one-pot meals

Homemade Gluten Free Hamburger Helper –Another One Pot Meal

I used to buy a gluten free hamburger helper type boxed meal at our local Safeway. It was my favorite non-healthy, quick dinner.

Unfortunately, they recently discontinued the product leaving me scrambling for another option one day when I went in to quickly grab a box.

So, I skimmed a few recipes online and came up with my own version of it (since I couldn’t find a gluten free version). This one is even tomato-free. The boxed one contained dried tomato flakes which I probably shouldn’t be having since I am allergic.

Homemade Gluten Free Hamburger Helper

2 lbs ground beef, extra lean

1-2 tablespoons dry onion flakes, or to taste

Salt to taste

2 spaghetti seasoning packs (see more info below)

5 cups of water

1 12 oz pack barilla gluten free noodles

1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions: Brown ground beef with onion and salt. I use a very lean beef so it doesn’t need drained. Turn off heat.

Add 5 cups of water and seasoning to meat. Stir in noodles.


This is the seasoning I use (see the image below) or you can use this spaghetti seasoning one which is not tomato-free.


Heat to boiling, covered. Check frequently. Boil approx 7 minutes or until al dente. Liquid should be mostly boiled away.

Stir in shredded cheese.


Serve with gluten free baguettes: cut baguettes in half, slather with butter and garlic salt, and bake in a 350 oven for 8-12 minutes or as directed on package.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. It has turned out to be a favorite at my house.


Sarah Forbes


featured, one-pot meals

Cowboy Casserole –One Pot Meal

I stumbled upon a version of this recipe almost two decades ago.

When I found out I was allergic to tomatoes,  I had to completely redo our meal rotation.

Nearly everything I served had tomatoes in it.

This was a meal that I altered to remove the foods I couldn’t have. I’ll include some notes about my pre-allergy version in case those reading this can have more foods than I can which given my limited diet is highly likely.



–2 lbs ground beef or less for lower protein; I have big boys with appetites. I use 5% or less fat ground beef from a local meat market.

–chili or taco seasoning. I use this gluten free one. Half of the seasoning pack is enough for us.

–precooked rice 

–1 can kidney beans, drained, like this one

–1 can whole corn, drained

–1 cups of water, divided


–1 can diced tomatoes, like this

–1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, like this one which is gluten free

— 1 chopped onion

— 1 chopped green pepper

Brown ground beef in a large soup pan.

Add 1/2 cup water to avoid burning if necessary. (I find that this is necessary when using very lean beef.)

Once the beef is browned, add the second 1/2 cup of water and seasoning.

Mix thoroughly.

Add corn and beans.

Optional: add tomatoes, onions,  and green peppers.

The original recipe called for putting the mix in a 9×13 casserole pan, covering in cheese and baking at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted.

Since I am aiming for a single pan meal, I just hear it in the pan in which I cooked the ground beef.


Serve with corn chips and topped with salsa and sour cream.

It also makes a good filling for tortillas.DSCF2185

I found going tomato-free very challenging: I’m hoping some of these tomato-free recipes will help other people.


Sarah Forbes

one-pot meals

Quick Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup –Simple One Pot Version

Along with all my health problems came food sensitivities.

Yay me!

Finding simple and healthy things to eat has been very challenging.

I opted a while ago to focus on things I could make in a single pan or pot. This meant fewer dishes on the days when washing dishes hurts too much.

That mean the recipe needs to have simple ingredients and not have anything I am allergic to in it.

That is no small feat!  

It is particularly hard to find meals without tomato or vinegar products.

The list of things I cannot have is long, but this is one dish I can eat.

I am happy that I was recently able to add chicken back onto the okay list.

Quick Gluten Free Chicken Noodle SoupDSCF2175.JPG


–1 box gluten free noodles I used Barilla

–4 to 6 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken (rotisserie works, too) I used Mary’s Organic from Natural Grocers

–32 oz chicken broth like this one from Pacific brand

-2 to 4 cups hot water combined with 1 T Better Than Bouillon chicken flavor

–1 tsp Italian seasoning OR 1/2 of each oregano and basil OR whatever seasoning you can have to taste

–Salt and pepper to taste

–1 can of green beans like this one

–1 can of corn like this one


Boil noodles in water until just al dente, drain and return to pan.

Add chicken broth and bouillon mixed with hot water.

Stir thoroughly.

Season to taste.

Add canned veggies and stir.

Reheat covered over medium-high heat, stirring as needed until heated through.

Do not overcook or the noodles will be too soft.

Serve with sliced gluten free bread.

I hope this will help someone else who needs simple allergy friendly recipes.


Sarah Forbes