Two of my favorite cheap but yummy recipes…

Two of my favorite cheap but yummy recipes…

..that came up in comments in other threads, so I thought I might post them here. Your costs will vary, but both are good ways to use up things that you have bits and ends of that might otherwise go to waste...

You will need:

Fritos or other cornchips (You can also use leftover corn tortilla. Tortilla chips yield less than satisfactory results, but you can give it a shot)

Ground beef/turkey/TVP. (You can use leftover taco filling, or just start fresh. Any amount works, depends on your dish. I use 1lb or so for a 9x13 dish)

Cheeses (grated) -- Cheddar of any variety, Colby, Monterey Jack, ColbyJack, any Mexican cheeses -- any combination.

1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 can of Cream of Chicken soup

1 jar salsa or taco sauce (or you can clear out your leftovers in all those jars in the fridge)

1 cup or so of chicken or veg broth.


Simmer together:

Cream soups (undlituted)
Taco sauce/Salsa

(If you want to go really cheap or you don't want the sodium of canned soup, you can use your favorite white sauce recipe here too with good success)

Stir until well blended and hot, but do not boil


If you're using leftover taco or burrito filling, you can skip this step.

Brown your ground beef/turkey/TVP/whatever. Throw in some onions and garlic if you want.

I've not tried this, but I'm told you can use canned beans (kidney, rosada, etc.) with succes as well.


Put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of your pan.
Line the bottom with the Fritos. You can slighty crush the chips if you want.
Layer meat and sauce, in alternate layers.
Cover with cheese

Bake at 325-350 for about 35-40 minutes, covered with foil. (Smaller pans will obviously take less time) I use a glass pan so I can see that the filling is bubbling all the way through.

After everything is bubbly and melty, remove the foil and let the cheese brown in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

Let this sit for 10 min or so after cooking so it sets up.

Serve with sour cream, extra cheese, extra salsa, jalepenos, or just plain!

I've put jalepenos or green chiles in the top layer of cheese before baking, and it was tasty -- good way to use up those partial jars of peppers in the fridge.

My mom took this to every church potluck when I was a kid. It's cheap to make and filling, and you can tinker with the fat content if you want.

And then there's....
You will need....

1 large can (or two small) of tomato soup (storebrand is fine)

1 can or 1 bag frozen of Green Giant Niblet corn (the brand name really does matter here, but you can try whatever corn you have. I just have found that other brands, even national brands, don't really work in this recipe. The Niblets have a higher sugar content, I think, which is they key)

Ground beef/turkey/TVP

Vegetables for soup -- potatoes, celery, carrots, turnips, parsnips, zuccini, whatever's in the crisper that needs using. Green beans are tasty. Frozen also works --this is a great way to use up the ends of bags of frozen veg. Just avoid broccoli or cauliflower.)


Place soup (undiulted) and Niblets in a pot. You can add some water if you want, but it's not necessary. (Leftover chicken or veg broth might be a good addition)

Bring soup and corn to a simmer. Something happens between the acid in the tomatoes and the sugar in the corn that is....magick...

While that comes up to temperature, brown your beef/turkey/TVP with some onions and garlic. You can skip this step entirely and leave the meat/TVP out. You can just brown some onions and garlic if you want. You can also substitute leftover cooked meat here if you wish.

Cut up your soup veggies.

Place your veg and your meat/TVP if using into the pot of soup/corn mixture.

Let it simmer and bubble! Season to taste.

You can add rice, pasta, or noodles to this if you want.

I usually serve it with biscuits or rolls.

It's different every time depending on what you're using up from the veggie crisper, freezer, and fridge. This recipe is amazing tolerant of innovation.
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