Easy Chili

I have tried so many different recipes for chili. I’ve liked most of them. But one day, time was a little tight so I made chili the easy way….all from canned ingredients. And let me tell ya, I think this is our new favorite chili! It works for me.

First, brown a pound of ground beef (or turkey) and a small onion in a pan.

Here is all you’ll need to add to that meat:

Just let the pot simmer for a little while so all the flavors can marry. The beans (and it must be THAT brand of beans) are seasoned exactly right for us…not too spicy hot, but loads of flavor.

And if you want to add even more deliciousness (and calories!), top it with a dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheddar cheese.



Pizza Burgers

This is a delicious alternative to regular hamburgers.

Pizza Burgers
Serves: 4

1 pound ground beef
4 tablespoons dry Italian-style bread crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup marinara sauce
cooking spray
4 slices Provolone cheese

In large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, black pepper, & marinara sauce; blend well , being careful to not overwork the meat or else it becomes tough. Divide meat evenly to form into 4 patties. Arrange patties in a large skillet lightly coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat; brown patties for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until they reach desired level of doneness. Place 1 piece of cheese on each patty and continue to cook for 1 minute or until cheese melts.

Serve on buns with lettuce and tomato, if you desire. I often eat this bunless with cottage cheese and a green salad.

Swedish Meatballs over Noodles

I wish I knew where I first found this recipe so I could give proper credit. Alas, I don’t remember. So keep in mind, that although this is a yummy recipe, it is not original with me.
                      Swedish Meatballs over Noodles
Serves: 6
1 bag egg noodles
1 pound frozen meatballs — thawed
vegetable oil — for frying
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup beef broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash  cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup sour cream — at room temperature
Start noodles cooking. Fry meatballs in oil until done and drain on paper towels. Combine remaining ingredients for sour cream sauce.
Fold meatballs into sour cream sauce.
Drain noodles when cooked and serve meatballs on cooked noodles.

BBQ Corned Beef Sandwiches (aka Sloppy Joes)

It may seem strange to add corned beef to this, however it adds such an interesting taste to this mix. The texture of the corned beef is similar to the hamburger when cooked. You honestly don’t realize it is in there, but it sure is missed if this is made without it. My mother used to make this meal for me and my brother. She kept the corned beef ingredient secret from us. I didn’t realize this was the “secret ingredient” until I was grown and asked for the recipe to make for my own family. You can decrease the amount of chili powder if your stomach is sensitive to this ingredient.

BBQ Corned Beef Sandwiches

1 pound hamburger

1 small onion, chopped

1 can corned beef

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 cup catsup

1 cup water

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Brown ground beef and onion in skillet. Drain off excess fat. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer until thick. Serve on buns.

Yield: approx 10 sandwiches

I usually serve this with chips and veggies or fruit for a quick meal. This recipe is easy to make into a double or triple batch and divide up into freezer containers. Just remember to take it out of the freezer in the morning to allow it to thaw. I usually reheat in the microwave.

Johnny Marzetti

Johnny Marzetti
This is an old family favorite from my husband’s childhood. It is so easy and so yummy. Serve it with a green salad and garlic bread and the meal is complete.

Johnny Marzetti

2 cups macaroni
1 cup cheddar cheese, chunked
1jar spaghetti sauce
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Return to saucepan and add spaghetti sauce mixed with cooked ground beef. Heat through. Stir in chunks of cheddar cheese.

Optional: After adding spaghetti sauce, may stir in cheese and bake in 350 degree oven until heated through.

Loose Meat Sandwiches

A new favorite for my younger children. They seem to like this better than my “sloppy joes”. This is an adaptation of a recipe I saw on TV (probably the Food Network), but I cannot remember what show I was watching. The chicken broth is the key to this one. It doesn’t make sense, but this recipe is just not as good if made with beef broth.

Loose Meat Sandwiches

1 pound ground beef
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 cup chicken broth

Brown the ground beef and drain. Add the seasonings and chicken broth. Simmer until the chicken broth has reduced until almost gone, continuing to crumble the ground beef in the liquid. In the end, you ground beef will be finely crumbled and the mixture moist. Serve on buns. Yields approx 4 sandwiches.

L’il Cheddar Meat Loaves

I think the following recipe has made the rounds of many recipe exchange lists for the past several years. It was originally published in my favorite foodie magazine Taste of Home in 2000. The author of this recipe is Katy Bowron. The only thing I’ve changed from her origina recipe is to use bread crumbs instead of Katy’s suggestion of quick oats as a binder. My kids didn’t like to “see” the oats.  Teamed with my Parsley Potatoes and a green veggie, this is what I call a “comfort” meal.

Li’l Cheddar Meat Loaves
Serves: 8

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard

In  a bowl, beat the egg and milk. Stir in cheese, bread crumbs, onion and salt. Add beef and mix well. Shape into eight loaves; place in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard; spoon over loaves. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 45  minutes or until meat is no longer pink  and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

These can be made ahead of time and frozen. Prepare the meatloaves as directed, but don’t add the ketchup sauce. Place the formed meatloaves on a tray and place in the freezer for a few hours. When the loaves are frozen, place them into a freezer bag or container, label and date and return to the freezer. When you want to prepare them for dinner, take out as many as you want, place on a tray and bake as directed. You can bake from the frozen state, just add about 15-20 minutes to your cooking time and check the internal temperature often to make sure that you have cooked the meat completely. Add the ketchup sauce in the last 30 minutes so it doesn’t burn.