Comfort Food, Dairy-Free Cooking, Recipe Substitutions

Can you make a hamburger helper without milk?

It’s common to run out of ingredients while making your recipes. It’s also common not to like any particular ingredient. Talking about ingredients, a lot of ingredients go into making a hamburger helper. Apart from the ingredients present in the box, you need other ingredients also to make it. What will happen if you don’t have an ingredient like milk available with you.

Can you make a hamburger helper without milk? Whether you don’t like milk or don’t have it, you can use its substitutes to make a hamburger helper. However, your hamburger helper might lack thick consistency without using milk or any substitutes.

Hamburger helper without milk

Milk brings thick and creamy consistency to hamburger helper, making the pasta tasty. Without it, your pasta might look dull and taste like regular pasta. You can use so many alternatives to milk while making a packet of hamburger helper. Here’s the process of making hamburger helper without milk:

  1. Saute ground beef in a high skillet on medium flame. Set it aside and remove any extra grease from it.
  2. Chop one sweet yellow onion and cook it until it gets soft. This will take only 5 minutes. Now add garlic in the last few seconds.
  3. Add some flour and stir it for about 1 minute. Add the beef broth slowly. Let the whole mixture boil.
  4. Add the pasta and seasoning from the hamburger helper, and stir tomato sauce. Cover the pan with a lid until the pasta is cooked. Keep stirring in between.
  5. In this step, you were supposed to add milk, but here are the substitutes as you don’t want milk.

Substitutes of milk

Kitchen staples

These are the substitutes that can be easily found in your pantry, kitchen cabinets, or fridge.

1. Water: Most hamburger helpers use water as an ingredient in the sauce. You can simply use water to add liquid to the recipe when you want to use or have the milk. You might lose some texture and flavor, but the sauce will still be thick and tasty.

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However, if you don’t want to lose the exotic flavor, add a tbsp of butter with each water cup. The butter itself will be as thick as milk, but with water, it will enhance your sauce with fat.

Amount: Use the same amount of water as the milk.

2. Half and Half

When you run out of your regular milk, half and half are there to rescue you. It’ll give you the creamier, thick consistency milk gives. Unfortunately, it also has double the fat milk has.

Amount: Use the same amount of half and half as milk. Or you can also use ½ cup water and ½ cup half and half in place of a cup of milk.

3. Dry milk powder: No more worries when you don’t have fresh milk, just use dry milk powder. Mix the powder with water, and you have milk.

Amount: Just do what the instructions on the packet or can of milk powder say to make one cup of milk.

4. Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise is something you don’t run out of very soon. It has an exotic texture that is perfect for making hamburger helper. It gets its richness from oils and eggs, giving your pasta a thick consistency.

Mayo has a tangy flavor, so it can give your hamburger helper a delicious new taste. Unfortunately, it has a thicker consistency than milk, so you’ll have to add some more water.

Amount: In place of using water, you can simply use ⅓ of the quantity of milk for mayo. That means for 3 tbsp of milk; you’ll use 1 tbsp of mayo.

5. Bouillon: Mix bouillon cube with boiling water and add it to the pan. There’s meat present in bouillon, so it’s less likely to affect the taste of your hamburger helper. Just make sure your meal is not getting too salty.

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Amount: Sodium is already present in the seasoning with hamburger helper. So for one cup of milk, you’ll take half water and half bouillon. It’s a great substitute for those who want their dish to be savory and lighter.

6. Mushroom Soup: Grab mushroom soup to substitute for milk. If you have concentrated soup, mix it with water first. Then add the soup to the pan like milk.

Mushroom soup will bring the same amount of thickness and flavor, just like milk to your hamburger helper. You can also use onion or potato soup if you don’t have mushroom soup.

Dairy alternatives

What’s better than substituting one dairy product for another dairy product. It will give you the same consistency and flavor as milk.

1. Evaporated Milk: The best substitute for milk is evaporated milk to make a hamburger helper. Evaporated milk is milk, but most of the water is removed with the help of heat.

Amount: The makers of Hamburger Helper recommend ½ cup water and ½ cup evaporated milk for 1 cup of milk. You have to add water because evaporated milk has a sweet caramel-like flavor, and it’s not best for a savory dish.

2. Cream: You can use heavy cream, cooking cream, double cream, or whipping cream to make hamburger helper. However, you should avoid dessert cream as it’s sweet.

Amount: You can use cream in place of milk in equal quantities. This exchange will give your dish a rich flavor. If you want your dish to be less heavy, mix half water and half cream.

3. Sour cream: Give your dish a rich creaminess with a tangy flavor with sour cream.

Amount: You can either use the same amount of sour cream as milk or mix half sour cream and half water.

4. Cream cheese: Cheese works best with hamburger recipes, so you can use it in place of milk to make a hamburger helper. You can also flavor cheese like garlic or herb or just plain cream cheese.

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Its texture is much thicker as compared to milk. Therefore, it is advised that you should melt the cream cheese separately before using it in your dish.

Amount: You don’t have to replace the same amount of milk with cheese. Instead, use half the amount and add some water to the cream cheese.

5. Buttermilk: Buttermilk also gives your dish a tangy flavor richer than sour cream. Its consistency is the same as milk.

Amount: Because of its thin texture, like milk, you can replace equal amounts of milk with buttermilk.

6. Yogurt: Take the plain yogurt from your breakfast menu and use it to make a hamburger helper. It’s less heavy than sour cream or cream, so that’s an advantage. It also resembles the flavor of milk without any tanginess like other creams or buttermilk.

Amount: Use equal amounts of yogurt-like milk to make your hamburger helper.

7. Other dairies: Camel, goat, or sheep milk can also be used while making hamburger helper in place of cow’s milk. Use the same amount as cow’s milk. The creaminess and texture of your dish will remain the same, but the taste can change.

Plant-based alternatives

Plant-based milk doesn’t give your dish the same thickness, so use a little cornstarch to get the thickness.

1. Soy milk: Take an equal amount of unsweetened and unflavored soy milk.

2. Coconut milk: Use the same amount of coconut milk as your regular milk.




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