This Keto Cheeseburger Helper is a nostalgic meal with more nutrients and fewer carbs than the classic favorite. My family gobbled it up as quickly as I made it!
Do you guys remember Hamburger Helper? A kid classic, it was legitimately Joe's favorite meal growing up. Even to the point that his Mom would make it for him as his birthday dinner every year.
I didn't have it quite as much, but I sure did love it.
I was inspired by one reader who mentioned my Low Carb Taco Cabbage Skillet was essentially the Mexican version of the popular Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe (that's my favorite recipe for it), so I thought...what if I could make a cheeseburger version that my kids will love even more?
Keto Cheeseburger Helper
Kids and adults alike enjoy cheeseburger helper because it's a very quick, easy cheesy, and gooey meal. Perfect for busy, on-the-go parents. This low carb version also checks all of those boxes (largely because of the amazing cheese sauce), but with a fraction of the carbs.
One serving of the boxed stuff in the stores clocks in at 24g Carbs, 3g Protein and 1g Fat.
That's largely because the boxed stuff uses actual macaroni noodles, which would be really tough to fit into a ketogenic diet. One of my favorite ways to substitute noodles is cabbage, which is in my opinion the unsung hero of vegetables.
I love cabbage because of its texture as well as its nutritional value. And when cooked in a recipe like this, its mild flavor might just help win your picky kiddos over.
Keto Cheeseburger Helper Nutrition
In one medium head of cabbage, you have 223 calories, 30g of net carbs, 12g of protein and 0.9g of Fat. You also have a ton of Vitamin C as well as calcium, iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6 and Magnesium. (source: Google)
And in one serving of this recipe (recipe makes 4 servings) we're looking at:
Calories: 649.3 Calories
Total Carbs: 5.3g Total Carbs
Fiber: 1.4g Fiber
Net Carbs: 3.8g Net Carbs
Protein: 16.9g Protein
Fat: 37.5g Fat
Here's a breakdown of the nutritional info of each ingredient:
Here's the recipe!
Beef and Cabbage
- 1 lb ground beef (80/20)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 2 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 ounce cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar
- salt & pepper to taste
- Crumbled bacon to top, optional
- In a large skillet or dutch oven, over medium heat, brown the ground beef until no pink remains, about 15 minutes. Drain the excess grease and return the skillet of ground beef to the heat.
- Add the paprika, onion powder, garlic power and your preferred amount of salt and pepper to the pan. Stir in the tomato paste and water.
- Place the shredded cabbage into the skillet and fold into the seasoned ground beef. Bring the mixture to a boil and cover. Allow the cabbage to cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender and translucent, stirring occasionally.
- While the cabbage is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, about 45 seconds.
- Whisk in the cream cheese and heavy whipping cream until smooth, about 1 minute. The sauce will start to form bubbles, continue whisking and reduce heat to low. Quickly stir in the shredded cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Turn off the heat and continue stirring until all the cheese is melted and the mixture is completely smooth about, about 1 minute. It will be about the thickness of melted Velveeta or queso.
- Once the cabbage is tender, pour the cheese sauce into the skillet and fold into the ground beef mixture. Remove from heat and top with crumbled bacon, if desired.
A serving of this recipe is ¼ of the pan. For a more accurate serving, place the finished recipe into a bowl or pan on top of a food scale. Measure the weight then divide it into 4.
Feel free to adjust the serving to fit your macros.
Please note that I am not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information that is discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates based on NET carbs. If nutrition is important to you, I highly encourage you to verify any data you see here with your favorite nutrition calculator.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 649.3 CaloriesTotal Fat: 37.5gCarbohydrates: 5.3 Total, 3.8 NETgFiber: 1.4gProtein: 16.9g