Serves 6 servings     adjust servings

Healthier Slow Cooker Hamburger Helper

Preparation 10 mins Prep Time
Cook Time 8 hours Cook Time
Total Time 8:10 Total Time

A healthier, homemade version of Hamburger Helper made completely in the slow cooker -- yes, even the pasta! (And no, it's not mushy and overcooked!)


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I used red)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes (or more, if you like it spicy!)
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 cup beef broth, low sodium
  • 1 1/2 cups seasoned tomato or pasta sauce
  • 3 cups dry, uncooked macaroni or other short pasta (I used Rotini this time)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese


  1. In a medium skillet, cook ground beef and onion until beef is browned and onion is translucent. Add to a 4-6 quart slow cooker (I recommend lining with a Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner!).
  2. Add in bell pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, spinach, milk, beef broth and tomato sauce and stir. Cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  3. minutes before serving, stir in pasta. Cover and let cook for 20-30 minutes. Stir in cheese (covering for 2-3 minutes if necessary to melt the cheese) and serve.


Recipe Notes

*Nutrition information is estimated and will vary depending on exact serving size, types and brands of products used.

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