Seeing as my Hearty Lasagna Soup didn’t turn out as I thought it would – though we did enjoy it, mind you – I was still thinking lasagna during a recent trip to the grocery store.
While looking for lasagna noodles, I happened to come across an array of Hamburger Helper varieties. Talk about a blast from the past – the distant past. I haven’t thought about or made Hamburger Helper in years.
While checking out the different Hamburger Helper options, I came across Four Cheese Lasagna. Okay, I knew it wasn’t going to be like the lasagna I had been thinking (dreaming?) about, but I figured since General Mills was still manufacturing and selling Hamburger Helper since its introduction in 1971, why not give it a try.
I liked that it was made with real cheese, and contained no artificial colors or flavors from artificial sources. I also liked that I could tweak this dish with my own touches, so I picked up and bought a box.
I had a pound of 90% lean ground beef, milk, a bag of mixed vegetables, shredded mozzarella cheese and a can of diced tomatoes at home. This was going to be Hamburger Helper Four Cheese Lasagna, my way.
There are only a few steps to making the original recipe – brown the beef and drain the fat; stir in hot water, milk, and the sauce mix and pasta to the beef; bring the mixture to a boil; once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring it occasionally. It’s done when the pasta is tender – no one wants crunchy pasta.
To make it a one pot (or in this case, one skillet) meal, my way, I added a bag of mixed vegetables (five minutes in the microwave before adding them to the mixture) and a can of no salt added petite diced tomatoes. After the photo was taken, I was inspired to top the mixture with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Was it like homemade lasagna baked in the oven? No, but it was tasty. And I got a thumbs up from everyone, so this dish was a winner with my family. Yes, I’ll make it again…I’m already planning how to tweak the recipe.
What’s your favorite blast from the past dish?
Drop me a line in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.