Tag Archives: Budget Friendly

Meatless Chili Pasta Bake

Hello everyone!

It’s a beautiful Tuesday afternoon here in my little corner of the world in the southern half of Indiana. A bit humid though. I love the sunshine, but the humidity I can do without. I am very grateful for my air conditioning. My kids, however, are enjoying playing in the sprinkler. When they are done, they like to towel off and dry in the sun while eating a Fun Pop. Once spring hits, I always make sure I have a package of those in the freezer.

Enough about my day, lets talk about menu planning for just a minute. Do any of you menu plan? I always work out a menu plan before I make my shopping list, and I work by the week. I also only do dinners. I don’t plan breakfast and lunch. Each individual is on their own for that one. I always have everyone’s favorite things on hand though, so it’s easy for them to find breakfast and lunch.

Do any of you do themed menu planning? I absolutely love doing my planning that way, because I get so bored doing it. I mean lets face it, menu planning and grocery shopping are not really the most enjoyable thing to do. They are tasks and they must be done. But why not have fun with it? If I start getting bored I just change up my theme. I do have some constants though that always seem to make it into the plan somewhere. One of those is a meatless night.

I have discovered that lots of people do “Meatless Monday”. My meatless meal may not fall on a Monday, but it’s the same concept. I’ve also discovered that having at least one meatless meal a week, will save money in groceries. One last thing I’ve noticed, when I make a meatless dish, no one seems to notice or even miss it. How cool is that?!

So that’s what I have for you today, a meatless dish that you’re going to want to add to your menu to try. It’s incredibly budget friendly, and so yummy! My son wolfed it down, and then the kids polished off what was left of it the next day for lunch. I served it alongside some corn bread and a tossed crisp green salad. Easy, quick, cheap, and yummy! What could be better?! Let me show you how easy this is…

First you’re going to cook the pasta according to the package directions. Then drain it, and add it back to the pot. Then mix in your chili, salsa and corn.

Transfer that to a 13×9 casserole dish.

Now sprinkle on the cheese.

All that’s left is to pop it in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until it’s bubbly and the cheese is melted.

I hope you and your family enjoy this delicious dish together! We sure did!

A few of my favorite things in this recipe:

  • Pyrex glass 13×9 baking dish – Mine’s blue, and also probably older, but these Pyrex dishes are perfect for just about anything. They don’t absorb food smells or stains, they are dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave & oven safe, and the lid makes taking a dish to a potluck a lot easier!
  • Oxo Good Grips nylon spoon – These are safe for non-stick cookware and also heat resistant up to 400 degrees.
  • Paula Deen cookware – I absolutely love my cookware set. I have had these for quite awhile and still don’t need to replace them. They are very reasonably priced for great cookware.


Print Recipe
Meatless Chili Pasta Bake Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return pasta to pot and add in the chili, salsa and corn. Mix well to combine.
  3. Transfer to a greased 13x9 baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Taste of Home

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To The Rescue Chicken Quesadillas

Interesting name for quesadillas isn’t it? Let me try to explain. There are two reasons why this name is appropriate. The first, is because I always have these ingredients on hand. So if I have a hectic day, or maybe I messed up real bad in the kitchen trying to create something and it just didn’t work out, and now I have hungry kids staring at me like I’m dinner. Or maybe money is really really tight and I need something very cheap to fix. This recipe comes in handy!

The second reason, is, well, this last Wednesday rolled around I was really starting to feel under the weather. Each one of my kids have been sick the prior week, and you know what happens when you take care of sick kids. No matter how much you wash your hands, you’re gonna get what they got. I swear I need a hazmat suit. Thankfully I was able to get my Wine Pairing Wednesday post up, but after that ran out of steam. That’s ok, because there was a ton of leftovers in the fridge! Yay! That was fine for Wednesday, but Thursday was worse! I ended up with a fever, every time I tried to get out of bed to do something, I just felt worse. My husband is working some late nights, and my kids are hungry! Well that’s ok! Reason #2 why these quesadillas come to the rescue! This is something my kids can build themselves, and make themselves. If they can put a pizza in and out of the oven, they can put a quesadilla in and out of the oven. All I had to do was supervise.

Just layer on your favorite fillings, top it with another tortilla and pop that sucker in the oven. I love doing quesadillas in the oven. It doesn’t require any flipping, and as big as these are, I wouldn’t want to bother with the hassle. Plus, my 10 and 11 year old kiddos are good with the oven. So keeping it simple here. They just like chicken and cheese in theirs. Hubster likes his with onion, cilantro and jalapenos if we have them. I like mine with cilantro and bell peppers. You don’t have to use chicken. Use whatever meat you have available or like best. We’ve done this with left over turkey, as well as left over steak. They’re all yummy!

 

Print Recipe
To The Rescue Chicken Quesadillas Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
  3. Lay one tortilla on the baking sheet, and sprinkle with a layer of cheese. Then top the cheese with a layer of chicken, then onion if using, and then cilantro if using. Top with one more thin layer of cheese to hold it all together, then top with the other tortilla.
  4. Lightly spray the top of the quesadilla with cooking spray.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for about 8 minutes. Check it at 5 minutes. Your quesadilla is done when it is golden brown and crispy.
  6. Serve with your favorite sauce.
Recipe Notes
  • If I don't already have cooked chicken in my freezer, which I try to keep some on hand, I will get a bag of fully cooked grilled chicken from the freezer section of the grocery store, and let it thaw before using.
  • You can substitute the chicken for turkey or beef if you wish. We have done all three and they all turn out great!
  • A sauce I like to use on my quesadillas (also on taquitos) is really simple. Just equal parts sour cream and salsa. Mix together, and you have a delicious zippy sauce.
  • Feel free to add whatever you like on your quesadillas like jalapenos, bell peppers, the options are endless.
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