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How to Fix Cheap Meals in Hard Times with Pasta

We all are trying to find cheap meals to fix for our families in these economic hard times. Pasta is an obvious choice due to its price and versatility. You can stretch just about anything with pasta, filling "tummies for not much monies!"
I'm not going to break these recipes into price points, because that depends on how many you are serving, how large the appetites are, and where you shop! Many of these ideas would hardly masquerade as a recipe; it is just more of a quick cooking idea.

1го This is probably my family's favorite meal that I fix. I have learned to prepare lots of it to avoid harsh words between family fighting over it! The thing is, like many foods, it is actually better the next day!
Boil a box of spiral pasta. Drain. In the microwave, cook frozen broccoli, frozen corn, and carrots. You can do this separately or purchase a bag of combined vegetables. Quantities are not really important, but obviously the more vegetables the better. It needs to be the whole broccoli flowers, not chopped broccoli, for best results.
Toss all the drained ingredients together. Add cooked chicken pieces. If you have left-over chicken, that would be great. Canned chicken will work. I usually cook a few boneless tenderloin in the microwave and cut them up. Toss it all with melted butter and lots of garlic powder, ground pepper and a little salt. Allow to stand so the flavors can "mesh." Serve warm with sour cream if desired.

2го This is another family favorite you might use when you need to fix cheap meals for hard times with pasta! Purchase one or two bags of Tortellini. I buy the kind Wal-mart has for around $1.50. We like either the kind stuffed with spinach and cheese, or the tri-color kind stuffed with just cheese. I use two bags to feed 3-4 adults with sizeable leftovers. Boil these, and drain. Return to the hot pot. Add a Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad dressing, probably around two tablespoons. Stir until well coated, adding some dried herbs or parsley, ground pepper and a little garlic powder. Turn the heat off and add a large can of diced tomatoes, drained. You woulde use a small can for one box of tortellini. Also add around two tablespoons of the liquid off the tomatoes. Toss and top with Parmesan Cheese.

3го I will give this one a catchy title: "Anything in the Fridge Primavera!" When you can find those white pasta sauces like Ragu Fettuccini, or the store brand, buy up a few to have on hand. I got several for a little over a dollar each at my grocery store last week. Cook your pasta; spaghetti or linguini is probably best. Any thing you have will do! Whatever vegetables you have left over, bits and pieces of spinach, broccoli, green beans, onions, carrots, peppers, etc..place in the sauce. Add leftover ham, chicken, tuna, or turkey, cut up in little pieces. You could even sandwich meat and cut it up. Beef or pork will not really work with this recipe. Serve over the pasta, sprinkled with grated mozzarella, Parmesan, or Monterey Jack.

4го Here's another one where you can use leftover vegetables, but I will give you the official ingredients. Cook a box of pasta, spiral is the one I would choose, but you can use whatever is on sale! It is served cold, so use whatever pasta you like for a salad. Add leftover or canned chicken, some pea pods (or any green vegetable) and some little red tomatoes. You could, of course, use any tomatoes. Toss in a dressing of 1/4 cup French Dressing and 1/3 cup mayonnaise. Sprinkle a little salt, pepper and parsley flakes in for some zest. Serve with a warm, toasty English muffin or even a hamburger bun toasted.

5го Here is a quicky that I use quite alot in my rice cooker, but you can use any cooking method. I cook pasta, add a tomato sauce, and top with some shredded mozzarella. Sometimes I will add a cheap can of mushrooms, and sometimes I layer it like lasagna, adding a cheese layer in between. This can be done without heating up the oven....Everyone loves this. It's great when you need to fix cheap meals in hard times to have some pasta, tomato sauce and cheese on hand.


*I usually use canned tomatoes and doctor it up with oil, sugar, vinegar and spices to make a better and cheaper spaghetti sauce.

Oooh. I always forget parmesan on the grocery list. ...must add to list asap. Thanks! 5*

Good tips on How to Fix Cheap Meals in Hard Times with Pasta.

Good cheap pasta meals I'm with you on this.

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