Here are some affordable meal ideas to help you get dinner on the table each night without too much time or effort.
Casseroles are an all-time favorite comfort food and can be inexpensive one-dish meals. Here are two recipes that are crowd and wallet pleasers.
Classic Tuna Casserole:
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas
- 1 can cream of celery soup
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 5-oz. can tuna in water, drained
- 3 to 4 cups flat egg noodles
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the egg noodles according to the package directions and drain in a colander. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft (about 4 minutes), and then add in the mushrooms and peas. Cook for another minute and turn down the heat to low. Mix the soup, milk, and tuna in a separate bowl and add to the skillet. Stir until blended together. Combine the noodles and the contents of the skillet into an oven-proof casserole dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake 25-30 minutes. Let stand for 10-15 minute before serving.
Chicken n' Rice casserole
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 soup can of milk
- 1 tsp. dried Italian herbs
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
- 3 cups brown rice, cooked
- 1 package frozen asparagus, thawed and cut into 1" pieces
- 1 cup Colby Jack cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the soup, milk and Italian herbs together. Add remaining ingredients except ¼ cup of cheese with the soup and stir gently until combined. Spoon the mixture into an oven-proof casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes. Let stand for 10-15 minute before serving.
Friday Night Quesadillas
A quesadilla will turn plain leftovers into a great meal! Simply use leftovers as filling. Be creative use up leftovers and save money too!
Ingredients - for each quesadilla:
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese (Colby, cheddar, jack, or a mixture)
- 1 10 inch flour tortilla
- 2-3 Tbsp of leftover filling mixture
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil
Directions: Sprinkle cheese and filling over one of the flour tortillas. Leave a ½ inch edge empty all the way around the tortilla. Place the other tortilla on top of the cheese mixture, making a sandwich. Brush the top of the tortilla lightly with oil. Place the tortilla sandwich with the oiled side down in a non- stick frying pan over medium heat. Brush the top of the tortilla lightly with oil. Using a spatula, turn the tortilla over when it is golden brown (about 2 minutes). Brown the other side (about 2 minutes). Remove from pan and slice into pieces like a pie.
Leftover Filling Ideas: shredded/diced pork, steak or chicken, steamed vegetables chopped into small pieces, any kind of beans, avocado, tomato, pineapple or mango pieces.