Traditional stuffed peppers get a Southwestern twist! “The filling also makes a delicious meat loaf that we even like cold as a sandwich with Mexican-blend or cheddar cheese, mayo and salsa.”—Traci K Wynne, Denver, Pennsylvania
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
I love burritos, but the frozen ones are so high in salt and chemicals. So I created these. They're great to have on hand for quick dinners or late-night snacks—I've even had them for breakfast! —Laura Winemiller, Delta, Pennsylvania
“We love to cook and experiment with new dishes,” writes Brenda Joyner of Pateros, Washington. “We found this recipe online but were missing a few of the ingredients, so we improvised. We like the results.”
Convenient prebaked crust makes this tasty taco pizza as easy as can be. It's a great recipe, especially if you have teenagers. I keep the ingredients on hand so that we can whip up this filling meal anytime. —Mary Cass, Baltimore, Maryland
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
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
For an old-fashioned stick-to-your-ribs meal, try this economical entree that's just 89¢ a helping. "As a newlywed, I was so grateful to my mom for sharing this easy recipe," notes Sandy McKenzie of Braham, Minnesota. "My husband enjoys this no matter how often I serve it."
We've always liked stuffed peppers, but everyone is pleasantly surprised at this mildly spicy version. For convenience, you can assemble these pretty peppers ahead of time and bake them later.
—LaDonna Reed of Ponca City, Oklahoma