This Veggie Packed Vegan Hamburger Helper Copy Cat Recipe will quickly become a one-pot family staple that you and the kids will love!
The 90s were an interesting time to be a kid. Mood rings were the hottest accessory. Roller blades were the only way to get around. And Hamburger Helper was surely on the table at least once each week. What’s not to love about a package of noodles and seasoning that requires nothing more than a pack of ground beef?
When we were growing up, my mom was admittedly not a huge fan of the kitchen, so a one-pot wonder dinner like Hamburger Helper was her BFF. It was our BFF too because it was so damn delicious. But now that I’m older, I work with food as a living, and I’m obviously a little more health-conscious, I figured it was time to retire the boxed stuff and all of the sodium, preservatives and added starches they pack in there. This Veggie Packed Vegan Hamburger Helper is my tasty homemade version, loaded with antioxidants, satiating fibre, good for you fats and powerful protein. And I promise you, it’s legit the tastiest thing you’ll ever eat.
How to Make Veggie Packed Vegan Hamburger Helper
My goal was not only to make my Hamburger Helper vegan, but also to load as many antioxidant rich veggies into each bite without missing out on my nostalgic trashy-boxed-meal experience. I use Catelli’s SuperGreens pasta since it’s literally just made out of wheat, spinach, zucchini, broccoli, parsley and kale. I also love that Catelli is celebrating their 150th anniversary, having evolved to meet Canadians changing health needs like getting more veggies into our kids. And the taste? Amazing, I promise, no one will be the wiser! I also love that it packs 5 grams of fibre and 10 grams of protein per serving along with iron, B vitamins, calcium and magnesium. The cool thing about Hamburger Helper is that everything just goes into the same pot. That means there’s no need to manage multiple pots or pans at the same time, and you only have to wash one thing! No wonder my mom depended so heavily on this stuff.
Aside from of course my veggie-loaded pasta, the base of my Vegan Hamburger Helper includes garlic, onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper and mushrooms. In other words, I am loading in the goods. Instead of using sour cream or cheese to add that much-needed creamy element to this dish, I puree some cashews until luscious and smooth. The result is a dreamy bowl of good-for-you pasta that can be cooked in just one pot that your whole family is going to gobble up.
Whether you’re frantically trying to get a balanced school-night dinner on the table or you’re just trying to sneak some extra veggies into your family’s meal, this Veggie Packed Vegan Hamburger Helper is for you. Buh bye boxed meal starter kit, hello fresh healthy supper. Welcome to 2017.
Now, I want to know, what family dishes did you grow up with as a child that you would like to see me healthify?
Did you grow up eating Hamburger Helper too?
Have you tried my better for you Veggie Packed Vegan Hamburger Helper?
Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Catelli pasta, however, all opinions are genuine.
Veggie Packed Vegan Hamburger Helper
- 250 grams cremini mushrooms stemmed and quartered
- 1 cup cashews soaked overnight
- ½ cup unsweetened plain almond or cashew milk
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 2 stalks celery finely diced
- 2 carrots peeled and finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- 500 grams veggie ground “meat”
- 1 box Catelli SuperGreens Rotini
- 3 ½ cups reduced sodium vegetable broth divided
- 2 tbsp whole grain flour
- ¼ cup reduced sodium tamari
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Chives minced for garnish
- Parsley minced for garnish
- In a high-speed blender, pulse the mushrooms until they reach a ground meat like consistency. Set aside and rinse out the blender.
- Add the cashews and almond or cashew milk to the blender and puree on high until very smooth. This may take about 5-6 minutes of the motor running to get the fats to break down and get creamy. Set aside.
- In a large nonstick skillet, preheat the oil over medium high heat.
- Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add in the garlic, mushrooms, oregano, thyme, paprika, chili and veggie ground meat. Saute until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add in the Catelli SuperGreens Rotini and 3 cups of the vegetable broth. Cover with a lid and cook for 12-15 minutes until the broth has been absorbed and the pasta is al dente.
- In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ½ cup broth, flour and tamari until smooth. Mix it into the pasta along with the cashew cream and stir until well coated. Season with salt and lots of black pepper, to taste.
- Serve hot topped with chives and parsley as garnish, if desired.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a cookbook author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc.