"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.
Our family loves this hearty stew. I like to serve steaming helping in old-fashioned soup plates with thick crusty slices of homemade bread. To get the 11 cups of chopped cabbage for this stew, you'll need to start with a small head of cabbage, about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds. Or for quicker prep, substitute coleslaw mix from the produce department.—Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
"For a change from sandwiches, we like burritos-something many people don't consider in a brown-bag lunch," says Rhonda Cliett of Barton, Texas. "They're good cold or easy to heat if a microwave's available."
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."
Quinoa adds crunch, corn lends sweetness and color, and red pepper flakes ratchet up the heat in these tender stuffed peppers. Whole wheat rolls or breadsticks and a pitcher of iced tea make for a standout supper. —Joyce Moynihan, Lakeville, Minnesota
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
My family loves meat loaf—and this one in particular. I created the recipe after trying and adjusting many other recipes over the years. Cheddar cheese tucked inside and a flavorful bacon topping dress it up just right for Sunday dinner! —Sue Call, Beech Grove, Indiana
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