One-Pot Campers Hamburger Helper

If you’re looking for an easy one-pot camping dinner, look no further than this Campers Hamburger Helper recipe! This recipe is made just for campers when space and supplies are limited (and you don’t want too many dishes at camp). Let’s get started! 

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a large pot of campers hamburger helper

Hamburger Helper is one of those meals that remind me of childhood. While you can buy the boxes of Hamburger Helper at the grocery store, this homemade camper’s version is much better and still very easy! 

It requires minimal ingredients and clean up at camp

cooking hamburger helper over the camp stove

How to Make Homemade Hamburger Helper While Camping 

This recipe starts with a bit of prep at home. While you’re packing your food, take a moment to mix the spice mix. That way, you don’t need to pack a bunch of spices or try to measure them at camp. 

I wanted to keep this recipe as a one-pot camping meal to limit the number of dishes you wash at camp. To do that, we cook the pasta in the same pot as everything else. 

Instead of cooking the pasta in another large pot, it cooks right in the sauce. You must mix frequently with this method, but it yields a creamy pasta dish since we’re not straining the starch. 

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Camp Cooking Starter Kit

Printable camping recipes, a gear checklist, and a camping meal planner so you can go camping with confidence (and good food!)

Once the pasta is cooked, you add the cheese and sour cream, and it’s done! Top with some fresh parsley and serve. 

When I started developing this Hamburger Helper recipe, I made it at home first. Then, I tweaked a few things and made it on a camping trip.

Nick went back for thirds that night! Haha. Needless to say, this is one of our favorite pasta dinners for camping. 

adding cheese and sour cream to homemade hamburger helper

Essential Camp Cooking Gear

Camp Stove: Any basic propane camp stove will work for this recipe. I have the Camp Chef Everest stove and love it! It boils water very fast, has excellent temperature control, and works well even if it’s windy. 

Large Pot: I love the Primus Campfire Cookset with two pots. I use the larger 3L stock pot for this recipe. The nice thing about this cook set is that you can use it over the campfire and the camp stove. 

hamburger helper in a blue bowl outdoors

More One Pot Camping Dinners:

One Pot Campers Hamburger Helper

If you're looking for an easy one-pot camping dinner, look no further than this Camper's Hamburger Helper recipe! It requires minimal ingredients and only one pot for easy cleanup at camp.
5 from 2 votes
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Servings: 4 meals
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 16 oz shell pasta (medium size)
  • 3 cups water (plus more as needed)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about one handful)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Spice Mix (make at home):

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • fresh black pepper


At home:

  • Make the spice mix and store in an airtight container with the rest of your camping food.

At Camp:

  • Place a large pot over medium heat. Add the oil and the beef. Brown the beef and break it apart as you mix.
  • Mix in the can of diced tomatoes with the juice, followed by the spice mix and mix well.
  • Add in 3 cups of water and mix again. Turn the heat up and bring to a simmer. Add in the pasta. Mix frequently to ensure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.*
  • Cook until the pasta is al dente, mixing frequently. This usually takes about 15 minutes. Add more water in 1/4 cup increments, as needed.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, mix in the cheese and sour cream. Serve topped with fresh parsley and enjoy!


*You might need to turn the heat down slightly at this point. You want things to be simmering not bubbling over. Make sure to mix frequently so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot and burns.
Tried this recipe? Mention @amandaoutside on Instagram or leave a review!

I hope you enjoy this homemade hamburger helper recipe on your next camping trip! It’s always a hit anytime I make it. 

Love this recipe? Leave a review in the comments below! 

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