Before you turn up your nose and think, "God Lord, who eats Hamburger Helper?" consider the fact that General Mills did like a billion in sales last year, and I'm willing to bet at least a percentage of that (re: millions of dollars) was from their boxed-dinner product line. And if flavor proliferation is any indication of brand viability (my guess is "yes" looking at OREO), then Hamburger Helper ain't going anywhere. So, if you, like me, occasionally kick it old-school and indulge in some Hamburger Helper, here are flavors to try:
5. Cheeseburger Macaroni. One of the original flavors of Hamburger Helper, Cheeseburger Macaroni has retained a strong following throughout the years because of its strong cheddar notes and thick, luscious sauce. It's deliciously uncomplicated and good to serve picky children (or adults).
4. Philly Cheesesteak. Additions are the key to maximizing the taste of this variety, which on its own is just fine but a little flat in texture. To create a more realistic cheesesteak experience, throw in some sautéed onions and green peppers. You'll be tempted to scoop it all into a hoagie roll (conveniently forgetting you already have your carbs covered with the pasta).
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3. Crunchy Taco. Like a Frito pie in a skillet, "Crunchy Taco" combines a (somewhat) spicy seasoning mix, corn chips, (powdered) cheese sauce and rice. When these components are added in toto to some ground beef (forget lean, go for chuck), you have a salty albeit terrific Mexicanish supper perfect for when you're too lazy even for takeout tacos.
2. Four Cheese Lasagna. While this flavor tastes nothing like lasagna, I enjoy it nevertheless for its mild tomato notes, hints of garlic and creamy texture. Substitute Italian sausage for hamburger for a richer, spicier meal.
1. Stroganoff. Tip: Before a night of drinking, whip up a batch of this stuff and put it in a large bowl in your fridge. Reheat upon your inebriated arrival home and you'll rethink any past assumptions that Whataburger is the best drunk fare.