On busy days, it's a comfort to know that my family can sit down to dinner minutes after we walk in the door. Double it to wow at a potluck. This recipe works in a slow cooker, too. —Virginia Krites, Cridersville, Ohio
For me, football, cool weather and chili just seem to go together. Whether I’m cheering on the local team on a Friday night or enjoying a Saturday afternoon of Oklahoma Sooner football with some friends, I enjoy serving this chili on game day. —Chris Neal, Quapaw, Oklahoma
Our kids—Garrett, 10, and Heather, 5—love to roll the ground beef and pork mixture into these moist meatballs. We enjoy them prepared in a creamy gravy. But the frozen meatballs also are great additions to soups and stews, or to stir into spaghetti sauce and serve over pasta.
A good recipe for Salisbury Steak is hard to find! I remember enjoying it often when I was growing up, but when I decided to add it to my recipe collection, I wasn't able to find it in my modern cookbooks. I came up with these ingredients on my own and experimented until it tasted like I recalled. It makes a hearty meal when served with mashed potatoes. —Faye Hintz
Tangy barbecue sauce, fluffy biscuits and cheddar cheese combine to make these hearty muffins. Try them with ground turkey or other shredded cheeses to vary the flavor. —Karen Kenney, Harvard, Illinois
A friend showed me how to make stacked enchiladas years ago. I took it even further to create this filling casserole. I serve it with Mexican corn or chips and dip. I love the rave reviews I get every time I make it. —Deana Briggs, Maud, Texas
Vegetables and herbs fresh from my garden make this one of our favorite soups. This recipe makes a lot, so it's perfect for large gatherings or to freeze in smaller containers for fast meals.—Virginia Bauer, Botkins, Ohio
When it comes to convenience, Darlene Brenden has dinner in the bag. The Salem, Oregon cook measures dry noodles and a mixture of spices into separate plastic bags, then stores them in a paper bag with canned stewed tomatoes. This "pantry kit" gives her family a head start on a hearty meal. "Since I work late occasionally," she says, "they just have to brown ground beef, and soon dinner is simmering."
Shepherd's Pie takes a testy twist with this version. Between the fluffy mashed potato topping and the savory ground beef base is a bed of tender, green asparagus. Even my kids ask for big helpings.
—Steve Rowland, Fredericksburg, Virginia