Homemade Hamburger Helper or Goulash

For almost the last two weeks, I have been eating dairy free along with my other restrictions.  I am giving it a trial run, just to see if it makes any difference.  Unfortunately for me, I think I see a difference.  However, I don't know if I could live without dairy permanently.  I am a cheese addict.  I just don't think I can live without cheese.  I am literally taking it one day at a time like an addict.  This is far harder than giving up gluten.   

For now, I am doing without, just to see if it's worth staying away from.  It really presents a problem for me in the kitchen.  Most everything I want to cook involves cheese!  I have been making out menus so I don't get stuck racking my brain at night.  Tonight I did not have a plan though. 

 For some reason that made me think of convenience foods and Hamburger Helper.  I never was one to like hamburger helper, but when I was little my mom used to make a dinner she called Goulash.  Basically, homemade Hamburger Helper.  
This is comfort food.  This is food you can come home from work and cook in one skillet.  It's not fancy, so kids love it!  So grab a skillet and get cooking!   

Homemade Hamburger Helper or Goulash (print recipe) 

1 pound ground beef 

1/2 onion, chopped fine 

1/2 green pepper, chopped fine 

1- 15 oz. can plain tomato sauce 

1 cup water 

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 

1 teaspoon dried parsley 

2 tablespoon sugar 

1 cup uncooked gluten free elbow pasta

 salt and pepper to taste 

Brown ground beef with onions and green pepper until cooked through.  Drain off the fat.  Add remaining ingredients, stir well, cover and cook on low heat till the pasta is done.  Don't forget to occasionally stir so the pasta won't burn on the bottom of the pan!  Serve with a salad or green vegetable.   

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  I don't know why, but I kept thinking I had another week!  This will be my second Thanksgiving since becoming gluten free.  Last year, I cooked for my family.  This year, it's my brother and his wife's turn.  

I know there are a lot of you going to other people's home and you are really nervous about it.  What do you tell people when they ask what you can eat?  If you are like me, you hate for people to go out of their way.  And the reality is, that they have gluten filled kitchens.  That can be a concern.   

I told my brother, if he can make a gluten free turkey, that's all I need.  My mom, Kati and I are all gluten free.  I will bring a gluten free stuffing, green bean casserole and some dessert with me.  Martha Stewart has a recipe for a chocolate pumpkin pie that's looks like it's to die for!  I think that's what I'll make for dessert.   

For those of you making your first Thanksgiving gluten free, you may be wondering what to do for stuffing.  I use the same stuffing recipe I always used and just substitute out the bread with a gluten free bread.  I like Breads from Anna.  It reminds me of Home Pride bread.  That's what I used to buy when I was a gluten eater.  Now I use Anna's bread and make my grandmother's stuffing recipe.  Well, I shouldn't say recipe, because there's not really a recipe, but this is how she, my mom and I make it…..

Stuffing (print recipe)

1 loaf of gluten free bread  

1 large onion 


cream of mushroom soup (I used Progresso)

 chicken broth 

parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper 

Start toasting your bread in the toaster.  It helps if you have a large toaster oven.  Or you could put it in the oven to dry it out.  While you are toasting you can start cooking the onion and celery.  Chop one large onion and enough celery to equal the same amount as the onion.  Saute in a large stock pan with butter (the more, the better, it's a holiday!) until the onions are translusent.  Add spices.  We don't measure.  Sprinkle and smell.   Start small and built.  Taste.   

When all the bread is toasted and the onions cooked, cut the bread into cubes and place in the pan with the onions and celery.  Mix well.  Add the can of mushroom soup and mix well.  Then start adding the broth.  Add enough broth until all of the bread is moistened.  Taste.  Does it need more spices?  If it tastes like Thanksgiving you have added enough!  Place in an oblong casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30 min or so until the top is crusty.   

I love stuffing!  It always make me think of my grandmother.  There are a dozen ways I could make stuffing but it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving any other way.  I know all of you have a special way it's always been made at your house or by your grandmother.  I would start by using the same recipe you have always used, but just use a gluten free bread instead.  It might not taste exactly like the stuffing you are used to, but don't get discouraged.  Use it as a starting point.  You might have to change some things here or there.  But it gives you a place to start.  
Have a happy Thanksgiving!



Filed under Beef, Quick meals, Thanksgiving

9 responses to “Homemade Hamburger Helper or Goulash

  1. Gluten Free Steve

    How perfect for that cozy rainy/snowy Saturday for dinner. Thanks for sharing this recipe – too bad the Internet can’t do scratch and sniff as this would be a good one. I love comfort food and that’s what you created.

  2. Kay

    Hi Melanie,
    It’s my first gluten free Thanksgiving. I decided to avoid comparisons by serving a nontraditional menu. I’m fixing surf ‘n’ turf with salad and rolls. Had I known you gluten free bloggers would offer so many good Thanksgiving recipes, I might have opted for turkey dinner. I have more gf holidays ahead, so I’ll refer back to your blog.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    P.S. Have you tried goat milk in place of cow’s milk? I still consume some cheese (only white cheese with no annato) and two pats of butter on my breakfast toast. I’ve replaced cream cheese with goat cheese in several recipes. I even use dallops of goat cheese on my bacon and mushroom pizza. Cheeses that contain annato make me feel lousy. That was a tough one to figure out! I feel okay if I stick to Monterey jack, white cheddar and provolone. And I always grate my own. They put corn (and other unnamed vegetable) starch in the pre-shredded stuff.

  3. These are some of our favorite types of meals!! I will definitely have to try your goulosh!! it sounds very yummy! I hope you are doing well!!

  4. Thanks Carrie and Steve, it was even yummy the day after. I just crave dishes like this in the fall!
    Kay, I have not tried goats milk, but I love goat cheese. I might have to buy some of the milk to use in recipes to see how I like it. I’m also going to look into annato. That must be the coloring in yellow cheese?

  5. Kay

    Yep, annato is only used for coloring. It makes NO DIFFERENCE in the taste. It’s even used in some white cheeses (maybe Gouda or Muenster?) to keep the color uniform from batch to batch.
    I thought I was the only one that had a problem with annato. When I went to Gluten Free Day at the Georgetown Market, they had a gf cookbook open on one of the sample displays. It was open to a page that had an author’s note about annato and celiac. The author said it is a problem for many celiacs. I was pleased to learn I’m not the only one.

  6. I too have trouble with cow’s milk cheese, but am fine with goat and sheep’s milk. I’ve been lucky enough to find a variety of Goat’s and Sheep’s milk hard cheeses, like Cheddar, Jack and Gouda, as well as Goat’s Milk Brie. I’m glad I haven’t had to give up cheese entirely. While these types can easily be found at our local Trader Joes and Whole Foods, I have found them at many smaller natural foods stores as well. There’s Meyenberg, Greenbanks Farms, Sonnet Farms, and Cypress Grove Chevre, to name a few. Hope that helps!

  7. Dubbie

    I made this dish last night and it was delicous! It was so delicous that I’m making it again tonight. I think I will have to double the recipe, this dish went very quickly when I made it last night. I will never make that boxed Hamburger Helper for dinner again. Thanks for posting!

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