I used to make Hamburger Helper often for my children who loved it. I still make it once in a while now since it’s easy and convenient. I like to provide Kirby a variety of meals so this is his canine variation. He has quite a few meals with potatoes or brown rice for his carbs so I always make this one with pasta for a nice change. I use the small pasta like elbow macaroni or bowties. Al dente is the perfect texture for humans but I cook his pasta to a mushy texture to make it easier for him to digest.
Hamburger Helper Canine Style
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Nutrition facts: 353 Calories, 99 Calories from fat Total fat: 11g or 17% (4.8g saturated fat, 0.0g trans fat)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cups hot water + 1 cup low fat milk*
- 5.3 oz plain greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups small pasta or shredded potatoes OR 1 cup of brown rice
- 1 cup finely chopped veggies
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground egg shell
- 2 tablespoons flour + 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet or dutch oven. I used ground chuck but if you used ground beef you may need to drain the grease. If adding any veggies then saute them with the ground beef. This time I added one large green pepper.
- Add the hot water, milk, and yogurt.
- Add the seasonings and pasta. I also added a can of black beans I had rinsed well.
- Add the whisked 2 tablespoons flour + 1 tablespoon water to the pot to thicken the sauce.
- Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta and beans are to an almost mushy texture.
- Stir in the cheese and cover the pot again for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
- Remove from the heat and uncover. The sauce will thicken in about five minutes.
- Let cool and serve.
*Milk makes the sauce creamier. If your dog has a problem digesting milk then use lactose free milk or water.
** This has the same thickening effect as cornstarch which should be avoided.
*** Omit or use less of the cheese if you are concerned about calories.
Options to add:
- Use canned stewed or diced tomatoes. Reduce the hot water by 1/4 cup because you’re also adding some liquid from the tomatoes. (ripe tomatoes are considered safe, it’s the green tomatoes and stems that are toxic for dogs)
- A cup of Beans - Black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, lima beans, red beans, lentils, pintos, are considered super foods for dogs but must be cooked to the point of mush. Dry beans need to be soaked overnight and changing the water can help reduce the production of intestinal gas.