Saving Money With Mix-n-Match Skillet Meals

The following recipe is one I prepare regularly to use up leftovers or clear out the cupboards. I keep a copy of this taped to the inside of my pantry door at all times. With Mix-n-Match Recipes, I'm always amazed at the meals I can create from simple, basic formulas. I also save money by choosing ingredients I have on hand. Sometimes I even surprise myself with a delicious nearly-gourmet combination or two!

Mix-n-Match Skillet Meals

Adapted with permission from the book Mix-and-Match Recipes: Creative Ideas for Today's Busy Kitchens by Deborah Taylor-Hough (SourceBooks).

Choose one(1) food from each of the following four(4) groups:

1) Breads and Cereals (1 cup raw)

  • Spaghetti
  • Rice (white or brown)
  • Noodles
  • Bulgar
  • Any pasta

2) Sauce (1 can soup plus 1.5 cans milk, broth or water)

    Cream of Mushroom
  • Cream of Celery
  • Cream of Chicken
  • Cream of Potato
  • Tomato Soup
  • French Onion Soup

3) Protein (1 pound or 1 cup cooked)

    Chopped beef
  • Chopped pork or ham
  • Ground beef or turkey
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Cooked dry beans
  • Frankfurters
  • Keilbasa

4) Vegetables (1.5 to 2 cups canned, cooked or raw)

  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Green beans
  • Lima beans
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Celery
  • Green Pepper
  • Whatever you have around

1/2 to 1 cup cheese (any kind) can be stirred into sauce at the end of the cooking time.

    Choose one food from each of the four groups above.
  1. Stir together in skillet.
  2. Season to taste with salt, pepper, soy sauce, onion flakes, garlic, or whatever spices you enjoy.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to lowest setting.
  5. Cover pan and simmer 30 minutes until pasta or rice is tender.
  6. Stir occasionally to prevent rice and pasta from sticking.
  7. Stir in cheese, if desired.
  8. Serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Or, to bake in oven: mix all ingredients in casserole dish and cover tightly; bake at 350 F for one hour.

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About The Author,
Deborah Taylor-Hough (free-lance writer and mother of three) is the author of several popular books including Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month and A Simple Choice: A Practical Guide for Saving Your Time, Money and Sanity. To subscribe to her free email newsletter, Simple Times, send an email to: Visit Debi online and read more articles dealing with simple living, frugality, parenting and much more: