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FAQ

Hamburger Helper® Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the microwave directions for Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni?

  1. Crumble ground beef into 2-quart microwavable casserole dish. Microwave uncovered on high 3 to 5 minutes, breaking up beef after 3 minutes, until brown; drain.
  2. Stir in Sauce Mix, 1 1/4 cups hot water, 2 cups milk and uncooked Pasta.
  3. Microwave uncovered on High 12 to 18 minutes, stirring every 6 minutes, until pasta is tender (sauce will thicken). Dish will be hot. Refrigerate leftovers.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change. 

Q. What are the microwave directions for Hamburger Helper Creamy Stroganoff?

  1. Crumble ground beef into 2-quart microwavable casserole dish. Microwave uncovered on High 3 to 5 minutes, breaking up beef after 3 minutes, until brown; drain.
  2. Stir in Sauce Mix, 3/4 cup hot water, 2 1/4 cups milk and uncooked Pasta.
  3. Microwave uncovered on High 12 to 18 minutes, stirring every 6 minutes, until pasta is tender (sauce will thicken). Dish will be hot. Refrigerate leftovers.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Increase hot water to 1 1/4 cups and last microwave time to 15-21 min.

Q. What are the microwave directions for Hamburger Helper Lasagna?

  1. Crumble ground beef into 2-quart microwavable casserole dish. Microwave uncovered on High 3 to 5 minutes, breaking up beef after 3 minutes, until brown; drain.
  2. Stir in Sauce Mix, 3 cups hot water, 1/2 cup milk and uncooked Pasta.
  3. Microwave uncovered on High 12 to 18 minutes, stirring every 6 minutes, until pasta is tender (sauce will thicken). Dish will be hot. Refrigerate leftovers.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Increase last microwave time to 13-19 min.

Q. What are the microwave directions for Hamburger Helper Beef Pasta?

  1. Crumble ground beef into 2-quart microwavable casserole dish. Microwave uncovered on High 3 to 5 minutes, breaking up beef after 3 minutes, until brown; drain.
  2. Stir in Sauce Mix, 2 1/4 cups hot water, 1 cup milk and uncooked Pasta.
  3. Microwave uncovered on High 12 to 18 minutes, stirring every 6 minutes, until pasta is tender (sauce will thicken). Dish will be hot. Refrigerate leftovers. 

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

Q. Why aren't the noodles, macaroni, rice or potatoes fully cooked in the specified time?

These ingredients won't cook all the way through if you didn't add enough liquid. To measure the liquid, place a liquid measuring cup on your counter, pour in the liquid, bend down and check the amount at eye level. Was the water hot enough? If you're making Hamburger Helper in a skillet, the water should be hot; in the microwave, it should be boiling. And finally, did you cook it long enough? Be sure to simmer for at least the minimum time given in the package directions. But because every range—and even each burner on your range—is different, you may have to adjust the simmering time. Start timing the cooking once the liquid comes to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer.

Q. Why are the noodles, macaroni or rice gummy?

You may not have cooked them long enough. Be sure to simmer for at least the minimum time given in the package directions. But because every range—and even each burner on your range—is different, you may have to adjust the simmering time. Start timing the cooking once the liquid comes to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer. Did you add enough liquid? To measure the liquid, place a liquid measuring cup on your counter, pour in the liquid, bend down and check the amount at eye level. And finally, was the water hot enough? If you're making Hamburger Helper in a skillet, the water should be hot; in the microwave, it should be boiling.

Q. Why is the consistency thin and watery?

You may have added too much liquid. To measure the liquid, place a liquid measuring cup on your counter, pour in the liquid, bend down and check the amount at eye level. Did you cook it long enough? Be sure to simmer for at least the minimum time given in the package directions. But because every range—and even each burner on your range—is different, you may have to adjust the simmering time. Start timing the cooking once the liquid comes to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer. And finally, don't forget to uncover the pan and let the Hamburger Helper cook until it reaches the consistency you like.

Q. Can you prepare half of the package?

We recommend that you make up the whole package. If you split the package, the spices may not be distributed evenly between the 2 halves.

Q. Why isn't the sauce saucy enough?

You may not have added enough liquid. To measure the liquid, place a liquid measuring cup on your counter, pour in the liquid, bend down and check the amount at eye level. Or the product may have stood too long. Don't forget that it continues to thicken as it stands.

Q. Why are the noodles or macaroni too soft?

Here's a tip for keeping them from getting mushy: add the noodles or macaroni after the liquid comes to a boil.

Q. Why are the noodles or macaroni starchy?

You may not have added enough liquid. To measure the liquid, place a liquid measuring cup on your counter, pour in the liquid, bend down and check the amount at eye level. If you're making Hamburger Helper with the oven method, don't use boiling water. Also, be sure to turn the oven on 5 to 10 minutes before you put the casserole in to bring the oven up to the temp called for in the package directions.

Q. Why isn't all of the liquid absorbed when cooked in the microwave?

The casserole isn't quite done and continues to cook and absorb water after you take it out of the microwave. You'll avoid overcooking the casserole if you microwave it only for the time given in the package instructions and then let it stand for 5 minutes to let the sauce thicken.

Q. Why are some of the pieces of noodles or macaroni chewy when cooked in the microwave?

Your microwave just doesn't heat as evenly as your oven does. To make sure the noodles and macaroni cook evenly, stir at the times given in the package instructions, then stir again right after you take the casserole out of the microwave.

Q. Why did the product spill over onto the floor of the microwave?

The product will spill over if you use more than 1 pound of ground beef, so stick to the amount specified in the package directions. Or you may have added too much liquid. To measure the liquid, place a liquid measuring cup on your counter, pour in the liquid, bend down and check the amount at eye level.

Q. Can I reheat leftover Hamburger Helper in the microwave?

Hamburger Helper reheats great in the microwave. Reheat any refrigerated leftover casserole for 1 1/2 minutes per cup.

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