Dinner in a Bag Recipe
Dinner in a Bag Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Next Recipe

Dinner in a Bag Recipe

Read Reviews
5 15 17
Publisher Photo
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."
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 5 min. Cook: 25 min.
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 5 min. Cook: 25 min.
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 289 calories, 11g fat (5g saturated fat), 56mg cholesterol, 858mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 2g fiber), 24g protein .


  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the tomatoes, seasonings and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in macaroni; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover; simmer until macaroni is tender and sauce is thickened. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Dinner in a Bag in Quick Cooking September/October 1998, p15

Reviews for Dinner in a Bag

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Please Log In or Join to add a rating and review.
Click stars to rate
Any changes to your rating or review will appear where you originally posted your review
Loading Image
Sort By :
gunslinger 226393
Reviewed May. 16, 2015

"Very tasty, economical easy to make main dish! My family really enjoy it."

Joannemaries 219930
Reviewed Feb. 7, 2015

"Love, love, love this recipe. Has been a go to recipe for me for years. Whole family loves it. I added chopped onion and green pepper to ground beef when browning. Then a can of drained mushrooms at the end of cooking time. So good.."

Originaltatie 47635
Reviewed Nov. 1, 2014

"Pefect. I double the chili, put real onions and parsley and everyone's loves this very fast supper. Like a Chili Homemade Hamburger Helper ! A keeper for fast and economical supper. Thanks!"

SharonWaldrop 83059
Reviewed Dec. 28, 2013

"Another recipe my whole family loves and that I have been making for years!"

marieb345 22419
Reviewed Jul. 22, 2013

"This is a great recipe. We doubled the recipe and instead of using stewed tomatoes, we used 3 quarts of tomatoes we canned from our garden and a full box of macaroni. Put some fresh, chopped garden onions on top. This is a keeper"

hs4hmom 23930
Reviewed Mar. 16, 2013

"A family favorite and so easy to make!"

stacienbob 66597
Reviewed Aug. 26, 2012

"My kids didn't care for this."

butterfly3gayle 59878
Reviewed Jul. 31, 2012

"We love this! Have made it now for years and think of it as my own hamburger helper mix. I only do half of the hamburger to stretch my dollar and my own canned tomatoes. I'm like most cooks here I only add part of the salt and add some garlic powder to it."

CDoehrmann 17951
Reviewed Apr. 29, 2012

"Wow this was AWESOME!! Will make this again for sure!! I used home canned tomatoes rather then store bought which cuts down on the sodium a lot! I also added a little oregano and garlic salt!! INCREDIBLE!! :)"

missymagoo12 29935
Reviewed Oct. 18, 2011

"the dish was very good- i did have add 3 cups of liquid to bew able to cook the macaroni- my canned stew tomatoes may had not enough liquids to cook the macaroni- i did add alittle more dried onions and i added some oregano to it. it was a hearty meal- i am still eating it -lots of left overs. i truely like that you can put dry ingreadents a a bag to be readsy and throw it all together. sue"

Loading Image