milk substitutes for hamburger helper

5 Best Milk Substitutes for Hamburger Helper 

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Hamburger Helper is a comforting dish that has been around since the 1970s. It’s an easy meal to make and is perfect for busy days when you need to get dinner on the table quickly. 

But what if you don’t want to use milk in your Hamburger Helper? No problem! There are several milk substitutes that work just as well in this classic dish. 

What are the best milk substitutes for Hamburger Helper? You can use other dairy products that are already in your fridge, such as evaporated milk, mayo, sour cream, or yogurt. Non-dairy milk, like oat milk, can also be a great option.

In this blog, let’s find out about the top 5 best milk substitutes for Hamburger Helper.

What Is Hamburger Helper? 

Hamburger Helper is a meal kit that has been around since the 1970s. This affordable and convenient dinner option has been a staple for many American households for decades. 

It is made up of a box of pasta, seasonings, and a sauce mix that you mix in with your cooked ground beef. It’s a one-pan dinner that can be ready in just under 30 minutes. 

The best thing about Hamburger Helper is that you can customize it to your liking. You can add in extra vegetables, swap out the ground beef for chicken or turkey, or even add in shredded cheese for a more decadent dinner.

Another great advantage of Hamburger Helper is that it is an affordable and convenient dinner option. A box of Hamburger Helper typically costs less than five dollars and can feed up to four people. 

It’s an excellent option for those on a budget or looking for a quick and easy dinner option. It’s also perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have time to cook.

If you want to make your Hamburger Helper dinners even better, there are several creative ways to do so. You can add extra vegetables like carrots, peas, or bell peppers to make them more nutritious. 

You can also swap out the pasta for rice, quinoa, or potatoes to switch things up. If you have an adventurous palette, you can even make your own seasoning mix to customize the flavor of your Hamburger Helper.

What if you are fresh out of milk? Can you substitute the milk for another dairy or non-dairy option in your fridge? Let’s take a look at some great substitutes for milk to make your Hamburger helper. 

5 Best Milk Substitutes for Hamburger Helper 

You will find the 5 best milk substitutes for hamburger helped summarized in the table below, and then described in more detail after.

RankProductKey Features
1.Evaporated MilkRich and creamy, lower fat than heavy cream, longer shelf life
2.MayonnaiseTangy flavor, slight creaminess, easily accessible pantry staple
3.Sour CreamTangy and thick consistency, adds depth of flavor
4.Greek YogurtHealthier option, with a creamy and thicker texture, and a richer flavor
5.Oat MilkCholesterol and lactose-free, rich in fiber and nutrients

1. Evaporated Milk

If you’re looking for a milk substitute that is rich and creamy, evaporated milk is a great option.  Evaporated milk is a condensed version of regular milk, which means it has less water content. 

evaporated milk

This means it is thicker and creamier than milk, making it the perfect substitute for creating a smooth and velvety sauce for your Hamburger Helper. 

Evaporated milk is also a good substitute for those who want to consume less fat. It contains less fat than heavy cream or whole milk while still providing the creaminess needed to make your Hamburger Helper delicious. 

One of the biggest advantages of evaporated milk is that it has a longer shelf life than regular milk. Canned evaporated milk can be stored for up to a year, compared to regular milk, which typically lasts for a week or two. 

This makes it a convenient choice for those who don’t always have fresh milk on hand. That’s why it is considered one of the best milk substitutes for Hamburger Helper! 

2. Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise may seem like an unlikely replacement for milk, but it works surprisingly well. It adds a tangy flavor to your dish and gives it a slight creaminess. The best part is that it’s a pantry staple, so you’re likely to have it on hand. 


First, prepare the Hamburger Helper as you usually would, except add two tablespoons of mayonnaise for every cup of milk the recipe calls for. You can either reduce the amount of water or use the same amount for cooking the pasta and softening the vegetables. 

Keep stirring the mixture over low heat until the mayonnaise melts and blends into the sauce. Then, you can taste the Hamburger Helper and adjust the seasoning as needed. 

You may need to add more salt, pepper, or dried herbs to balance out the tanginess of the mayonnaise. You can also add grated cheese, chopped onions, or sliced mushrooms to enhance the flavor and texture of the dish. 

Hamburger Helper is a versatile dish that can accommodate many types of ingredients and seasonings, depending on your taste buds and pantry staples.

3. Sour Cream

Sour cream is another dairy-based option that makes a great milk substitute. It has a tangy flavor and a thick consistency that mimics the creaminess of the milk. Plus, it won’t dilute the flavor of your dish as other substitutes might. 

sour cream

The general rule is to use one cup of sour cream per cup of milk. However, you might want to adjust the amount based on your preference for creaminess. If you like it thicker and creamier, you can use more sour cream, and vice versa. 

It’s important to note that using sour cream instead of milk will change the flavor profile of your hamburger helper. It’ll add a slight tang and depth to your dish. 

If you’re worried about the tang being overpowering, use a little less sour cream than what the milk measurement calls for to start. You can add more for a stronger flavor.

Incorporating sour cream as a milk substitute in your hamburger helper recipe is an easy swap-out. Once you’ve browned your meat and added your dry mix, you typically add hot water and milk. 

Instead, sub in the sour cream in place of the milk amount, and add water as you would normally. Add the sour cream and stir well until it is evenly combined and creamy.

Some people prefer to heat their sour cream first before using it in their recipe. However, this isn’t necessary, and it actually might cause the sour cream to separate. Just make sure that the sour cream and other ingredients are at room temperature before mixing.

You’ll notice a big difference in the texture of your hamburger helper. It will be creamier yet still hold its shape and be less liquid than the original. The flavor profile will also have more depth and a subtle tang, thanks to the sour cream. 

4. Greek Yogurt

Adding Greek yogurt to your Hamburger Helper elevates the dish to another level. Greek yogurt is a healthier option as it is low in fat and higher in protein content. Additionally, Greek yogurt contains calcium, which helps maintain healthy bones and teeth. 

greek yogurt

Replacing milk with Greek yogurt in Hamburger Helper provides a creamier and thicker texture. It also enhances the flavor and creaminess of the sauce, providing a satisfying taste that will leave you craving more.

Replacing milk with Greek yogurt is a simple and easy process. Switch the milk with an equal amount of Greek yogurt. 

To avoid curdling, add the Greek yogurt gradually and stir continuously. Once the Greek yogurt is well mixed, add it to the recipe as instructed. You’ll find that the Hamburger Helper will have a richer flavor and creamier texture.

This meal pairs well with garlic bread or a slice of crusty bread. You can also add toppings such as shredded cheese, chopped parsley or basil, and crushed red pepper to enhance the flavor further. 

5. Oat Milk

One of the main benefits of using oat milk in Hamburger Helper is that it contains no cholesterol or lactose, making it a healthier option for those looking to reduce their cholesterol levels. 

oat milk

Additionally, oat milk is rich in fiber and nutrients such as B vitamins and iron, making it a nutritious choice for your recipe.

The good news is that using oat milk in your Hamburger Helper recipe is a straightforward process. Simply replace the milk in your recipe with oat milk, using the same amount. 

Keep in mind that oat milk has a slightly sweet taste, so you may want to add a pinch of salt to your dish to balance out the flavor. To make the sauce a bit thicker, you can also add a teaspoon of cornstarch to the oat milk before adding it to the dish.

Oat milk pairs well with savory flavors and works great in creamy sauces. If you’re using oat milk in a recipe that calls for milk, make sure to use unsweetened oat milk. Sweetened oat milk can overpower the other flavors in your dish and make it too sweet.

Apart from being one of the excellent milk substitutes for Hamburger Helper, oat milk also has other benefits. For example, it is environmentally friendly, as it requires less water and land to produce than cow’s milk.

If you don’t have oat milk, you can also use other plant-based milk like almond milk, rice milk, or coconut milk. Note that using plant-based milk doesn’t make the milk lactose-free; Hamburger Helper contains buttermilk, which is lactose.

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