While inventing a new form of comfort food, I made a stew of carrots, turnips, parsnips and rutabaga. When I'm in the mood to change things up, I add potatoes, chicken or beef. —Maria Davis, Flower Mound, Texas
In North Syracuse, New York, Cnora Cooper warms up her family with this satisfying stew. "Add a green salad and hot Italian bread for a great meal on a cool spring day," she suggests. "Leftovers are terrific, too."
"This is my family's favorite budget meal," remarks Theresa Stone of Bakersfield, California. "It's not only inexpensive, but quick and tasty, too! Frozen veggies and canned tomatoes shave minutes off preparation time."
Eva Knight's speedy single-pan meal revives comforting memories from her childhood. "The recipe goes back many years to my days at Girl Scout camp," comments the Nashua, New Hampshire cook. "It's so fun and flavorful it became an instant hit with my family."
"To create this tasty chili-like stew, I started with a pound of Italian sausage and just kept adding different ingredients that appealed to me," says Joann Schultz of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. "Everyone who tries it enjoys it."
I got this recipe from a woman at our church, Lois Henry, when I needed a way to use up our bounty of home-canned tomatoes. My husband loves it, and I like that it's easy to warm up for a carefree dinner in the winter months. —Marcia Clay, Truman, Minnesota
My husband and I both work full time and we have three daughters, so good, quick meals are important. This stew works wonders. It always tastes great and is a regular menu item for us. —Marie Shanks, Terre Haute, Indiana
I created this slow cooker recipe using convenience products to save time chopping vegetables and browning beef. Apple cider and cinnamon are the unique additions that give a down-home flavor to this oh-so-easy and economical stew. It also makes a rich, flavorful potluck dish for holiday gatherings or on busy school nights. —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California
Come home to warm comfort food! This beef stew is based on my mom’s wonderful recipe, but I adjusted it for the slow cooker. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan to each bowl for a nice finishing touch. —Marcella West, Washburn, Illinois
For a stick-to-your ribs meal, try this hearty combination of beans and sausage. Because it calls for several canned items, it's easy to prepare and let cook for the afternoon. It's also inexpensive to serve. —Judy Sumner, Riverton, Utah
I came up with this hearty meal-in-one as another way to use frozen meatballs. It's quick to put together in the morning and ready when my husband gets home in the evening. —Iris Schultz, Miamisburg, Ohio