So, this isn’t exactly a hamburger helper – but it has a similar approach being made in the skillet.
In fact, I’d argue it’s better. Real ingredients make a huge difference.
You’ll find Italian sausage (we used turkey sausage), whole wheat pasta, spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms in this one, along with onion, garlic and parsley!
DIY Hamburger Helper – Italian Style
- 12 oz. whole wheat pasta (we used penne)
- 1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 1 T mined onion
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. parsley
- 1 tsp. oregano or basil, your choice (or, do some of both!)
- 1 can (14 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 C spinach (fresh or frozen)
- 1-2 T milk
- 1/4 C Mozzarella cheese
Begin by browning the Italian sausage in a large skillet. Drain. Then, return the sausage to the skillet and add in 1 can diced tomatoes (undrained), 8 oz. sliced mushrooms, 1 T minced onion, 1 tsp. minced garlic, 1 tsp. parsley, and 1 tsp. mix of basil and oregano.
Add in 1 can of tomato sauce and bring the skillet mixture to a low, slow simmer. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly – about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring your pasta to a boil and cook according to package directions. Drain.
When sauce has thickened, add in 1 C spinach. This can be fresh or frozen, but should be torn or chopped. Add in 1-2 T milk at this point too. Stir.
Add in cooked pasta. Stir well.
Sprinkle the top with 1/4 C shredded mozzarella cheese. Allow the cheese to melt.