I love to get creative with classic dishes, such as this colorful version of shepherd's pie. Adding squash and cauliflower boosts the nutritional value and cuts the calories. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
A friend showed me how to make stacked enchiladas years ago. I took it even further to create this filling casserole. I serve it with Mexican corn or chips and dip. I love the rave reviews I get every time I make it. —Deana Briggs, Maud, Texas
Vegetables and herbs fresh from my garden make this one of our favorite soups. This recipe makes a lot, so it's perfect for large gatherings or to freeze in smaller containers for fast meals.—Virginia Bauer, Botkins, Ohio
"My mom shared this easy-to-assemble casserole years ago," recalls Brenda Marschall of Poplar Bluff, Missouri. "It's very good with garlic toast," she adds. Large shell macaroni or ziti noodles can be used instead of spiral pasta.
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
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
“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.”