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4.84 from 6 votes

Veggie-Loaded Recipes For Picky Eaters: Healthier Hamburger Helper

This healthier hamburger helper creamy, delicious, easy to make, and loaded with veggies! This one-pot recipe is a perfect hearty dinner. It cooks up in just 30 minutes and can be easily made gluten-free!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carrots, ground beef, pasta, spinach
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 316kcal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 large carrot grated or finely chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups baby spinach roughly chopped or sub 1 cup defrosted frozen spinach
  • 8-10 ounces elbow macaroni or other small-shaped pasta use gluten free for a gluten free option.
  • 3 cups broth
  • ¾ cup plain yogurt whole milk or 2% recommended
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot or high-sided skillet. Add onion and carrot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add ground beef, breaking it up into small crumbles. Cook until browned. Stir salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and paprika. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds to develop the flavors. Add Worcestershire sauce, spinach, pasta, and then stir in the broth.
  • Cover and bring up to a simmer. Cook until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes, stirring every couple minutes to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. If the liquid fully evaporated before the pasta is cooked, stir in an additional ½ cup of broth or water.
  • Remove lid then stir in yogurt and cheese. The pasta will absorb more liquid as it sits, so it’s ok if there seems to be a lot sauce. Taste and add more salt and pepper, as needed.
  • Enjoy warm.


  • cook time will vary based on type of pasta you use. 


Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 526mg | Potassium: 537mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2869IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 3mg