Vera Hinman’s Noodle Dish

We never had Hamburger Helper when I was growing up – not that it wasn’t available, but Mom scorned such things. Luckily, though, we had Vera Hinman’s Noodle dish so we didn’t feel too deprived.

Vera Heinman's Noodle Dish
Vera Hinman’s Noodle Dish

This is plain, good home-cooking at it’s best. Seriously tasty, and under 30 minutes to get on the table. It’s also a perfect example how a home-made dish can beat out a box by a long shot, in quality, taste and price. We loved it as kids, enough so we always kept the name, Vera Hinman’s Noodle dish. I still love it today.

The funny thing is, for decades, I never knew who this Vera Hinman was. I searched around and googled (I just couldn’t let it go) and finally found that Mom got the recipe from the Des Moines Register, 28 of June 1970.

Vera Hinman and her friend, Flo Hopewell (I still make Flo’s Cheesy Bacon Foil Potatoes) were featured. Two families and two best friends lived on houseboats, at least part of the year, near Muscatine, Iowa. Vera’s Noodle Dish is not too fancy but it is downright comforting: Thank you, Vera!

Vera Hinman's Noodle Dish

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups v-8® vegetable juice or tomato juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 ounces egg noodles, wide

In a Dutch oven, brown hamburger, drain.  Add vegetables and seasonings, and cook till onion is tender.

Add juice and water, bring to a boil. Add noodles and simmer until cooked through, about 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, especially at the end.  Don’t stir too much, or you will end up with mush.

If this becomes too dry, add a bit more water.

from the kitchen of

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.


Per Serving: 278 Calories; 13g Fat (42.5% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 25g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 69mg Cholesterol; 278mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat.

Put Your own Spin on It:

  • You can vary your ingredients by season, add more or less, or put in whatever you like.  The original recipe called for jarred mushrooms, but we omitted them…put them back in, or saute your own and add if you like them.
  • The small amount of seasoning lets the flavors shine through – you can certainly up the spiciness and add anything you’d like to flavor this.
  • My son likes his with cheese; personally, I think that’s an abomination, but I let it go because he doesn’t know he’s eating veggies!

My Payoff:  A 30 minute meal that’s easy and satisfying, cheaper, tastier and better for you than Hamburger Helper, and only a few more minutes longer to make.  (I need to do a rant on that convenience food!)

Last priced  October 2011 for about $2.38.

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