I don’t know about you, but Hamburger Helper was a staple at my house when I was a kid and I loved it. I have very fond memories of it, specifically the Cheeseburger Macaroni. So I set out to make a healthier version so we can relive the glory days together.
This pasta is super creamy, very filling, and pretty dang delicious if I do say so myself. I wouldn’t say it’s THAT healthy, considering the processed veggie meat and pasta, but it’s definitely not terrible. I mean, it’s got a whole pound of broccoli too!
You could definitely add more vegetables if you want – red bell pepper, cauliflower, mushrooms, etc! You also COULD leave out the veggie meat, but it’s really yummy and more “hamburger helper-like” with it. THIS is the veggie ground I use. It’s in the frozen section of my grocery store and I really like it for a treat sometimes!
Alright, here’s what you came here for..
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup vegetable stock (or water)
- 1 15-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1/2 cup raw cashews*
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 8 oz veggie ground**
- 8 oz mini lasagna noodles or your favorite short cut pasta
- 1 lb broccoli, chopped into florets
- 1. Add almond milk, vegetable stock, tomatoes, cashews, nutritional yeast, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper to a high-powered blender. Blend until completely smooth.
- 2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and Italian seasoning and sauté until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- 3. Add the veggie ground and let cook for 3-4 minutes.
- 4. Add the sauce from the blender to the pot along with the uncooked pasta and 2 cups of water. Give everything a good stir. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring often so the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
- 5. After 5 minutes or so, add the broccoli and stir.
- 6. Cook on low, stirring often, until the pasta and broccoli are cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
* If you don't have a high-powered blender, you will need to soak the cashews overnight and drain them.
** I use Gardein Beefless Ground