Discontinued Hamburger Helper Flavors We'll Never Eat Again

Cooking at home can be delightful and relaxing; it can also be stressful and overwhelming, especially for those of us with particularly busy schedules. Hoping to alleviate the situation, General Mills introduced us to Hamburger Helper. The addition of Hamburger Helper — sometimes referred to as simply "Helper" these days, especially if it pairs with a different meat — to grocery store shelves has assisted home chefs in their journey to provide tasty and efficient meals for themselves and their families. With its origin in December of 1970, the concept of Hamburger Helper was originally advertised as a "one-pound, one-pan" meal before it gained its soon-to-be popular name. This came at a helpful time when the United States was facing a shortage of certain meats. Using one pound of ground beef or your meat of choice, you could quickly whip up a creamy, meaty, and filling one-pan meal to satisfy your family's appetites.

About a year later, the name Hamburger Helper was coined, and with it came an assortment of different flavors and styles which added variety to the simplicity of meal preparation. Several of the beloved flavors over the years have remained steadfast. Others have been adjusted or completely reinvented, bringing new twists to the classic meal. Unfortunately, some of the original and favorite flavors over the years have been discontinued altogether, leaving behind a longing that can only be met with copycat recipes. Here are some of the most memorable Hamburger Helper flavors that we may never eat again.

Rice Oriental

Once upon a time, Hamburger Helper introduced a flavor that won the hearts of many. While its name aged quite badly, Rice Oriental was a Hamburger Helper flavor that brought enticing flavors to our dinner tables. It became a beloved choice for countless families across the nation, as Rice Oriental's appeal lay in its simplicity and flavorful combination of spices and tender vegetables. With just a packet and some ground beef, families could create a delicious meal that satisfied everyone. The tantalizing aroma that filled the kitchen while it cooked was an invitation to gather around and enjoy a warm, comforting dinner.

Unfortunately, as is the case with many things, Rice Oriental didn't last forever and eventually bid us farewell in the 2000s, though its memory lives on. While Rice Oriental is no longer available on store shelves, let us appreciate what it brought to our kitchens, even if it was a little problematic.

Beefy Mexican Soup

"Just open the Hamburger Helper and cross the border," was the catchphrase for the vintage Hamburger Helper flavor, Beefy Mexican Soup. Introduced in 1988, Beefy Mexican Soup was a warm and comforting meal with some extra zest. With the typical Hamburger Helper format of one pound of beef plus the box mix, this soup aimed to bring the flavors of Mexico to American dinner tables in the blink of an eye. With a spice blend of chili powder, garlic, and tomatoes, the soup was a quick and easy meal for a cool evening.

While this blend included the slightly odd ingredient of olives, it still served as a popular flavor option. Even today, the flavor of Beefy Mexican soup goes down in history as a flavor that was once a favorite and is now sorely missed — even if the decision to market it as "authentically Mexican" looks a little dubious in hindsight. 

Hash Dinner

Hash Dinner made its grand entrance into the culinary scene as part of the original Hamburger Helper flavors and quickly gained a loyal following. It checked all the boxes for convenience and simplicity and offered a fun twist on classic comfort food, making it a playful addition to any mealtime adventure. 

With perfectly seasoned potatoes, tender onions, and savory seasonings coming together in a symphony of flavors, it was instant food taken to another level — hearty, delicious, and oh-so-satisfying with only one pot to wash at the end. Overall, it was pretty similar to homemade hash, except it took far less time and energy to put together. Though Hash Dinner is no longer on store shelves, it has not been forgotten. In fact, it is often remembered fondly by those who were able to partake in the Hash Dinner flavor before it left shelves in the '80s.

Chili Tomato (formerly Chuck Wagon)

Hamburger Helper took us on a delightful journey with the release of Chili Tomato. Formerly known as Chuck Wagon when it first appeared as a Betty Crocker product in the 1960s, it technically predated Hamber Helper by a few years. Chuck Wagon was a flavor that won over family members of all ages with its hearty goodness and classic profile. With simple and easy-to-obtain ingredients like tomatoes, a classic single pound of ground beef, and a delightful mix of mild spices, the Chili Tomato-Chuck Wagon meal was a popular combination of mild and easy-to-love flavors, even for picky eaters.

Even after its rebranding between names, fans of the original Chuck Wagon meal found reassurance in its familiar taste, while newcomers were drawn in by the buzz surrounding this reinvented classic. Nice work, marketing team. Though this particular flavor's journey from Chuck Wagon to Chili Tomato may be a thing of the past, we can still celebrate its delicious legacy.

Potato Stroganoff and Beef Noodle

Hamburger Helper introduced yet another comfort stand-by that continued to warm hearts and satisfy appetites with Potato Stroganoff. This flavor was launched in the early 1970s, along with their other original flavors. In the case of Potato Stroganoff, the base switched from pasta to tender potato pieces that mingled with savory seasonings and a creamy, classic stroganoff sauce. Once again, Hamburger Helper succeeded at delivering a satisfying and wholesome meal that was delicious and easy to make.

The taste of Potato Stroganoff was a delightful blend of creamy and hearty, with the potatoes adding a unique twist to the traditional Stroganoff experience. Beef Noodle, on the other hand, offered a medley of flavors that left taste buds wanting more. Today, Potato Stroganoff remains a beloved reminder of Hamburger Helper's culinary legacy, providing nourishment and convenience — but only in an abstract sense, as neither of these flavors are still literally available. 

Beef Romanoff

When the time was short but the desire for a scrumptious and unique dinner remained, home chefs of the late 1970s needed to look no further than Hamburger Helper's Beef Romanoff. Introduced in 1978, this flavor gem offered a blend of flavors that included tender enriched egg noodles and a hearty sauce crafted from sour cream and cheddar cheese. But that's not all — the sauce was also subtly spiced with garlic, dried onion, and Worcestershire seasoning, creating a symphony of tastes that left us craving more, even after it was discontinued.

The rich and hearty dish somewhat countered its name, considering that the term Romanoff is typically used to refer to lighter fare, but we aren't complaining. Since Beef Romanoff was discontinued, there are similar flavors of Helper that can assist with our cravings. However, as nostalgia reminds us, none of them are quite the same as the beloved Beef Romanoff from back in the day.

Hamburger Helper Lasagne

Perhaps one of the most longed-for flavors since its '70s-era heyday was the original Hamburger Helper Lasagna — not to be confused with the current iteration. It featured the traditional mix of one pound of ground beef plus a spice packet of Italian spices and filling noodles. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of the original lasagna flavor was that unlike many of its counterparts, this variety of lasagna-inspired flavors came with a creamy white sauce instead of the red sauce typically associated with lasagna. Desperate pleas have reached public forums since its discontinuation, with people begging Hamburger Helper to bring it back or at least release the secret of the delicious white sauce.

Today, you can find a Helper Four Cheese Lasagna that comes with an Italian-style cheese mix, but it is quite different. At least the flavor gurus at Hamburger Helper provided us with an assortment of other options that will tide us over — for now.

Tamale Pie

In 1981, Hamburger Helper engaged taste buds with another flavor that brought the vibrant flavors of Mexico right to our dinner tables — Tamale Pie. This flavor offered all the fixings for a cornmeal topping that represented a classic tamale. Tamale Pie's popularity soared as it captured the essence of traditional Mexican cuisine with its zesty seasonings and rich cornmeal crust.

Fast forward to today, and while the original Tamale Pie flavor might be less readily available, Helper continues to cater to our cravings with its Southwest Pasta variety. Just like its predecessor, Southwest Pasta Hamburger Helper infuses the essence of Mexican flair into a delicious pasta dish, offering a convenient way to enjoy those familiar and beloved flavors. So, the next time you're in the mood for a flavor-packed experience that's pretty similar to the old Hamburger Helper Tamale Pie, you can turn to their modern flavors, even as you may miss the original ones.

Vegetable Soup

A classic as old as time, vegetable beef soup is a comfort food in times of sickness or a tasty and hearty meal in times of health. Hamburger Helper understood this and launched its Vegetable Soup flavor with their original line of flavors in the '70s. The vegetable soup contained classic ingredients like onion, beef, and noodles. Additionally, the soup was loaded up with vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and you could mix in vegetables from the freezer or whatever else you had on hand.

While many homemade soups required substantial simmering time, Hamburger Helper equipped families to prepare a classically flavored soup in 30 minutes or less. With all of that saved time, you could easily whip up some cornbread as a side item. In its typical one-pound, one-pot fashion, Hamburger Helper's Vegetable Soup became a well-liked flavor that still gets a great reputation to this day.


Of course, no flavor assortment could be complete without the addition of a pizza-inspired option. Hamburger Helper's Pizzabake was the treat that pizza lovers in the house looked forward to and that the home chef didn't have to sweat over. While Hamburger Helper's typical format involved a pasta base, sauce, and casserole-like consistency, the Pizzabake was a unique dish.

Along with its Tacobake partner, Hamburger Helper's Pizzabake contained plenty of meaty goodness, a classic pizza sauce, and cheese that was mixed together and baked into a firmer pizza-like form on top of an easy-bake crust. It could be compared to a deep-dish pizza served in slices like a casserole. The commercials of its time provided a glimpse of happy enthusiasm from Hamburger Helper's Lefty mascot, as well as from the smiling families who showed us how easy it was to make and how tasty it was to eat. Advertising is always going to paint a rosy picture of whatever it's selling, but we can confidently say Pizzabake was a way to honestly tell kids they were getting pizza for dinner without ordering out.

Deluxe Chili with Beans

For fans of Hamburger Helper, Deluxe Chili with Beans was a flavor that warmed both hearts and stomachs. Released in 1988, this flavor featured a hearty blend of ingredients like tender ground beef, perfectly cooked beans, and a medley of savory spices that brought the authentic essence of chili right to the dinner table.

Unfortunately, despite its relative popularity, Deluxe Chili with Beans was discontinued, much to the disappointment of its devoted fans. We can only speculate as to why Deluxe Chili with Beans didn't stick around Helper's roster of flavors, but possible redundancy might have had something to do with it. The company still makes Chili Macaroni and Crunchy Taco flavored Hamburger Helpers — perhaps Deluxe Chili with Beans was too similar? At any rate, the memory of this delectable flavor lives on in memories of those who were fortunate enough to enjoy its deliciousness.

Italian Hamburger Helper

While Hamburger Helper was a popular staple across American homes, flavors emerged that aimed to capture foods of different cultures. Whether or not those flavors were marketed wisely is another matter, but Hamburger Helper's Supreme: Italian Parmesan Flavor was another of those. For an attempt at a flavorful journey to Italy right at our dinner tables, Hamburger Helper's Supreme: Italian Parmesan Flavor offered a tantalizing experience that combined the essence of Italian cuisine with the convenience of a one-pan meal. This flavor featured the classic blend of tender pasta combined with a creamy Parmesan sauce, complemented by an assortment of Italian-inspired seasonings and, of course, a pound of ground meat.

Sadly, despite its popularity, Supreme: Italian Parmesan Flavor was discontinued, but there are plenty of current Helper flavors with Italian origins: Tuna Helper Fettuccine Alfredo, Hamburger Helper Four Cheese Lasagna, and Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells, to name a few. 


Hamburger Helper's Meatloaf flavor was a nostalgic tribute to the classic American dish. With a blend of familiar and wholesome ingredients, it brought the essence of mom's meatloaf right to our dinner plates. The flavor featured seasoned ground beef mixed with hearty pasta, topped with a savory tomato-based sauce that was baked into a classically presented loaf of tasty goodness.

Regrettably, Hamburger Helper's Meatloaf flavor was discontinued. There might be something to be said for the fact that while it may have captured the essence of mom's meatloaf, it would always come in second place to mom's actual meatloaf — making it an ultimately inferior stand-in for a dish that's also not especially difficult to prepare. Nevertheless, its absence created a void in the hearts of those who appreciated the simple joy of a delicious and convenient meal, and it is commonly discussed many years after it left the shelves.

Wagon Wheel

Hamburger Helper's Wagon Wheels was a flavor that brought a playful twist to dinnertime. Inspired by the Old West, this whimsical variety featured wagon wheel-shaped pasta combined with a flavorful and hearty sauce. The ingredients of Wagon Wheels were simple and comforting. The wagon wheel-shaped pasta added a unique element to the meal, making it a hit with kids and the young at heart. The savory tomato-based sauce, packed with rich seasonings, complemented the pasta perfectly. With the addition of onion, corn, and cheese, Hamburger Helper succeeded in creating another satisfying dish; although admittedly, its primary distinction from many other Hamburger Helper flavors was the shape of its pasta, so its defining quality was basically kind of superficial. 

Hamburger Helper's Wagon Wheels was discontinued, leaving fans with a sense of nostalgia for the beloved flavor. As Hamburger Helper continues to offer a diverse range of flavors, the legacy of Wagon Wheels serves as a reminder of the fun that can be found in a simple and delightful meal.