Homemade Taco Hamburger Helper



Making Taco Hamburger Helper

Remember as a kid being so excited when dinner was going to be some variety of hamburger helper?! It was almost a rite of passage for childhood but I have grown up eating hamburger helper and still love it! Ditch the boxed kind and make it yourself, homemade! I promise you, it will taste so much better and you can make all kinds of different varieties! This homemade Taco Hamburger Helper is a delicious but affordable meal that makes many servings that will feed your whole family! I love that the flavors of this recipe have hints of that classic hamburger helper flavor we all know and love, but are elevated with a taco flavor and some spice as well!

To start making this simple and delicious meal, place 1 pound of ground beef into a medium-sized skillet over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil. Brown the ground beef and add in 1 chopped onion and cook until translucent. Once the ground beef and onion are cooked, drain any excess grease from the skillet. Next, you will season this with: ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon each of pepper, cumin, dried cilantro, and paprika, and 2 teaspoons of chili powder. Next, add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic to the skillet and stir. Then add 1 ½ cups of beef broth, 1 ½ cups of milk and 1 can of rotel (don’t drain) to the skillet and stir. Next add in 2 ½ cups of uncooked Rotini pasta to the skillet and stir to coat in the sauce. Bring up to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for about 10 minutes on low, stirring after 5 minutes to help keep the pasta from sticking. 

Once your pasta is cooked, it’s time to add my favorite ingredient! Top the dish with 2 cups of freshly shredded cheese. I used Monterey Jack cheese for this recipe, but you can use any cheese that you would like! Stir the cheese and let it sit until everything is nice and melted. Now you are ready to serve! 

I love to top this dish with fresh chopped cilantro. It adds a perfect amount of freshness to this recipe. If you are one of the many people that think cilantro tastes like dish soap, definitely skip this part! You can top with any of your other favorite taco toppings too! This is a quick meal that is made in just one skillet which makes cleaning up a breeze. Kids and adults love this delicious meal! I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Helpful Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

  • Use any freshly shredded cheese that you prefer. I used Monterey Jack. 

  • Top with fresh cilantro or any other of your favorite taco toppings! Sour cream, fresh diced tomatoes or even chopped jalapeños would be delicious!

  • Don’t drain the can of Rotel before adding it into the dish. The extra liquid will help to cook the pasta.

  • Either fresh minced garlic or jarred minced garlic would work well for this recipe.

Easy and Delicious Homemade Taco Hamburger Helper

We all grew up with the variety of boxed hamburger helper recipes that shaped our childhoods! This is a family favortie that is quick and easy to make at home and the leftovers never go to waste!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dinner
Keyword: hamburger helper, beef, recipes, skillet meal, one pan meal


  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups of beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 2 1/2 cups of Rotini Pasta
  • 1 10 oz can of Rotel not drained
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp each of cumin dried cilantro, black pepper, and paprika
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese
  • Fresh cilantro


  • brown ground beef with chopped onion
  • drain grease
  • season with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, dried cilantro, and paprika
  • add minced garlic
  • add beef broth, Rotel, pasta, and milk to the skillet
  • bring to a boil and turn heat down to low
  • cover with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes or so stirring once half way through to keep the noodles from sticking to the skillet
  • once pasta is cooked add cheese, stir, and let sit until the cheese is melted
  • serve and top with fresh cilantro or any other taco toppings you’d like
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I love making this!!
    2nd time making it, I added diced jalapeno and green chilies along with corn and black beans. It is now a family favorite!

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