Vegan Hamburger Helper

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:55 mins
Total Time:1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 693kcal


  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 lb vegan groundI used Beyond Meat
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne or chipotleoptional
  • 3 tablespoon brandy or white wineoptional
  • ½ cup pasta saucepomodoro or marinara
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup soy milkor cashew or light coconut milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • salt and pepperto taste

Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 medium potatopeeled and chopped
  • 1 medium carrotpeeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion or shallot
  • 4 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup olive or capers brineoptional
  • 1 teaspoon vegan lactic acidor 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid aminosor tamari
  • salt and pepperto taste


  • Add the chopped potato and carrots to a large pot. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil until the potatoes are cooked for about 15 to 20 minutes.
    1 medium potato,1 medium carrot
  • Remove from heat. Add the cooked potato and carrot to a bowl with the cooking liquid. Set aside to cool.
  • Return the empty pot to the stove over medium heat. Allow any remaining liquid to evaporate then add the oil.
    2 tablespoon oil
  • Add the onions and cook until they start to brown for about 3 minutes.
    1 large onion
  • Add the garlic with the vegan ground. Use a spoon to break it up into smaller pieces. Cook until it’s browned for about 5 minutes.
    2 cloves garlic,1 lb vegan ground
  • Lightly season with salt and pepper. Many of the other ingredients already have salt added. It’s best to be light-handed with the salt at the beginning and add more if needed at the end of cooking.
    salt and pepper
  • Stir in the paprika, cayenne/chipotle, brandy and pasta sauce. Cook for 4 minutes while scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
    1 teaspoon paprika,½ teaspoon cayenne or chipotle,½ cup pasta sauce,3 tablespoon brandy or white wine
  • Pour in veggie stock and soy milk. Add the bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil for about 3 minutes at high heat.
    3 cups vegetable stock,½ cup soy milk,1 bay leaf
  • Remove the lid and stir in the macaroni. Cover and cook for 9 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking.
    8 oz elbow macaroni
  • Meanwhile, in a blender, combine cooked potato and carrots with the remaining ingredients for the cheese sauce. Add ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and blend until creamy. Season lightly with salt (about ½ tsp) and pepper. Again, you can always add more at the end.
    1 clove garlic,1 small onion or shallot,4 tablespoon nutritional yeast,¼ cup olive or capers brine,1 teaspoon vegan lactic acid,1 teaspoon liquid aminos,salt and pepper
  • Reduce the heat to low and stir in the vegan cheese sauce. Continue to cook on low until it thickens for about 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve warm.


  • Lactic acid, apple cider vinegar, olive brine and capers brine all give the sauce a sharp, cheesier taste. Use one or a combination of all of them and adjust to your taste.
  • You can also use 1 ½ cups (170g) of your favourite brand of vegan cheddar cheese in place of the cheese sauce.
  • Try soy crumbles, cooked lentils or your preferred brand of meatless ground for this recipe.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container or in the freezer for up to a month.
  • Reheat in the microwave or stovetop with a bit of water added.
  • Recipe adapted from New York Times.
  • More vegan one-pot recipes: Sweet Potato Chili, One-Pot Pasta, Jambalaya.