your baking dish and bake for 15 minutes, done,
  7. Serve, and of course, enjoy 🙂
Recipe Notes

I will price this when I get some chicken, overall I will say low cost.

Variants: 1. Skip the tomatoes and go with another can of cream of chicken soup. 2. Use cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken soup. 3. No need to bake, just serve after cheese is melted in on the stove top. 4. A diced bell pepper or two would be perfect in this. 5. Buy a rotisserie chicken and use that and make the stock from cube or powder to cook the pasta in.

Recipe from a good friend, her recipe which is located here. Kristi Fancher Brown.
Unites States.

Some of the variants provided by good friend, Shanee Mcfarland.
United States.

Basic Chili II
Basic Chili II
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This is a revision to my basic, yet delicious chili, that I have been making for 40+ years. I received a chili mix packet from a good friend in Texas, and I used that spice mix to make a pot of chili yesterday, 2 Feb 2018. The taste is nearly spot on with my basic chili but some of the steps are a bit different so I decided to post a second Basic Chili. I also used red kidney beans I cooked in a pressure cooker to reduce the time. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 1 hour
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 1 hour
Cook Time
1 hour
Basic Chili II
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This is a revision to my basic, yet delicious chili, that I have been making for 40+ years. I received a chili mix packet from a good friend in Texas, and I used that spice mix to make a pot of chili yesterday, 2 Feb 2018. The taste is nearly spot on with my basic chili but some of the steps are a bit different so I decided to post a second Basic Chili. I also used red kidney beans I cooked in a pressure cooker to reduce the time. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 1 hour
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 1 hour
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. For the beans, you can use canned (drained), make from dry by soaking and simmering, or by soaking and using a pressure cooker. If using dry, use 500 grams dry.
  2. In a large pot, add the minced pork or ground beef and chop up with a spatula and brown. Drain off most, not all of the fat, the fat adds flavoring. Pork is just starting to cook at this point.
  3. Add the beans, these were right out of the pressure cooker and drained.
  4. Add the tomatoes and juice, tomato paste, water, spices and mix. Let chili simmer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Serve.
Recipe Notes

Pork mince is about 85 Baht/kilo. For 6 servings, this is about 42 cents per serving.

Shortcut: Kidney Beans (Pressure Cooker).

Inspired by a packaged chili mix.

Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Steak Seasoning
Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Fish Seasoning
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This is a copycat recipe for a popular seasoning mix in the US.
Prep Time
5 minutes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Fish Seasoning
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This is a copycat recipe for a popular seasoning mix in the US.
Prep Time
5 minutes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix together the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Place the last 3 ingredients (thyme, oregano, and fennel seeds) in a mortar and use a pestle to lightly crush and release the oils, do not use a food processor. Add this to the bowl and mix with the other ingredients.
  3. Use as a rub on steaks prior to grilling.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Inspired by good friend, Drew Padilla.
United States.

Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Fish Seasoning
Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Fish Seasoning
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This is a copycat recipe for a popular seasoning mix in the US.
Prep Time
5 minutes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Fish Seasoning
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This is a copycat recipe for a popular seasoning mix in the US.
Prep Time
5 minutes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together in a small bowl, store in an airtight container, use as a rub on salmon, tilapia, etc. prior to cooking.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Inspired by good friend, Drew Padilla.
United States.

Cajun Chicken & Sausage Pasta
Cajun Chicken & Sausage Pasta
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This is from a good friend and sounds absolutely delicious. On my to cook list for sure.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Cajun Chicken & Sausage Pasta
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This is from a good friend and sounds absolutely delicious. On my to cook list for sure.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
For the Chicken Seasoning
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Slice the Andouille sausage in half lengthwise and slice half moons 1/4 inch thick. For regular pork or beef sausage, just slice 1/4 inch thick. Set aside.
  2. In a large non stick pan, heat a splash of olive oil, when hot, add the cubed chicken and season with the Chicken Seasoning spices to taste, just a bit of each spice will do. Lightly brown the chicken, no need to cook through, over cooked chicken = tough chicken. When lightly browned, remove from the pan to a large bowl and set aside. If there is water in the pan, pour that off.
  3. Same pan, add the sausage and brown that up, remove from the pan and add to the bowl with the chicken and set aside.
  4. Same pan, add the bell peppers, saute for about 5 minutes then add the garlic and shallots. Saute for about 15 minutes or until the bell peppers are just softened yet still crunchy. If using the the optional mushrooms, add those now and saute to just soften them. Remove from heat and set aside. Now follow either Method 1 or Method 2 for the final preparation.
Method 1
  1. In a large pot, add the stock, cream, chicken and sausage, bell peppers from the pan, and the pasta. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes uncovered, to reduce the liquid amount, stirring often.
  2. Stir in the spring onion and Parmesan, simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve and enjoy.
Method 2
  1. In a pot heat the stock to boiling and cook the pasta until tender. Drain.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, add the sausage and chicken to the pan with the bell peppers, use low heat and just heat everything through.
  3. Add the drained pasta to the pan and mix together well, then add the cream and just simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

The chicken will cost between 30 and 60 Baht, 500 grams/1 kilo, and the sausage, going with Cumberland, 750 grams is about 267 Baht. For 6 servings, this is about $1.60 per serving.

Recipe and photo provided courtesy of good friend, Anthony Ramirez.
United States.

Simple Baked Chicken
Simple Baked Chicken
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Sounds easy and very good. On my to cook list.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Simple Baked Chicken
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Sounds easy and very good. On my to cook list.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 230 C. Pour the olive oil in a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Pound each chicken breast slightly to make a more uniform thickness. Place chicken in the baking dish and roll them around to coat them with oil, the place them side by side in the dish.
  3. In a small bowl, add the salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and chili powders, mix together. Sprinkle mixture on both sides of the chicken, rubbing it in with your fingers for each side. Arrange the chicken in a single layer side by side.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until juices run clear. If the chicken is large and thicker, it may take longer.
  5. Remove from oven and cover with foil to rest for 5 to 10 minutes, the chicken will absorb some of the juices during this time.
  6. Serve with mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice, and a vegetable for a complete meal.
Recipe Notes

For the chicken, figure about 60 Baht/four breasts, for 4 servings, this is about 44 cents per serving.

Provided courtesy of good friend, Stephen Connell.
United States.

Baked Coconut Shrimp
Baked Coconut Shrimp
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Sounds good, and the dipping sauce sounds wonderful as well.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Baked Coconut Shrimp
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Sounds good, and the dipping sauce sounds wonderful as well.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
For the Sriracha Dipping Sauce
For the Shrimp
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Make the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Place is the fridge until use.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200 C, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Line up three bowls, to the first one add the corn starch, onion and garlic powders and mix together. Second bowl add the egg and beat that lightly. Third bowl add the coconut and sea salt and mix those.
  4. Dredge a shrimp in the corn starch, then the egg, the the coconut mixture. Place shrimp on the parchment paper, repeat for the rest of the shrimp.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the shrimp and bake 10 more minutes.
  6. Serve with the dipping sauce.
Recipe Notes

I will price this when I get some good sized shrimp, for now I will say Fair priced.

Provided by What Great Grandma Ate and the link to this recipe is here.
United States.

Potato & Broccoli Cheese Soup
Potato & Broccoli Cheese Soup
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Sounds good. I like a good broccoli and cheese soup, the potatoes sound like a good addition.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Potato & Broccoli Cheese Soup
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Sounds good. I like a good broccoli and cheese soup, the potatoes sound like a good addition.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, add the broth, carrots, potatoes, and onion powder. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cook for about 10 minutes.
  2. While that is cooking, prep the broccoli, at 10 minutes, add that and cook for another 10 minutes.
  3. While the soup is cooking, heat a medium pot and melt the butter, whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or two, always whisking, until the mixture is golden brown. Then whisk in the milk and whisk and cook for about 5 minutes until thickened.
  4. Add the cheese and stir until mixed in and melted, add the salt and garlic pepper. Pour the cheese sauce into the soup, stir while doing this. Mix well.
  5. Ass more milk to thin for a thinner soup. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
  6. Serve bowls topped with the bacon.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Provided courtesy of good friend, Stephen Connell.
United States.

Easy Chicken Tetrazzini II
Easy Chicken Tetrazzini II
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Sounds good. Several cooking methods used but ultimately this will be a baked casserole.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 1 hour
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 1 hour
Cook Time
45 minutes
Easy Chicken Tetrazzini II
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Sounds good. Several cooking methods used but ultimately this will be a baked casserole.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 1 hour
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 1 hour
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
For the Chicken & Broth
Remaining Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. To make the broth, add the chicken, onion, carrot, and celery to a large pot with the 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cook for about 20-30 minutes. Remove the pot from the burner and let it cool to room temp on its own, this will give good tender and juicy chicken.
  2. Once cooled, remove the chicken to a cutting board.
  3. Pour the liquid in the pot through a strainer, discard contents of the strainer, return the broth to the same pot. Now you have fresh homemade broth, wasn't that simple and easy?
  4. Preheat your oven to 190 C. Butter a 9x13 baking dish and set that aside.
  5. Bring the broth to a boil and add the pasta and cook until it is just tender. Remove the pot from the burner and let sit for 5 minutes.
  6. While the pasta is sitting (it is soaking up flavor), go ahead and cut the chicken into bite size pieces, set aside.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, add the two soups, garlic and onion powders, and half the cheese. Mix together. Now you are ready to put this together.
  8. Drain the pasta. Place half the pasta in the baking dish and spread out to an even layer.
  9. Layer half the chicken on top.
  10. Spread half the soup mixture on the top.
  11. Repeat the layers then sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes, serve with a salad for a nice meal.
Recipe Notes

Three good sized chicken breasts might, just might, cost 65 Baht. Without running the numbers, this is a Low Cost meal for sure.

Shortcuts: Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup, Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup.

Provided courtesy of good friend, Stephen Connell.
United States.