My black-eyed pea salad reminds me of a Southern cooking class my husband and I took while visiting Savannah, Georgia. People go nuts for it at picnics and potlucks. —Danielle Ulam, Hookstown, Pennsylvania
This convenient and colorful party classic from Linda Austin in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, can be made several days in advance. In fact, it actually tastes better if prepared ahead so all the fresh flavors can blend together. Best served at room temperature with a crusty loaf of toasted French bread or your favorite crackers.
Garlic and other seasonings give great flavor to this colorful medley of vegetables at little cost. The pretty side dish from Sally Domark of Orland Hills, Illinois is tasty and inexpensive, too, at 33 cents a serving.
It's a snap to change the spice level in this popular rice side dish by choosing a milder or hotter salsa. It's a delicious way to round out burritos or tacos when the clock is ticking. —Molly Ingle, Canton, North Carolina
Hominy and garbanzo beans are interesting additions to this zippy chili recipe that uses canned goods from the cupboard. I often serve it with corn bread or flour tortillas for a speedy meal. At 72 cents a serving, it's economical, too. —Karen Hunt, Bellvue, Colorado
Kids of all ages will love the caramel apple taste of this easy-to-prepare dish. "This salad could arguably be used as a dessert," says Dawn Harvey of Danville, Pennsylvania. "It's very pretty with red apples or a combination of red and green apples."
"Convenient canned fruit and instant pudding mix streamline preparation of this refreshing medley," reports Karen Buhr from Gasport, New York. This shortcut salad can also be served as a sweet satisfying dessert for diabetics.
Cumin and chili powder give spark to this thick, hearty soup from Amy Chop of Eufaula, Alabama. "If you have leftover meat - smoked sausage, browned ground beef or roast - toss it in for the last 30 minutes of cooking," she says.
"I'm the mother of two very active boys, and this flavorful dish is one they'll always eat," writes Tracey Jones from Chesapeake, Virginia. "Another reason I love it is I usually have the ingredients on hand."