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Vegetarian Hamburger Helper


Soo I recreated a vegetarian version of one of my FAVORITE dishes growing up. Instead of hamburger meat, we used a plant-based ground meat. If you’re looking for plant-based protein alternatives, Lightlife ground meat is a great option! Made with pea protein, it takes less than 5 minutes to cook and you can store it in the freezer until ready to use.

My favorite thing about this recipe (aside from the flavor) is that you can cook it all in one pot (I can’t stand a lot of mess). It also reheats really well (!!) making it great if you want to prep it for lunch or dinner for the week. 

If you have kiddos, they’ll love this. My niece kept commenting that it smelled really good the whole time I was cooking, and she was so excited to eat this for lunch when I was finished. 

5 from 2 votes
Vegetarian Helper
  • 1 pack of plant-based ground meat
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ½ chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of tomato paste
  • 4 cups of veggie broth
  • 1 1/2 cups of dry uncooked elbow pasta
  • 2 cups of cheddar cheese, can be plant-based
  • Cilantro for garnish
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium heat, then add onions and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes until onions are translucent in color. Add ground meat, cook for about 3 minutes (stirring every minute or so).

  2. Toss in spices and tomato paste; cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add vegetable broth and then bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta, then cook for 8 minutes or until about half the liquid has evaporated, stirring every minute. If it dries out too quickly, add about ¼ cup of liquid at a time to achieve desired consistency (and ensure pasta cooks through)
  3. Reduce to simmer and stir in cheese. Cook for another 2 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with cilantro. Enjoy!

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Recipe Rating


2 Comments on Vegetarian Hamburger Helper

  1. Avatar
    February 5, 2021 at 7:35 pm (3 months ago)

    5 stars

    The whole family loved this! Even my picky toddler and “meatetarian” husband who normally won’t touch vegan meat. It was super easy to whip up too, and I added some chopped carrots and celery for more veggies.

  2. Avatar
    March 7, 2021 at 10:34 pm (2 months ago)

    5 stars

    This may seem like an exaggeration but…this recipe is life changing! One on hand it’s so nostalgic to childhood but then it tastes so much better than the original and I know that the ingredients are so much simpler! I loved it!!

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