If you are a big fan of a quick and one skillet recipe, then apparently Hamburger Helper might have saved you in busy weeknights. Right??
Hamburger Helper is a common household staple that can be done from box to stovetop.
It is very easy to make a recipe just ready in 30 minutes.
It doesn’t require any fancy ingredients and favorite among the whole family.
The Hamburger Helper recipe calls for milk as it adds a creamy texture and gives its flavor to the sauce in Hamburger Helper.
But what if you are all set to make your favorite Hamburger Helper and you don’t have milk.
Don’t panic and don’t run to the store.
Even though you don’t have milk, still you satisfy your cravings for it.
Replacing milk in this meal is not that much difficult.
So, today we come up with some great substitutes for milk in Hamburger Helper.
In this guide, you’ll go through the best Hamburger Helper milk substitutes out there. There are some really great alternatives to choose from.
Keep reading to know more about Hamburger Helper milk alternatives and how to use them wisely.
What is Hamburger Helper?
Hamburger Helper is a packaged food product manufactured by General Mills.
It is a packaged pasta brand known as “Hamburger Helper” was introduced in 1971 sold as part of the Betty Crocker brand.
There are over 20 varieties of Hamburger Helper available on the market across a range of flavor profiles.
They come up with other meat variations like Tuna Helper, Pork Helper, and Chicken Helper.
They offer other range of flavors such as Asian helper, Mexican Helper, Italian Helper, Whole grain helper, Hamburger Helper Microwave Singles, Fruit helper, Mac & Cheese Helper, Cheesy Helper, Mexican Helper.
It contains boxed dried pasta with powdered seasonings.
This is a complete one-dish meal that is made up of browned ground meat, pasta, milk, water, and seasoning.
The Hamburger Helper has a very interesting mascot i.e. “the Helping Hand”.
It is four-fingered, left-hand with a white glove and a face on the palm.
You can often watch this in the product’s television commercials and on their packages.
Can You Make Hamburger Helper Without Milk?
Yes, of course, you can make Hamburger Helper without milk.
When you cook pasta for Hamburger it releases starches as it cooks.
This starch helps to make your dish creamy.
But surely milk renders better taste and flavor.
By adding milk, you will get your dish richer, creamier, and thicker.
But if you don’t have milk, you can use other substitutes (mentioned below) to achieve milk-like results.
Substitutes of Milk in Hamburger Helper
The Hamburger Helper recipe calls for ingredient milk to enhance the flavor and texture of this dish.
But what if you don’t have milk?
Following substitutions are great substitute ideas when you don’t have milk on hand and help to meet your cravings too.
Evaporated Milk and water
Evaporated milk is a great replacement for milk in the Hamburger Helper recipe.
You can blend equal parts of water and evaporated milk to use in place of milk.
If you are using ½ cup of evaporated milk then you should add ½ cup of water.
You may not enjoy your meal by just adding water.
Adding water won’t give you that creamy texture and flavor to the sauce.
Evaporated milk helps to render a good creamy texture that you can get by adding milk.
So, adding evaporated milk with water is the best replacement for milk in Hamburger Helper.
If you don’t have milk for making Hamburger Helper, then you can use the super simple ingredient i.e. Cream Cheese.
Even though you are lactose sensitive, then you can replace milk with cream cheese.
If your Hamburger Helper recipe calls for 3 cups of water and a half cup of milk.
Instead of half cup of milk, you can add a quarter cup of cream cheese and a quarter cup of water.
Now, this mix is actually perfect for your recipe!
A different flavor of Hamburger Helper calls for different amounts of milk and water, and other ingredients.
So keep the ratio of the 1/4 cup of cream cheese to about 1/4 cup of water ratio, where a half cup of milk is needed, and you can apply that to each flavor of Hamburger Helper.
Non-fat dry milk
Dry milk is simply milk that has had the moisture removed and it turns into powdered form.
Non-fat dry milk is produced by removing water from pasteurized fat-free milk.
It is made by using a heat treatment followed by an evaporation process and spray drying.
It comes in white to light cream in color with a clean dairy flavor. It is manufactured by removing water from pasteurized skim milk.
Many bread bakers, replace the essential ingredient milk with using dry milk.
You just need to stir together non-fat dry milk and water until dissolved. And here is your milk is ready.
Dry milk has a taste like regular milk. So, you can consider it as a good replacement for milk your Hamburger Helper.
Sour cream is a dairy product that is obtained by fermenting regular cream with particular types of lactic acid bacteria.
It is commonly used as a condiment on different foods and is also combined with other ingredients to form a dipping sauce.
The sour cream added to soups and sauces to thicken them and make them creamier.
The milk adds a creamy texture and in Hamburger Helper which can be also done by using sour cream.
So, you can add sour cream to the Hamburger Helper instead of milk.
If you are looking for a non-dairy alternative for Hamburger Helper milk substitute then Almond milk is a great non-dairy alternative.
Almond milk is produced is mainly from water and ground almonds.
It is made by grinding almonds with water, then straining the pulp from the liquid.
This almond milk comes in a smooth creamy texture and nutty flavor.
It is used in coffee and tea, smoothies and used as a replacement for cow’s milk in desserts and baked goods.
Almond milk is a creamy and thick alternative so that you will get a good creamy texture to your dish.
Coconut milk is one of the relatively newer non-dairy milk out there. It is a great choice when you want something creamy.
It is produced from water and the white flesh of brown coconuts.
Coconut milk is made by mixing water with the freshly grated white flesh of a ripe coconut.
Coconut milk comes with a rich creamy texture and a sweet having subtle coconut flavor.
You can easily replace the milk in your Hamburger Helper as it has a thick consistency. So that the final dish won’t have watery.
You can use coconut milk to replace the milk as such it depends upon the type of Hamburger Helper.
If you have wine at home, you can use it as a replacement for milk to the Hamburger Helper.
Let’s suppose you have Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff; you can use wine with simple steps.
Saute onions, mushrooms, and carrots until making them tender. Remove all the ingredients from the pot and then brown ground beef.
Season the beef with dried thyme, no salt as that packet contains a lot of salt.
Return the vegetables to the pan and add in a healthy cup of red wine.
Reduce the wine until it becomes almost dry, add the seasoning packet that comes with Hamburger Helper, and use water to replace the milk in an equal quantity.
Simmer this mixture until thickened and add in a couple of tablespoons of butter.
You can try out this different nice flavor with red wine if you running out of milk.
Hamburger Helper is designed to be used with Regular 4% Cow’s Milk.
If you are from those who are Lactose intolerant, then here is the Cream in the mix that can solve your problem in short of milk.
Adding cream in Hamburger Helper helps you to add creaminess in the sauce as milk would.
So, adding cream is a great alternative to the milk in this dish that makes it super creamy thick, and rich in texture without milk.
If you don’t have milk while making this super delicious Hamburger Helper, then don’t worry, Greek yogurt can solve your problem.
The Greek yogurt adds a bit of creaminess without thinning the sauce as milk does.
So, adding Greek yogurt won’t thin your sauce and keep its consistency as milk would.
Greek yogurt is another good alternative to consider as a replacement for milk in Hamburger Helper.
Stock made by cooking bones slowly in water.
You can make the stock by simmering animal bones, meat, seafood, or vegetables in water or wine for an extended time.
It is used as a basis for the preparation of sauces, soup, gravy, etc.
So, isn’t it a great option to try it out?
You can use stock as per the Hamburger Helper flavor.
If you have Hamburger Helper with chicken flavor you can use chicken broth. Like this, if you have beef flavor Hamburger Helper adds beef stock.
Adding these stocks are really well goes with this meal if you are running out of milk.
You can use butter in a Hamburger Helper instead of milk. Butter gives the desired flavor and texture to food.
But, how to use butter in the Hamburger Helper recipe?
You have to cook Hamburger Helper with the instructions given in the box.
You can use water instead of milk while cooking Hamburger Helper.
You need to add bit 1/4 stick of butter for one packet of Hamburger Helper after cooking
You can also add it during the cooking but make sure it won’t burn in the skillet as the final dish may taste bad.
Use a proportion as 1 cup of water and 1-1/2 teaspoons of butter for every 1 cup of milk calls for the recipe.
Butter is a little salty taste and Hamburger Helper is also a bit salty, so consider the salt proportion while adding butter in Helper.
Cream sauce with pasta water
The cream sauce is known as the mother of all sauces. It works great in place of regular milk in different recipes.
Then why wouldn’t great for Hamburger Helper?
So, try out the creamy sauce as it is a great replacement for milk for making Hamburger Helper.
You just need to add one tablespoon of cream sauce instead of milk during the cooking for one packet of Hamburger Helper.
But here is the good trick that doesn’t throw leftover pasta water cooked from Hamburger Helper pasta.
Pasta releases starch during cooking that dissolves in water helps to make the dish creamier.
You can add this pasta water during cooking to enhance the creamy texture of the final dish. Pasta water helps to thicken the sauce too.
So, cream sauce with pasta water renders a good taste to your Hamburger Helper.
Mayonnaise is made with an emulsion of oil, egg yolk, and acid, either vinegar or lemon juice.
There are many other variants are used for additional flavorings.
If you have a shortage of milk, you can replace it with mayonnaise.
You just need to add a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise to Hamburger Helper.
It helps to render the dish creamy, thick and smooth texture.
So, adding Mayonnaise will help if you don’t have milk to add in.
Margarine is a non-dairy substitute for butter. It just tastes like butter.
Some folks have been using margarine as a replacement for milk in Hamburger Helper successfully.
If you are enjoying Hamburger Helper with butter then you will love this margarine as a milk substitute.
You just need to add 1 cup of water and 1-1/2 teaspoons of margarine for every 1 cup of milk calls for in the recipe.
So, using margarine will render a creamy texture to the Hamburger Helper.
Half and half
Half and half is another good option for substituting milk in Hamburger Helper.
You can use 1/4 cup water to 3/4 cup half and half to approximate the consistency of whole milk.
If you have little milk on hand but not enough for the whole recipe, add 5/8 cup of skim milk with 3/8 cup half and half to get the same desired results.
In this way, you can substitute milk with half and half for making a Hamburger Helper recipe.
How To Store Hamburger Helper?
Most cooked meals stay good for a long period of time in the freezer than storing in the fridge.
So appropriate packaging and freezing will give you this tasty meal whenever you are craving for Hamburger Helper.
- You can store your Hamburger Helper in the fridge in an airtight container.
- If you want to store it for comparatively longer then you can freeze leftovers as well.You can freeze it for up to 3 months.
- You can also make ahead Hamburger Helper and freeze it for later consumption.\
How Long is Hamburger Good in the Fridge?
If you have a leftover Hamburger Helper you can store it in the fridge to consume later.
You can store your Hamburger Helper in the fridge in an airtight container.
Allow the dish to cool completely before storing.
You can store your leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days without losing their quality or flavor.
So, you can store the Hamburger Helper in the fridge and consume it within 5 days.
Can You Freeze Hamburger Helper?
Yes, you can freeze Hamburger Helper.
After you have prepared this dish, you can keep it in your freezer to consume later.
Prepare the Hamburger Helper as per the directions on the package.
Let’s get to know how to do it.
1.Let it cool to room temperature to avoid condensation inside the container. This helps prevent ice crystals and freezer burn.
2. Place the Hamburger Helper in a freezer container. Use an airtight container to reduce the chances of freezer burn.
For a safer way to prevent freezer burn, cover the container first with plastic wrap and then wrap it with foil.
3. Label the storage container with the date you have prepared and frozen the food. You can do it with a marker or use masking tape.
4. Keep the Hamburger Helper in the freezer.
As per the USDA, food frozen at 0 degrees can stay good just about indefinitely.
Many home freezers are capable to freeze at this temperature. The recommended freezing length is only applicable for quality and taste.
Hence there is no guideline for “Hamburger Helper” on the USDA website, but they recommend that casseroles can be frozen for no longer than 3 months.
So, you can keep your Hamburger Helper in the freezer for 3 months safely.
How to Reheat Hamburger Helper?
You can reheat the Hamburger Helper in three ways, using microwave, stovetop, and oven.
You can reheat the Hamburger Helper on the stovetop.
Place your leftover dish into the right-sized pan that holds the right amount of meal you are reheating. So that it won’t overflow.
Warm up the dish on the stove at low to medium heat.
Add a little amount of water to keep moisture for the sauce. Cover with the lid on the pan and let it warm for 10-12 minutes.
Stir it frequently during reheating.
If it is frozen, begin it by covering with the lid on medium heat and allow the heat to thaw the mixture.
Reheating Hamburger Helper in a microwave is the easiest way of reheating.
Transfer your Hamburger Helper into a microwave-safe dish.
Cover the microwave-safe dish loosely and keep it in the microwave for 3 minutes.
For prevention of overcooking the dish stir every 30-45 seconds.
While microwaving the dish, take care of sauce thickness. You may require to add a very small such as1 Tablespoon of water to your sauce to adjust the right thickness.
Reheating in the oven is another good option. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit,
Take an oven-safe dish and spread the food into it. You can top with cheese if you want additional flavor.
Warm it for 20-30 minutes or till it gets warmed.
Quick Tip: If it’s too dry when reheating, you can add broth instead of water to make it moist.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Add Milk When Reheating Hamburger Helper?
We recommend starting reheating by adding small amounts of water to your Hamburger Helper.
Though, you can add milk to thicken your sauce once it gets warm.
How do you fix runny Hamburger Helper?
If your Hamburger Helper gets more runny consistency, you can fix it by adding more butter.
You can also add cream or sour cream at the end (eg. for the Potato Stroganoff).
Even though it is not getting desired consistency, you can use a bit of corn starch. For adding corn starch, you need to dissolve 1 tsp corn starch in 1 tsp water and then add it into the dish.
Can you cook Hamburger Helper without meat?
Yes, you can make Hamburger Helper without meat.
Making Hamburger Helper without meat is very quick and easy.
Just add the same measure of liquid-like normally used.
You can add veggies in Hamburger Helper while cooking.
But take care of the consistency. As it will change as per the vegetables.
Can you substitute ground turkey for ground beef in Hamburger Helper?
Yes, you can use ground turkey for ground beef in the Hamburger Helper recipe.
The ground chicken also goes well in this dish.
As you can see milk is not that difficult to replace in the Hamburger Helper recipe.
However, if you don’t have milk on hand, you have plenty of alternatives above to choose from and meet your cravings.
If you don’t have milk at home, then you can add these aforementioned substitutes for milk in Hamburger Helper.
Some are great alternatives for those who are lactose intolerant.
You should take care of the consistency, flavor, and creaminess of this dish while adding the milk substitution as milk plays a vital role in the flavor and texture of this recipe.