Decades ago, hamburger helpers were a life-saver for many families. They were a one-pack dish packed with carbs, protein, and flavor, making it a complete meal for those on a tight budget. This product became so popular that it gave rise to varieties like lasagna, tuna helper, chicken helper, cheeseburger macaroni, and more.
Now, hamburger helpers are less popular and necessary than before. Indeed, many only prepare them on days out of nostalgia. There are many recipes for homemade hamburger helpers, and if you’re making one, check out these 13 perfect hamburger helper sides for some extra flavors.
Garlic bread with hamburger helper is a classic, but you can take it further by making the cheesiest garlic bread ever! This recipe tops a ciabatta bread with a butter, garlic, and cheese mixture and takes less than 30 minutes to complete. It’s entitled three cheese because you’ll use parmesan, cream cheese, and mozzarella cheese. You’ll also need some parsley, salt and lemon juice for more flavor.
If you prefer bread that’s less cheesy and you can pop into your mouth, eat your hamburger helper with garlic knots instead! Garlic knots are golden brown, bite-sized dough treats that are soft and fluffy and are topped with a garlic butter mixture. If you want some cheesiness, feel free to add grated Parmesan cheese to the topping.
Perfect buttermilk biscuits are a fantastic shade of gold, an incredibly flaky, buttery-rich, and subtly sweet treat because of the added honey. They’re phenomenal with hamburger helpers, as they help sop up the juicy, delectable flavors. Compared to homemade garlic knots, they also take much less time to make – eight pieces take only 35 minutes, whereas the garlic knots can take 3 hours from start to finish.
Healthy sides are also perfect with hamburger helpers; one such option is this plate of delicious, roasted green beans. They’re simple yet tasty, with the fresh green beans absorbing the flavors of olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and unique roasted food. The tricky part of this dish is making sure the beans are kept crisp yet tender, so ensure you don’t overcook them.
Plainly-cooked brussels sprouts are an excellent side dish to many entrees, including hamburger helper. However, if you want to elevate this simple vegetable, follow this recipe for buffalo brussels sprouts! The buffalo sauce covers the brussels sprouts with the right balance of heat, saltiness, and butteriness. You also have the choice to add a bit of honey to bring down that spiciness for just a little bit.
6. Garden Salad
A side salad contributes freshness to your hamburger helper meal, and what better way to do that than with a garden salad? Garden salads are meant to be convenient, so they’re made with whatever vegetables you have on hand, like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. Those varying textures and flavors are brought together by the tasty, homemade dressing made from cider vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
Spinach strawberry salad combines the best of two worlds: fruits and vegetables. That’s because the healthy freshness of the spinach combined with the sweet juiciness of strawberries does wonders for the taste buds. Besides the two, there are also feta cheese, onions, pecans, and homemade balsamic dressing. All these make this salad deeply delicious and incredible with hamburger helper.
With a hamburger helper, steamed or roasted broccoli is highly recommended, but for a novel way to enjoy these crunchy florets, try making a salad! This recipe combines broccoli with dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and bacon bits for an excellent complex of texture and flavor. The dressing that ties everything together is a creamy mix of mayo, cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
9. Creamed Corn
If you want some creamy, juicy and sweet with your hamburger helper, serve it with a casserole full of creamed corn. Creamed corn is an American favorite for Thanksgiving, so like hamburger helper, it brings a bit of nostalgia when you taste it. But besides the sweetness, creaminess, and memories, this recipe also provides a kick of heat and spice. That’s because the corn is also flavored with hot cayenne pepper.
Carrots are a favorite vegetable to serve with hamburger helper. You can have it in several ways, roasted, grilled, or, best of all, glazed. These brown sugar glazed carrots are wonderfully sweet, buttery, and tender, perfect for a wide range of entrees. They take only 20 minutes to make, and you can add a pinch of lemon juice if the flavors are too rich.
Potato fries are a classic side dish and snack, but if you want a healthy alternative, these baked zucchini fries will do the trick! They’re tender-crisp, cheesy, and flavorful and made with five ingredients only: zucchini, egg, parmesan, garlic powder, and Italian spice. You can serve it with lemon parsley aioli or use it to soak up the hamburger helper’s flavors.
As mentioned, carrots are excellent with hamburger helpers. Another way to serve them is by flavoring them with honey instead of brown sugar. They’re still deliciously sweet but in a different, lighter way. Like the brown sugar glazed carrots, there is a caramelization process in this recipe because of the roasting. However, there’s no butter – just olive oil – so it feels and tastes less heavy.
Another side dish that’s great for sopping up savory flavors is roasted cauliflower. It may sound plain, even bland, but this recipe has some flavor because the cauliflower is seasoned with garlic powder, salt, paprika, and pepper. Roasting also provides a bit of caramelization and endows the vegetable with an excellent brown color. This is perfect for those who don’t want overly flavorful dishes.