I often end up with a bumper crop of basil and here's a favorite way to use some of it. These burgers feature great Italian flavor. And who can resist their gooey, cheesy centers or the scrumptious topping? —Virginia Kochis, Springfield, Virginia
Our family loves this hearty stew. I like to serve steaming helping in old-fashioned soup plates with thick crusty slices of homemade bread. To get the 11 cups of chopped cabbage for this stew, you'll need to start with a small head of cabbage, about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds. Or for quicker prep, substitute coleslaw mix from the produce department.—Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
A dear friend first brought over this casserole when I was recovering from an accident. Now I take it to other friends' homes and to potlucks, because it's always a big hit!—Beverly Austin, Fulton, Missouri
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
When it comes to convenience, Darlene Markel has dinner in the bag. The Sublimity, 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."
"This is one of those recipes you always come back to," says Jean Glacken from Elkton, Maryland. A flavorful tomato sauce and mildly spiced meatballs make a hearty sandwich filling, or they can be served over pasta. "I broil the meatballs first to quickly brown them," Jean notes.
This layered Southwestern meal just can't be beat. It gets its spicy flavor from green chilies, chili powder and cumin. Using a slow cooker liner inside of the cooker makes it easier to lift and remove the meal so it can be cut into individual wedges.—Judy Ragsdale, Queen City, Texas
Flavored with Italian sausage and dotted with tender meatballs, the savory from-scratch sauce made this dish one of my mom's most-requested. We five kids were always thrilled to hear it was on the menu.
-Grace Yaskovic, Branchville, New Jersey