Eating Well: Hamburger pâtes de la boîte

It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these, hasn’t it?  I’ve missed it – I really enjoy cooking, after all.  Particularly when the meal turns out to be both simple and tasty, and this one was both.  And surprisingly low calorie, for what it is.  My five-year-old wasn’t impressed, but then I rarely expect him to be impressed by anything on the first try.  But if you’ve been buying boxes of “Ground Beef Assistant”, and if you like the way that tastes, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this.

For fair disclosure purposes, I didn’t create this recipe.  I got it from, and then modified it in a few ways.  Mostly out of pragmatism, as you’ll see below.  Also, I hope that Google Translate didn’t fail me…

Hamburger pâtes de la boîte


  • 1 1b 92% lean ground beef (760 calories)
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (440 calories)
  • 2 cups dry shell noodles (533 calories)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (440 calories)

“Seasoning Packet”

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  • Crumble and brown the ground beef in a skillet, then drain.
  • Return ground beef to the skillet.  Add the hot water, cottage cheese, dry noodles, and “seasoning packet”.
  • Bring the contents of the skillet to a boil.  Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add cheese, stir, and let simmer for two more minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for at least five minutes.  The sauce will thicken as you do.


  • Shell noodles aren’t strictly necessary.  I used them because I had them, but any other smallish pasta will probably work.  Be sure to adjust the calorie contents as needed.
  • In total, this makes 40 ounces of “hamburger pâtes de la boîte“, witha  total calorie count of 2173, making this 54 calories per ounce.  It’s supposed to make four servings, so that’s 543.25 calories per serving.  Which is not too bad, given all the pasta and cheese.
  • The original recipe called for 1 cup of water and 2 cups of milk.  It turned out that I did not have any milk in the house, so I substituted the cottage cheese instead.  If you happen to have it on hand, and use 1% milk in the recipe, the calorie count drops by 236 – taking it to 48.325 calories per ounce.
  • I suspect that you could also cut the milk and cottage cheese entirely, and use 3 cups of water.  That brings the calorie count to 1733, or 43.325 per ounce.  I don’t know how well it would thicken, though, so you might need to experiment.
  • I had a thought that one of those “veggie pastas” might cut the calories as well.  Based on the nutrition information, Barilla Veggie Rotini would shave about 52 calories off.  So that’s up to you, but that plus using 1% milk would cut the calories to 47.125 per ounce.



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