My father was a cook in the Army and taught me the basics in the kitchen. My childhood baby-sitter inspired my love of cooking, too...in fact, she gave me this recipe. —Julie Brendt, Antelope, California
My family first tasted this rich, classic lasagna at a friend's home on Christmas Eve. We were so impressed that it became our own holiday tradition as well. I also prepare it other times of the year. It's requested often by my sister's Italian in-laws—I consider that the highest compliment! —Lorri Foockle, Granville, Illinois
If you like foods with Southwestern flair, this just might become a new favorite. Loaded with cheese, meat and beans, the layered casserole comes together in a snap. There are never any leftovers when I take this dish to potlucks. —Terri Keenan
I've been stuffing pasta shells with different fillings for years, but my family enjoys this version with taco-seasoned meat the most. The frozen shells are so convenient, because you can take out only the number you need for a single-serving lunch or family dinner. Just add zippy taco sauce and bake.
These well-seasoned meatballs in a rich tomato sauce are one of my mom's best main dishes. I used to love this meal when I was growing up. I made it at home for our children, and now my daughters make it for their families.
-Darlis Wilfer, Phelps, Wisconsin
At family get-togethers, our children always request this spirit-warming soup along with a fresh loaf of homemade bread and tall glasses of milk. It has robust flavor, plenty of fresh-tasting vegetables and is easy to make.
-Barbara Brown, Janesville, Wisconsin
This recipe originally came courtesy of my sister-in-law, who is from Mexico. But since she prefers her foods much spicier that we do, I've cut back on the "heat" by reducing the amount of hot pepper sauce.— Audrey Wall, Industry, Pennsylvania
"I spend a lot of time in the garden and yard, so I like dishes that can be fixed in a hurry," says Doris Gill of Sargent, Nebraska. "This is very quick to put together and makes a tasty meal along with a lettuce salad."
It's not uncommon for folks to go back for second helpings of this hearty main dish when I share it at church potluck suppers. The combination of ground beef, noodles, cheese and a zippy tomato sauce is a crowd-pleaser. —Katherine Moss, Gaffney, South Carolina
This recipe is one of my mom's specialties. It's a hearty main dish that gets requested time and time again. The from-scratch sauce makes each cheesy slice extra flavorful and softer-textured than other versions.—Kim Orr, West Grove, Pennsylvania