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Exactly How To Reheat Hamburger Helper – I Test 4 Methods [Pics]

Hamburger helper is quick and convenient, and the kids love it – that doesn’t mean they always finish it though! 

To find out the best way to reheat Hamburger Helper, I did an experiment and tested four different methods.

I also give you a few storage tips so you can keep your Hamburger Helper fresh.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

The best way to reheat Hamburger Helper is on the stove. Place your leftover hamburger helper in a pan and reheat it over medium-low heat. Stir in a few tablespoons of extra milk or water to help break up and thin the sauce. Reheat the hamburger helper for 3-5 minutes or until it’s piping hot.

A note on my experiment

I made up a box of my favorite Hamburger Helper flavor (the lasagne one), conducted a taste test, and then left the rest in the fridge overnight.

The next day, I tried out four methods to reheat my Hamburger Helper:

  • On the stove (worked great)
  • In the microwave (good for smaller portions)
  • In the oven (okay, but not my favorite)
  • In the air fryer (different and delicious)

Reheating the Hamburger Helper on the stove gave me full control over the final result, which was cheesy and delicious. 

The microwave was fast and worked fine. 

I wasn’t a fan of the oven method because it was slow, and you didn’t have much control over the final outcome. 

If you want to try something a little different, then the air fryer method is worth a go. 

You can make Hamburger Helper muffins!

Reheating Hamburger Helper on the stove

To reheat Hamburger Helper, put it in a pan on the stove and heat it over medium-low heat. The sauce will have thickened after being in the fridge, so stir in a few tablespoons of extra milk or water to thin it out. Stir frequently for 3-5 minutes until the pasta is piping hot. 

How to reheat Hamburger Helper on the stove:

  1. Add the Hamburger Helper to a pan on the stove.
  2. Heat the pan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
  3. Thin the sauce if needed by mixing in some extra milk, water, or stock.
  4. Heat for 3-5 minutes, depending on how much you have in the pot, then serve it when it’s piping hot.

If the pasta has all stuck together during storage, gently pull it apart with a fork or spatula at the beginning of the heating process. 

This will ensure you can stir the dish properly.

I like to add in some extra grated cheese while I’m stirring the sauce too. This makes the pasta super cheesy and delicious. 

My verdict

This method worked well, and I had good control over the final consistency of the dish. 

The sauce ended up just right, not too runny and not too thick.

But the final taste wasn’t too different from when I heated it in the microwave.

So, for smaller portions, the microwave is far less hassle, and there’s less washing up to do. Yay!

Reheating Hamburger Helper in the microwave

To reheat your Hamburger Helper in the microwave, pop it in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a tablespoon of milk and cover it with a damp paper towel or some plastic wrap. Heat the Hamburger Helper in 30-second intervals until heated through. Stir the pasta during each break.

How to reheat Hamburger Helper in the microwave:

  1. Spoon the Hamburger Helper into a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Add a tablespoon of milk, water, or stock to help thin the sauce and add moisture.
  3. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel or some plastic wrap.
  4. Heat the dish in 30-second intervals, stirring during the breaks.
  5. Repeat the sequence until the Hamburger Helper heats through.

Cold Hamburger Helper sauce can be pretty thick, so adding the extra milk helps thin it out and provides moisture for the pasta.

The short time intervals make sure you don’t end up with overcooked, mushy pasta. 

Stick to heating 1-2 portions of Hamburger Helper at a time. Big portions will heat unevenly in the microwave.

My verdict

This method was super quick and easy. 

There’s no beating the microwave for convenience, and the Hamburger Helper tasted fine. 

It wasn’t as good as new, but for a quick lunch, it was perfect. 

Reheating Hamburger Helper in the oven

To reheat the Hamburger Helper in the oven, preheat it to 350°F (180°C). Add a few tablespoons of milk for extra moisture and to thin the sauce. Put the Hamburger Helper into an ovenproof dish and cover the dish with foil. Heat the dish for 10 minutes, remembering to stir it halfway through.

How to reheat Hamburger Helper in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and put the Hamburger Helper is in an oven-safe dish.
  2. Add 2-3 tablespoons of milk to the Hamburger Helper for extra moisture.
  3. Cover the dish with foil to prevent it from drying out.
  4. Heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir the Hamburger Helper halfway through heating and check on its progress. Add more liquid if the mixture seems dry.

For a crunchy, cheesy top, remove the foil for the last few minutes and top the pasta with grated cheese… YUM.

My verdict

I didn’t like this method because it was hard to see what was going on in the dish, when it was done, or if it needed more moisture.

However, the cheesy topping was delicious.

If you have a large quantity of Hamburger Helper to reheat, the oven can work okay, but I preferred using the stove or the microwave.

Reheating Hamburger Helper in the air fryer

You can reheat Hamburger Helper in the air fryer by making ‘muffins’ out of small portions dropped into a muffin tray or case. Set the air fryer to 350°F (180°C) fill your muffin trays with a ball of Hamburger Helper and a little cheese. Heat for 5-6 minutes until the balls are hot and crispy.

This isn’t a traditional way to reheat Hamburger Helper, but it’s tasty nonetheless!

I loved the crispy bits of pasta, and the extra cheese made the muffins very moreish.

I got the idea for this method from my experiment with reheating Kraft mac and cheese, where it worked well (so I thought, why wouldn’t it work well here too). 

How to make Hamburger Helper taste better

If your Hamburger Helper is a little too bland, then you can spice it up by adding a pinch of your favorite herb or spice. 

My personal favorite is a little sprinkle of nutmeg – anything cheesy will go well with nutmeg. 

Don’t forget plain old salt and pepper too. 

Sometimes that’s all a meal is missing.

Freshly minced garlic can work wonders to jazz up the meal. And for some added zing, you can include a strong-tasting cheese or a squeeze of lemon juice.

For something deliciously decadent, add onion and fried bacon bits – heavenly!

How to store Hamburger Helper

To store Hamburger Helper, first, allow the dish to cool to room temperature. This prevents too much condensation from forming in the container, making the sauce watery. Once it has cooled, transfer the Hamburger Helper to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for 3-4 days.

You can also store Hamburger Helper in the freezer for 3 -4 months.

The Hamburger Helper sauce will thicken in the fridge as the pasta absorbs the moisture, and you may find that everything is stuck together in one big lump when you go to reheat it.

Don’t worry – this is normal. 

The pasta will loosen quickly once you start to reheat it.

Can you freeze Hamburger Helper?

Yes, you can freezer Hamburger Helper. For best results, cook the pasta al dente to avoid it overcooking when you reheat the dish. You should also avoid freezing any sauce which is very dairy heavy, as these sauced can split during thawing.

Hamburger Helper will last for 3-4 months in the freezer.

How to freeze Hamburger Helper:

  1. Allow the Hamburger Helper to cool to room temperature.
  2. Separate into portions and seal in freezer bags with as much air removed as possible. Or place your Hamburger Helper in an airtight container.
  3. Label and date the bags or containers and store them in the freezer for up to 4 months.

I prefer to use freezer bags to freeze things because it’s easier to remove the air (which is important for reducing the risk of freezer burn).

If you use a container, make sure it’s filled up as much as possible and avoid having too much empty space.

To remove excess air from your freezer bags, you can squeeze it out with your hands or suck it out with a straw.

Another trick is to dunk the open freezer bag in a bowl of water.

The pressure from the water will force the air out. 

To thaw the Hamburger Helper, leave it in the fridge overnight or defrost it in the microwave. 

How To Reheat Hamburger Helper

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to revive and reheat your leftover Hamburger Helper.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hamburger helper, reheat hamburger helper
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 270kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion Hamburger Helper
  • 2 tbsp milk or water

Instructions

  • Add the Hamburger Helper to a pan on the stove.
  • Heat the pan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
  • Thin the sauce if needed by mixing in some extra milk, water, or stock.
  • Heat for 3-5 minutes, depending on how much you have in the pot, then serve it when it’s piping hot.

Notes

If the pasta has all stuck together during storage, gently pull it apart with a fork or spatula at the beginning of the reheating process.
This will ensure that you can stir the dish properly.
I like to add in some extra grated cheese while I’m stirring the sauce too. This makes the pasta super cheesy and delicious.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 270kcal

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