My version starts with half pound of hamburger and a half pound of sausage, usually use breakfast sausage but at times I like to add sweet or hot italien sausage. Brown the meat and drain half of the fat from the pan, I feel when you drain all the fat out you also drain out all the flavor. You don't pour out the broth from a stew, you use it to enhance the flavor. Next step is to add a half cup of salsa, what ever type of salsa you prefer, let that cook for a bit to flavor the meat.
I then add the flavor from the Hamburger Helper pack, letting it cook into the meats and salsa. Letting it all get a nice coating with cheese and spices, add half of the called for water from the package, when it forms a nice sauce, add the noodles and the rest of the water.
Now it's just let is cook according to the package. Stirring to keep the noodles from sticking, and when the water is all absorbed, you can add a little bit of hot sauce or other spice, and you have your own personalized chili mac Hamburger Helper.
This would be good with your choice, some totilla or corn chips, or some nice crusty bread. With a salad you have a full meal.