Sometimes throwing ingredients together works and sometimes it doesn't but in this case, it worked hence this blog post. Of course, you can substitute ingredients to your liking but this will give you a good baseline to make a Gourmet Hamburger Helper. Depending on your grocery expenses, I believe this recipe is also budget friendly. You have some flexibility in the brand and quality of the ingredients, too.
A box of clean mac-n-cheese (I like this brand; gluten free? try this one)
3 tbs basil pesto (or DIY here)
1 tbs sun-dried tomatoes (not dried; like this)
leftover meatloaf cut into chunks (like this or this) or meatballs of your choice
1. Cook mac n cheese according to package. While pasta is boiling, prepare your leftover meatloaf or if using pre-made meatballs, heat them and slice into quarters.
2. If you need to make your own pesto, you can blend it up pretty quick in the blender (see how to above) while the pasta is boiling. If you're using pre-made, skip this step until ready to add.
3. I like to cut the sun-dried tomatoes in halves and use some of the oil that they're soaking in for this recipe for added flavor and dimension. (If you cannot find organic sun-dried tomatoes, make sure the oil is olive oil and nothing inferior like canola.)
4. Drain pasta and make the cheese sauce as indicated on the package (I prefer to add the butter to give it a creamier taste). When done, add the pasta back in and stir in the pesto, tomatoes, and finally add the leftover meatloaf. Give it a good stir and voila! Serve.
You'll find that the Gourmet Hamburger Helper has a smooth taste and definitely not one note at all.
Do make this recipe and come back and share your take. What did you do differently?
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