mamas little helper pasta recipe

Mama’s Little Helper (Pasta Recipe)

Pickle Planet Moncton thanks mom-of-two and Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant & Movin’ Munchkins founder Katie Gillingham for sharing fun, healthy ideas for feeding your family.

This is the best, tasty, healthy, and homemade version of hamburger helper! For busy parents, this one can be made as an easy crockpot recipe, or you can also make on the stove.


  • 1 lb (454g) lean ground beef, preferably grass-fed & naturally-raised
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 c finely chopped kale (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes
  • 2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 c water
  • 1/3 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked or regular paprika
  • 1.5 c dry 100% whole grain macaroni
  • 1/2 c plain, nonfat greek yoghurt
  • 1/3 c grated white cheddar




In a pan on the stovetop, brown the beef and drain off any extra fat. In a crockpot, combine browned beef with onion, garlic, kale, carrots, tomatoes, almond milk, water, nutritional yeast, chili, salt and paprika. Stir to combine and cook on high setting for about 3 hours (or low setting for 6 hours).  After 3 hours on high, add dry macaroni and let mixture cook another half hour or until noodles tender (If using low setting, cook your macaroni separately, drain and add to crockpot). Stir in yoghurt and cheddar until well-blended, then remove from heat and serve.

To cook on stovetop, brown beef in large pot and then add onion, garlic, kale, carrots, tomatoes, almond milk, water, nutritional yeast, chili, salt, and paprika. Bring to a boil, then simmer until veggies are tender. Add pasta and cook to desired tenderness, then stir in yoghurt and cheese.

Makes about 11 cups.


About KatieSimple Balance2015 (77)

I’m Katie, a C.N.N.P., C.H.N (Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant), and mom to one active (but lovely!) little boy and one adorable (yet demanding!) baby girl, so I can relate to the busy life with a family. My real passion is helping people and families make permanent, healthy changes in realistic and enjoyable ways!

Katie is the founder of New Brunswick-based Movin’ Munchkins and formerly of Simple-Balance NB.

One thought on “Mama’s Little Helper (Pasta Recipe)

  1. peady July 13, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    This sounds so yummy! I am sure any kid would love it!

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