Tag Archives: easy weeknight dinner

One Skillet Homemade Hamburger Helper


I love meals like this that only require one skillet because then that’s about 4 things less that I have to wash! Plus it’s so much faster and easier to whip up quick and hearty meals when it’s all done in one pan.

I was scrolling through Pinterest for one pot, easy beef meals and I stumbled across this recipe over at Divas Can Cook. I’ve never actually had Hamburger Helper, but I was intrigued by the recipe and the fact that you boil the macaroni in milk in the skillet, which is one of my favorite ways to cook macaroni. It is so flavorful! So, I decided to give it a shot and it is wonderful. If you like Hamburger Helper I think you’ll like this homemade and healthier option as well!


  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt or seasoning salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 3/4 tsp parsley
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Brown ground meat in a skillet over medium heat until almost done. Add in onions and cook until tender.

Drain meat and onions on paper towel covered plate and then return to skillet. Add remaining ingredients except for the cheese. Stir to combine and bring mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover and cook until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. Stirring occasaionally. Taste pasta periodically for doneness.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Let pasta sit to thicken sauce. Adjust seasonings as needed.


Basil Chicken Hash

I was watching Food Network, my second favorite channel behind HGTV, and I watched Ina Garten from Barefoot Contessa cook this amazing looking hash and I just had to try it! I swear everything that woman touches turns to gold. If you’ve never watched her give it a shot. She catered for many years and really knows her stuff. I love her Back to Basics programs, because the recipes call for a lot more everyday ingredients as opposed to some of the upscale expensive cuisine she does for the most part.

I’m just a simple country girl so I’m probably not going to be whisking up a lobster bisque or Coq Au Vin anytime soon. (Those are just the fanciest recipes I could think of off the top of my head. They could actually be quite easy to do, but I don’t know) I should probably read a nice cookbook…

I’m cheap so I love to find recipes that I only have to buy one or two things for at the grocery store and I can find the rest in my pantry or my garden. This is a relatively inexpensive and easy recipe and quickly became one of my absolute favorites after I tried it!

It went straight into my recipe binder and I am so excited to cook it again. I hope you give it a try and that you like it as well. I tweaked the original recipe a little so here is my rendition of this Chicken Basil Hash:


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 16 basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 6 tbsp unsalted pepper, divided
  • 2 lbs red potatoes, large diced
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, large diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pound chicken breasts until they are about a 1/2 inch thick. Cook two chicken breasts at a time, cooking on one side for 4 minutes. Flip chicken and cook for 4 more minutes.

Remove from the skillet to a plate and let cool completely. Don’t cut into it until it cools, to let all the juices reabsorb into the chicken which will make it nice and juicy. Cut chicken into large diced pieces.

Melt 4 tbsp of butter in a large skillet. Add the potatoes and onions, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until evenly browned and cooked through.

In a separate saute pan, melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter. Add the red peppers, garlic, thyme, paprika, tomato paste, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the edges of the peppers are seared.

Add the chicken and the peppers to the potatoes and onions and heat through. Add parsley and toss together.

Serve with some sauteed vegetables or a salad and you have a delicious meal. Enjoy!