Archive for the ‘casserole’ Category

This idea is not new but is a little different than this casserole. Mostly it’s just simpler and doesn’t require me to remember to thaw some beef.  Today it also happened to use up rice and spaghetti sauce that needed eaten. 

Gotta love an easy lunch that empties the fridge of food threatening to spoil! 

Simple Rice Pizza

3-4 cups leftover rice

1/2 up cottage cheese

2 eggs

1/2 t oregano

Salt/pepper to taste

3/4 cup spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup sautéed onion

1 cup grated melty cheese

Mix rice, cottage cheese, eggs, oregano and seasonings. Press into the bottom of a greased 8″ baking dish. Spread sauce on top and sprinkle with onions and cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Uncover last 5 minutes. Serve warm or room temp. 

Serves: 4-6


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This one couldn’t be easier. And we all liked it. That’s rare these days!   

I love the fact that the meat doesn’t need browned before going in the casserole. It makes this so easy to assemble. And horray for less dishes!

The rice gets nice and soft on the bottom of the dish and the corn adds a certain sweetness. The bacon has crisp edges and chewy centers and its flavor (aka fat) drips down and keep the venison from becoming dry. It’s really just a good, classic casserole. 

Seven Layer Casserole

Adapted from Fix-It and Enjoy-It Potluck Heaven 

1/2 cup uncooked white rice

2 cups frozen corn, thawed


1 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup water 

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

1 pound ground venison/beef

4 slices bacon, quartered 

In a 2 quart baking dish, layer the rice and corn. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix the tomatoe sauce and water. Pour half of it over the corn/rice. Layer in the onion and peppers. Then crumble the raw meat over too. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce/water over top and layer the bacon over all. Cover and bake at 375 for an hour. Remove the lid and bake another 15 minutes. Serve. 

Serves: 4-6

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Why is it that tasty food is so often unattractive? The first time I made these they were picture perfect with the dough swirling so neatly around the beefy filling. But this time? My dough must have been too wet because there are no pretty rolls. In fact, as I was rolling up the dough, it was falling apart and acting soggy.


But no matter. They were superb. Perfectly beefy and biscuity and buttery.


Beef ‘n Biscuit
Adapted from Mennonite Community Cookbook
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 T butter, optional
2 T flour
1 cup milk

Brown the beef, onion, and peppers until no longer pink. Add the seasonings, fat if your beef was lean, and the flour. Give it a good stir and then add the milk and stir and cook until thick and boiling. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 t baking powder
1 t salt
3 T cold butter
3/4 cup milk

Mix the flours, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles fine crumbs. (I actually use a fine cheese grater for the butter so I don’t have to chase hard chunks around the bowl with a fork.) Next stir in the milk until all the flour is damp. Dump onto a well-floured surface and roll out to 1/4 inch thick, about 15 x 10 inches. May need to flour it a couple of times if your dough is sticky.

Spread the filling all over the dough and roll of jell-roll style, starting at a long edge. Cut into 12 even slices and place in a greased 9×13″ baking dish. Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes or until just starting to brown. Overbaking will dry them out. Serge immediately. If you like sauces, these are good with ketchup or spaghetti sauce.

Serves 6

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I already have a stuffed shell recipe on the blog but this one is different so I had to post it. It’s just chock full of vegetable-y and cheesy goodness and we loved it.


I used some of my homemade cottage cheese in these babies and it was so delicious. I made a double batch of the stuff the other day and got over 3 pounds of it. I’m obsessed with it, in case you couldn’t tell.


So if you are swimming in cottage cheese, or just need a delicious, meatless meal to serve, give these a shot. I think you’ll be pleased!


Veggie and Cheese Stuffed Shells

Adapted from here

20 – 24 jumbo pasta shells, cooked until 3/4 of the way done

2 T olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and grated

1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped

1 onion, diced

1/2 cup chopped Swiss chard

1 roasted red pepper, diced

2 cups cottage cheese

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 egg

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 t Italian seasoning

2 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the carrots, mushrooms, and onion. Saute until all veggies are soft, about 15 minutes. Add the chard and roasted red pepper.

In a bowl, stir together the cottage cheese, mozzarella, egg, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and Italian seasoning. Stir in the sauteed veggies.

In a 7 x 11- or a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish, pour half of the spaghetti sauce. Fill the shells with the filling and place them in the dish.* Pour the remaining sauce over top and sprinkle with the 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake, covered, at 350 until bubbling and hot through, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the cover the last 5 minutes. Let shells sit at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serves: 6 – 8, depending on appetites and what else is served

*Note: I had a bit of leftover filling as I only had 19 shells to fill. Save the remaining filling for putting in omelets the next morning. Yum!

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Does anyone know why this is called Colorado Pie? I like to hear the history behind recipes and their names.


The original recipe didn’t call for potatoes and also had more meat in it. I had only thawed a 1/2 pound of meat so I added the potato to fill it out. It was delicious and I think I’ll always do it this way. The pie still felt plenty meaty to me.


I have to be honest and tell you that the kids did not like this. They were in awful moods this evening, though, so perhaps they aren’t good judges. Brad was not around (it’s rye chopping time!) so he didn’t have any. But I loved it! Very easy meal.


Colorado Pie

Adapted from More with Less

1/2 pound ground beef or venison

1/2 of an onion, chopped

1 medium potato, cut in small cubes

2 cups fresh or frozen green beans



1 recipe condensed tomato soup (recipe below)

1 double whole wheat pie crust (I doubled this recipe)

Cook the potato and green beans until soft.

Brown the meat and onion. Use a little oil or butter if the meat is very lean. When brown, add the cooked veggies, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the soup.

Roll out the bottom crust and fit into the pie pan. Do not crimp. Roll out the second crust and when it’s ready, pour the filling into the pan and then top with the second crust. Cut off excess around edges, crimp, and cut a few slits in the top. Bake at 400F for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and crust is done.

Serves: 4 – 6


Condensed Tomato Soup

Adapted from More with Less

2 T fat (butter, oil, etc.)

3 T unbleached flour

1/2 cup spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup water

Melt the fat in a small pan. Whisk in the flour. Slowly pour in the sauce and water, mixing all the while. Cook, whisking constantly, until bubbly and thick. Use in any recipe that calls for condensed tomato soup.

Yield: about the same amount as a 10-oz can of condensed soup

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I know there are a million macaroni and cheese recipes out there but I thought I’d share mine. I suppose I should say it’s adapted from somewhere but really, macaroni and cheese is about as adaptable as it gets so everyone has their particular little twist. This just happens to be mine.


We eat it with stewed tomatoes and green beans…a classic childhood meal of my family and I’m glad Brad has taken to the tomatoes. The two are a delicious pair. Um, the macaroni and tomatoes, that is. Not Brad and tomatoes.


Macaroni and Cheese

9 oz (a generous 2 cups) uncooked macaroni

3 T butter

4 1/2 T flour

2 1/4 c milk*

1/2 t salt

1/2 t pepper

9 oz (a generous 2 cups) shredded cheese (I like sharp cheddar and co-jack)

Cook the macaroni in boiling water until al dente (I don’t bother salting the water since this is a salty dish anyway).

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a sauce pan. Whisk in the flour and then while continuously whisking, slowly pour in the milk. Keep whisking until smooth. Add the salt and pepper and stir until it’s thick and bubbly. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.

When macaroni is done, drain it and then mix it with the cheese sauce. Pour into a 7 x 11 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 til bubbly and a bit brown on top, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately with stewed tomatoes.

Serves: 6


Stewed Tomatoes

1 quart canned tomato chunks

2 T cornstarch

2 t honey

1/2 t salt (if tomatoes are unsalted)

Mix everything together in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Remove from heat and serve.

Yield: 1 quart

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I can’t say my whole family liked this dish but I loved it. It’s pretty much just turkey gravy with mashed sweet potatoes on top. It’s like a slice of Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving is over.


The potatoes make this dish so sweet. That’s why I loved it but also why Brad wasn’t a fan. I guess he doesn’t like sweet gravy. Which, admittedly, is a little weird to think about but I still enjoyed it.

I took these pictures before I baked the casserole since the light was better in the afternoon when I assembled it. Just imagine that the gravy bubbled up on the edges of the mounds of potatoes and the tips of the potatoes darkened a bit. Very pretty, if I do say so myself.


Yammy Turkey

Recipe adapted from my Aunt Amber’s

1/2 cup chopped onion

butter, for sauteing

3 cups chopped cooked turkey (or chicken)

2 1/2 cups turkey gravy (a thick gravy works better than a thin one)

3 – 4 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1/2 cup hot milk

salt/pepper to taste

Saute onions in a bit of butter until soft. Add turkey and gravy. Pour into a casserole dish. Beat potatoes and milk together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Dollop on top of the turkey. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until heated through and bubbly around the edges. Serve immediately.

Serves: 6

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