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We’re throwing it back to Hamburger Helper days! This easy slow cooker cheesy pasta bake is a simple dinner solution. Use turkey, beef or even sausage!
I haven’t had them in years, Hamburger Helper style casseroles with beef or turkey bring back such memories. Here’s why!
When Matt and I first got married and both had full time jobs, we needed dinners that were quick and cheap. We could buy boxes of Hamburger Helper for $1 a piece and a pound of ground beef for $1 (I know…right???). We’d whip up this skillet pasta and be able to eat from it for 2 days. Things have changed (especially with 3 teenagers in the house who could eat one box themselves!).
This slow cooker cheesy pasta recipe is in honor of the good ol’ days. When Matt tasted this recipe, it immediately took him back. We ate it so much in the past we got sick of it, but after all these years and by making it homemade, it is so much better.
This nostalgic dinner is comforting, versatile, and only needs 3 hours in the slow cooker!
The first box of Hamburger Helper was most likely macaroni and cheese. Just like this one! Add a pound of beef and boom….you just made a new meal. 🙂
**Did you know?? Hamburger Helper was first introduced in 1971 when there was a meat shortage. This type of dinner made it easier to stretch a pound of meat.**
When making this recipe, one thing I had never thought of before was cooking noodles in a slow cooker. It seemed somewhat ok…I had just never tried it. Yes, you can cook noodles in a slow cooker! You’ll need to make sure you have enough liquid…and this recipe includes creamy soups to add to the texture.
Noodles only take about 3 hours to cook in the slow cooker.
**Side Note: You could potentially cook the ground beef or turkey along with the pasta and not brown it in advance. To do this you’d have to use a very lean meat so your pasta didn’t end up greasy.**
After 3 hours this is what you’ll end up with. Simply mix well and you’re ready to serve.
**Pro Tip: We sometimes use slow cooker liners for easy cleanup. This is a great recipe to use those with! No mess at all.**