As a child I loved noodle casseroles. With a Scandinavian Mom and it being the 60's, that was not a problem. But she battled cancer most of my childhood, so sometimes even my SuperMom didn't want to cook dinner. So in the early 70's Mom found Hamburger Helper. We didn't have it often, but it was a treat for my brother and me when we did.
After many years away from it, I tried a box of my favorite flavor, the beef noodle. It just did NOT taste the same. It also had a lot of ingredients I couldn't pronounce as well as corn syrup, artificial colors, soy and MSG. No Thanks. I can make a much cleaner version for probably the same cost.
This was not particularly photogenic but it was very tasty, kids love it, and it makes four-six entree-sized servings. It's an easy to put together meal on a work night, or when you have the grandkids visiting and the dry seasonings can be mixed in batches and stored in a sandwich bag to speed things up even more.
DIY Hamburger Helper Beef Noodle (vegetarian/gluten free version in parenthesis).
1 pound hamburger (veggie "beef" of your choice)
1 Tablespoon dried minced onion or 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. (gluten-free Worcestershire sauce)
Recipe for that here: https://abbysmomgetsfit.blogspot.com/2016/03/gluten-free-herbed-pilaf-main-dish.html
Combine in a cereal bowl:
1 teaspoon each:
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 and 1/2 cups water, brought to a boil
3 MSG-free beef bullion cubes
1 and 1/2 cups milk (almond milk).
2 and 1/3 cup wide egg noodles (gluten-free noodles). Note: I added extra noodles based on a small person's request :-) using less will give you a saucier dish.
In a large fry pan with a cover brown ground beef and minced onion (celery) and drain. Add tomato paste and combine and let sit, reducing heat to low for a few minutes to warm it through.
Increase heat to medium and add 1 and 1/2 cups hot water in which you've already dissolved the bullion cubes.
Add milk or nut milk and bowl with dried seasonings/cornstarch/sugar. When at a gentle simmer add noodles, cover and cook for the time listed on the noodle package directions.
Add salt and pepper (to taste and optional)
Served with corn and some carrot and celery sticks.