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Quick meals with few ingredients

By on February 3, 2010

apricot chicken
photo by colinandangie

Recipes with just a few ingredients are often cheaper, but they don’t have to lack in flavor. They don’t have a lot of steps and measurements so they are simple to prepare. You’ll have most everything you need already in your kitchen, too. The following recipes can be jazzed up with additional ingredients or left basic and hassle-free.

Apricot Chicken

1 whole chicken, cut up
1 cup French dressing
1 packet dry onion-soup mix
1 cup apricot preserves

Mix all the ingredients, and pour over the chicken. Bake at 350 F for one hour, covered. Remove the cover, and cook for an additional 15 to 30 minutes. Serve over rice. — Marcia, Missouri

Taco Cornbread Pizza

1 package (8-1/5 ounces) corn-muffin mix
1 pound ground beef
1 package (1-1/2 ounces) taco-seasoning mix
1 package (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Prepare the corn-muffin mix as directed on the package. Spread the batter into a greased 12-inch pizza pan (or use a parchment paper on a baking stone). Bake at 400 F for eight to 10 minutes, or until lightly brown. Brown the meat; drain. Prepare the seasoning as directed on the package, and add to the meat. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese over the baked crust. Top with the meat mixture and remaining cheese. Bake four to five minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Cook’s note: It tastes great by itself, but if you want to dress it up, use favorite taco toppings such as lettuce, tomato, sour cream and salsa. It serves eight. — Denise, Illinois

Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 pounds boneless pork-shoulder roast
1 can French-onion soup
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
4 tablespoons packed brown sugar
12 toasted sandwich rolls

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the roast, and brown on all sides. Place the roast in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the soup, ketchup, vinegar and brown sugar; pour over the roast, and slow cook on low for eight to 10 hours. Remove the roast from the cooker. Let it cool slightly. Shred. Return the shredded pork to the sauce in the cooker, and heat through. Serve on rolls. — Carolyn, Georgia

Stroganoff Burgers

1-1/2 pounds ground beef
3 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 can cream-of-mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
10 hamburger buns

Brown the ground beef with bacon and onion in a skillet, stirring frequently; drain. Add the flour and seasonings; mix well. Stir in the soup. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sour cream; mix well. Heat to serving temperature; do not boil. Serve on toasted buns. — Denise, Illinois

Tomato Macaroni

8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
1 can (16 ounces) whole or diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the macaroni as directed on the box. While the macaroni is cooking, heat the tomatoes with liquid, butter, salt, pepper and the oregano to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Arrange in a serving dish, pour sauce on the hot macaroni, and serve with Parmesan cheese and a tossed salad. — Darlene, New York


  1. connie matthews

    3/6/2010 at 9:56 pm

    I am looking for a chicken noodle soup recipe that was in frugal living Jan or Feb 2010 news column Skagit Valley Herald. Can anyone help? In the recipe was l can of cream of chicken soup.

  2. Sara Noel

    3/6/2010 at 10:07 pm

    Is it this one? Sometimes newspapers publish columns I wrote a while back and sometimes they are a few weeks ahead of what I publish here.

    If it’s not this one, I’ll eventually find it and will contact you.

  3. Sara Noel

    3/6/2010 at 10:13 pm

    I’ve looked through my archives and all I see recently is a recipe for primavera (with cream of chicken soup) and a homemade cream of chicken soup recipe (and a recipe for cheesy potatoes made with it). All columns will eventually be published here, but so far I’m not finding it. I’ll keep looking.

  4. tearsoflife

    2/1/2011 at 2:10 pm

    I want the make the stroganoff burgers but I can not have mushrooms. What can I use as a substitute for the cream of mushroom soup?

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