FYI: Tips to Easy Meals

Every cook has a collection of easy recipes that are considered "fail safe", and I'm no exception. Never mind that I've made puff pastry, have been making bread from scratch since I was 13 years old, and love cooking the most complicated recipes I can find. Sometimes, when the dinner hour approaches, I need to pull out an easy recipe that I can make in my sleep. And that goes double when I've been testing recipes all day! I always choose an easy recipe that uses ingredients I know are in my pantry, fridge, or freezer (see Your Personal Mise En Place for more ideas). Browse through this list of super easy recipes and add some to your repertoire. They will never fail you!

The first list of easy recipes is a group of entrees that are so simple, they are more just a list of ingredients and how to combine them. And the second list comes from my Recipe Box; those that are the easiest of the easy.

Cacciatore Chicken Sandwiches
Cook frozen breaded chicken patties according to package directions. Spread cut onion buns with butter and toast until brown. Place patties on buns, and top with heated pasta sauce, shredded Havarti cheese, and some sliced avocado.

Cheesy Tortellini
Cook refrigerated or frozen tortellini and frozen peas in the same pot until pasta is tender and broccoli is heated through. Add refrigerated four cheese alfredo sauce along with some shredded mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese and heat.

Creamy Chicken And Asparagus
Cook fresh or frozen asparagus and add to bottled Alfredo sauce along with shredded Swiss cheese and frozen cooked, diced chicken. Heat over low heat until hot and serve over cooked fettuccine.

Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs
Bake frozen fully cooked meatballs according to package directions, and prepare frozen stir-fry peppers and onions. Stir into heated spaghetti sauce and serve over cooked and drained pasta. Top with Parmesan or Romano cheese.

Italian Shrimp And Broccoli
Heat undrained diced garlic and herb tomatoes and a spoonful of tomato paste with frozen broccoli. Stir in cooked shrimp, simmer until hot and serve over rice, refrigerated (heated) mashed potatoes, or cooked noodles.

Meatball Sandwiches
Heat frozen cooked meatballs and some frozen green beans with a jar of spaghetti sauce. Spoon onto split and toasted hoagie buns and top with mozzarella cheese slices. Broil about 1 minute to melt cheese.

Olive Pizza
Top a Boboli pizza crust with chopped olives, green onions, red bell peppers, salsa, and shredded Cojack or Pepper Jack cheese. Bake as directed on crust package.

Salsa Wraps
Brown chicken breast pieces in olive oil in skillet, and stir in some salsa. Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked, then shred chicken in the sauce. Layer on warmed tortillas with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sliced avocado, and sour cream. Fold tortilla and serve.

Shrimp and Couscous
Heat together cooked shrimp, a can of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup chopped green onions, 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, and undrained Italian diced tomatoes. Serve over couscous, cooked according to package directions.

Smoked Salmon Pizza
Top a boboli pizza crust with softened cream cheese, then spoon refrigerated pesto on top. Top with soft cold-smoked salmon strips and Havarti cheese. Bake as directed on crust package.

Steak Supper
Broil your favorite type of steak (I like ribeye). Combine a jar of drained mushrooms, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon of honey mustard, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce in small pan; heat until hot. Top steaks with sauce and serve over mashed potatoes made from flakes, or refrigerated mashed potatoes, heated according to the package.

Swedish Meatballs
Heat frozen cooked meatballs and frozen mixed vegetables with a jar of brown gravy in heavy saucepan until meatballs and vegetables are hot. Stir in some sour cream and a bit of nutmeg. Serve on heated refrigerated mashed potatoes.

Tomato Tortellini
Cook frozen tortellini according to package directions along with frozen stir-fry peppers and onions. Drain and stir into heated spaghetti sauce along with a splash of heavy cream. Top with Parmesan or Romano cheese.

Tuna Alfredo
Cook bow tie pasta with frozen mixed vegetables and drain well. Mix with canned, drained tuna, shredded provolone cheese, and refrigerated Alfredo sauce and heat. Top with grated Romano cheese.


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