brown 1 pound ground beef with onions, garlic, diced celery. Drain fat. Add 2 cups macaroni, and stir to brown slightly. Add 3 cups water, salt and pepper to taste. bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Stir every 10 minutes or so, tasting the pasta to see how tender they are.
When the pasta is tender, turn off heat. Add cheese of choice and a dash of milk if you have it. If not, add a dash of water. Stir and return to low heat, stirring till the cheese is melted.
You now have cheeseburger mac. Easy as those hamburger helpers but YOU control the salt, the veggies, etc.
You can do the same thing with any pasta or rice and add what ever sauce you like.
A packet of beef gravy and using egg noodles is good.
A jar or your own pasta sauce is good and you have old fashioned hamburger hot dish. If you can see it in the store, you can make it yourself without buying hamburger helper.
ditto tuna helper.