My husband is disabled and requires constant care. This doesn't leave me a lot of time to cook, so I came up with this tasty way to beef up a box of macaroni and cheese. The hearty mixture gets extra flavor from corn, ripe olives and zippy salsa.
-Charlotte Kremer, Pahrump, Nevada
Dazzle your hungry visitors with this crunchy salad. It showcases an interesting mixture of chicken, pasta, spinach and other vegetables. The delectable dressing complements the colorful ingredients. A hearty plateful makes a satisfying entree. —Janet Mooberry, Peoria, Illinois
"When I bring this super salad to church dinners, there is usually nothing to take home," relates Lynn Cole of Sagle, Idaho. "Add 2 or 3 cups leftover turkey or chicken to create a filling main-dish salad," she suggests. "The dressing is so good that we use it on potato salads and even lettuce salads!"
An everyday pasta bake gets jazzed up with pepperoni, sausage and olives. Because it can be assembled ahead of time and baked right before serving, it’s my handy go-to when I need something on the fly. —Marlene Mohr, Cincinnati, Ohio
People tell me they can't stay away from this fresh-tasting salad, with its layers of lettuce, green pepper, cucumber, macaroni, hard-cooked eggs, ham and more. Mustard and pepper give a little zip to the creamy mayonnaise dressing.
-C. Neomi Drummond, Des Moines, Iowa
This spicy soup, featuring shrimp, crabmeat and tomatoes, gets its zip from hot pepper sauce and cayenne pepper. It's easy to prepare and dresses up any meal. Of all the recipes I've borrowed from my mom, this soup is the one that I've made most often.
North Palm Beach, Florida
"I especially like this dish because I can get it ready the day before I need it," comments Julie Ridlon of Solway, Minnesota. It's easy to whip up with common pantry items, including macaroni, canned soup and saltine crackers.
As a pastor's wife, I never miss a church supper. This vegetable-beef soup is my family's favorite. It's also a big favorite with the First Baptist Church "family" here in Alton! Sometimes, I will stir up a kettleful of soup at our local campground, too—it tastes wonderful indoors or out.
This is one of my favorite meal-in-a-bowl soups because it's very tasty with little preparation. Collard greens or chopped kale can be used instead of spinach. The hot pepper sauce adds real kick, but it's fine to leave it out and let each person flavor their own serving.