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Vegan Hamburger Helper

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Let’s VEGANIZE the CHILDHOOD CLASSIC! We’re makin’ VEGAN Hamburger Helper!

Growing up, I don’t remember eating Hamburger Helper as much as I probably should. Not entirely sure why as my parents both worked full time and wouldn’t get home until 6 and often times didn’t want to spend too much time cooking. We would have tons of macaroni and cheese and they would even sneak tuna and peas in there! I was a picky eater and didn’t like stuff to touch on my plate, much less be combined, so I’d spend about 10 minutes picking out all the tuna and peas. Perhaps that’s why they never tried it? Which is weird, because I’m sure I would’ve loved this! Because honestly, what’s not to love about Mac n’ Cheese and Vegan Beef? A match made in heaven if you ask me!

Quick vs. Traditional

I’ve actually got 2 recipes for this. One is ready in less than 15 minutes and has very few ingredients. The other takes a bit more time, but has more depth of flavor. The quick one is still really good however!

Also, for the quick one, the only unusual ingredient we are using is Sodium Citrate, it’s an emulsifier that I’ve recently learned about and it’s changed my cheese sauce game! It makes the cheese sauce smooth and creamy, not unlike Velveeta! Even after the cheese cools down, it still says velvety instead of clumpy and coagulated.

However, if you don’t want to use Sodium Citrate you can simply just melt your vegan cheese with some unsweetened plant milk, the texture won’t be quite as good, but it will still be delicious!

Here’s a handy dandy VIDEO that will show the quick and easy way!

Don’t wanna use store-bought plant based meat? Use this TOFU GROUND BEEF Recipe instead!

If you are interested in recommendations for Kitchen Gear, Spices & Pantry Items, or what I use for my Photos and Videos, please click HERE!

This post contains affiliate links, at no additional cost to you! Anything I earn will be put back into making recipes and videos for y’all. Thanks buds!

Vegan Hamburger Helper

Vegan Hamburger Helper

Thee Burger Dude
5 from 6 votes



  • 12 oz. plant based meat
  • Steak or burger seasoning or your favorite all purpose seasoning
  • 8 oz macaroni pasta
  • 8 oz vegan cheddar cheese shreds
  • 4 oz water
  • 1/2 tsp Sodium Citrate
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Hot Sauce to taste
  • Vegan sour cream to taste

Topping Ideas

  • Onions
  • Vegan Sour Cream
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Pickles
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onions


  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 Tbsp of vegan butter divided in half, so 2 sets of 2 Tbsp
  • 12 oz. plant based meat
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle in adobo
  • 1/2 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 8 oz pasta Elbow Mac or Cavatappi
  • 2 cups beefless broth or veggie broth
  • 8 oz vegan cheese shreds
  • 1/4 cup vegan sour cream



  • Cook your pasta according to package instructions.
  • While pasta cooks, brown your plant-based meat in a pan over medium heat.
  • Season to taste with whatever you like, I used some steak seasoning I got at Vons.
  • Once your meat is cooked to your liking, set aside in a bowl.
  • Add your water and sodium citrate to a pan and heat up, dissolve the sodium citrate.
  • Add in your vegan cheddar shreds and stir until melted and smooth.
  • Drain your cooked pasta and add to the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
  • Then fold in your vegan beef. That's it, you're done!
  • Garnish with chives, green onions, parsley, mustard, ketchup, vegan sour cream, really whatever you want will be good!
  • Enjoy!


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp of the butter and then add the onions. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes or so.
  • Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Add the other 2 Tbsp of butter along with the vegan plant based meat. Crumble and cook until browned, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, garlic salt, and turmeric. Stir to combine and cook for a minute.
  • Add the ketchup, dijon mustard, hot sauce, chipotle in adobo and worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine.
  • Add the uncooked pasta and beefless (or veggie) broth. Bring to a low boil, then cover and simmer on medium low until pasta is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the vegan cheese shreds and sour cream, stir until cheese melts. Add more broth or plant milk if you want it creamier.
  • Serve immediately and ENJOY!
Keyword vegan hamburger helper
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  1. I make the traditional version for my family almost weekly—my 5 and 2 year olds love it. The 5 year old hates anything with even a hint of spiciness right now so we sun the chipotle peppers for BBQ sauce and it works great. I keep the tbsp of hot sauce though, it doesn’t make the end product spicy but adds good flavor. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  2. 5 stars
    Don’t know why it took me so long, but I finally made this last night (quick recipe) and my mega picky, non-vegan 14-year old daughter LOVED it. She demanded that I make this at least once a week. 🙂 THANK YOU!

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