Remember these vintage Hamburger Helper dinner mixes from the 70s, 80s & 90s?

Vintage Hamburger Helper dinner mixes from the 70s 80s and 90s

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Retro 70s Hamburger Helper dinner flavors (1973)

With six flavorful varieties of Hamburger Helper dinner mixes to choose from, you can serve hamburger to your family as often as you like. One pan, one pound of hamburger, and one package of Hamburger Helper make one happy family!

Flavors available then: Rice Oriental, Cheeseburger Macaroni, Hash Dinner, Chili Tomato, Potato Stroganoff & Beef Noodle

Retro 70s Hamburger Helper flavors (1973)

Beef Romanoff main dish from Hamburger Helper (1978)

If it’s one of those days when you’re running late, but you still want to serve a deliciously different dinner, reach for new Beef Romanoff Hamburger Helper.

It’s a hearty blend of sour cream and Cheddar cheese sauce subtly sparked with garlic, dried onion, Worcestershire seasoning and packaged with enriched egg noodles. And you can make it in one skillet right on top of your stove in just minutes.

Vintage Beef Romanoff Hamburger Helper mix (1978)

“Hamburger Helper is as easy for moms to fix as it is for kids to like.” (1978)

A busy mom can make Hamburger Helper in minutes… and kids take seconds. 

Vintage Hamburger Helper (1978)

Vintage Hamburger Helper for lasagne (1979)

Nothing can get you down like meat prices going up. And nothing can help you fight those rising prices like Hamburger Helper. Because Hamburger Helper can help you turn a single pound of hamburger into a hearty meal for a family of five.

“And we can do it in just a snap!” See the package for budget-stretching recipes.

Vintage Hamburger Helper for lasagne (1979)

Lasagne flavor to make oven casseroles (1970s)

Hamburger Helper oven casseroles (1970s)

Old-fashioned Hamburger Helper mix

Old-fashioned Hamburger Helper mix

Hamburger Helper tamale pie

Hamburger Helper tamale pie

Hamburger Helper beef vegetable soup (1983)

Hamburger Helper beef vegetable soup (1983)

Hamburger Helper mix – Pizzabake (1985)

Hamburger Helper mix - Pizzabake (1985)

Hamburger Helper meat loaf (1988)

Hamburger Helper meat loaf (1988)

Use the mix to make Beefy Mexican soup (1988)

Hamburger Helper beefy Mexican soup mix (1988)

Hamburger Helper Deluxe Chili with beans (1988)

Hamburger Helper chili with beans (1988)

Boxed Beef noodle dinner mix (1988)

Hamburger Helper beef noodle (1988)

Hamburger Helper Stroganoff flavor (1993)

Hamburger Helper Stroganoff (1993)

Beef taco flavor dinner mix (1993)

Hamburger Helper Beef Taco (1993)

Hamburger Helper cheeseburger macaroni (1998)

Hamburger Helper cheeseburger macaroni (1998)

Lasagne boxed mix (1999)

Lasagne Hamburger Helper boxed mix (1999)

Hamburger Helper cheddar and broccoli (1999)

Hamburger Helper cheddar and broccoli (1999)

Hamburger Helper Supreme – Italian Parmesan flavor (1999)

Hamburger Helper Supreme - Italian Parmesan flavor (1999)

One-Dish Meals heat up the food market (1974)

By Ruth Gray (Tampa Bay Times) / Febuary 3, 1974

At a recent meeting of consumer writers in Washington, D.C. a speaker mentioned the fact that the one-dish meals — those packages to which you “just add one pound of hamburger” or other meat — are about the hottest thing on today’s retail food market. The consumer was evidently ready and waiting to try the various new one-dish products which today flow to the grocery shelves.

In the first few months of 1973, the advertising industry Claims, the one-dish meals were a $300-million business. The first products appeared on the retail market late in 1971.

Today’s market is growing, too.

For the homemaker-in-a-hurry, there’s a lot of convenience in that box or packet. And that’s what many of today’s homemakers are after. But, that homemaker might take time to ponder if such an item is worth it in convenience. After all she can make almost the same one-dish meal ‘from scratch” and probably have one that tastes at least as good if not better and costs less.

The 2.75-ounce packet of sauce mix and the 2.75-ounces of dehydrated potatoes in one product package (Hamburger Helper) cost 65 cents. But, say manufacturers, the dinners are worthwhile because they not only save time in assembling the items necessary, but only high quality ingredients (noodles, potatoes, macaroni or beans plus any seasonings) are used.

Some shoppers say they won’t buy the one-box dinners because of the preservatives used or the slightly unnatural taste of some of the dried ingredients.

The ingredients in Hamburger Helper make a long list: dried potatoes, dried onion, hydrolized vegetable protein, modified corn starch, enriched flour (bleached), dried peas, dried carrots, salt, dried tomato, vegetable oil, sugar, dextrose, caramel color, monosodium glutamate, lactose, beef fat, natural flavorings, autolyzed yeast, sodium caseinate, dried celery, potassium and calcium phosphates, citric acid, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate, spice, dried garlic, and freshness preserversvers, sodium sulfite and BHA.

Manufacturers claim the packaged mixes should be fresher since the product is sealed when packaged. The same foods at home might not be as fresh, especially in the case of spices.

While manufacturers of such items as Hamburger Helper, Skillet Magic, Big John’s Hamburger Fixin’s, Chef’s Surprise and Add ‘n Heat say the convenience of the product is worth much to today’s homemaker, they also claim the food shopper is more inclined to buy low-costs meats and dress them up with the aid of one of the one-dish packages.

I sampled three of the products — McCormick’s “Skillet Magic,” Hunt’s Big John’s “Hamburger Fixin’s” and Gen- eral Mills “Hamburger Helper.” My favorite of the three was “Skillet Magic” while my husband voted for ‘Hamburger Helper.”

In case you’d like to try your own stew “from scratch,” though, here is a one-dish, nutritious, old-time stew recipe for you.

Kitchen kettle stew

1 pound beef stew meat
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
4 medium potatoes
4 medium carrots
4 small onions
1 green pepper, cut up
1/4 cup cold water

Coat pieces of meat with flour and brown in hot oil in a heavy kettle. Sprinkle meat with salt, pepper and thyme. Add water only to cover meat.

Cook, tightly covered, 1 hour over low heat. Add potatoes carrots, onions and green pepper. Cover kettle and simmer until vegetables are done, 20 to 30 minutes.

Dissolve leftover flour in 1/4 cup cold water and add to stew. Cook until mixture thickens slightly. Add more flour if necessary. More salt and pepper can be added, too. Makes 4 servings.

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