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Money-Saving Recipes for Fast Unusual Meals

Updated on May 16, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty collects recipes and gadgets from the past and is particularly interested in early American history and all Indigenous Peoples.


Ground Meat Options

From time to time, we hear controversies surrounding ground meats serves in restaurant, bujt these dishes can still be safe and healthy when made in your on home. In addition, you can have meat ground to order at many grocery stores and specialty markets in your community, so that you can be assured of freshness and 100% meat content.

The trend is to move away from ground beef these days for healthier ground meat recipes, and this leads cooks to use other varieties of meats. Ground pork, turkey, bison, and other meats are just as good tasting or even better than ground beef and often contain more protein.

For the vegetarian, recipes that call for ground meats can be adjusted by substituting grilled and chunked eggplant, for example, or chunked. A variety of beans can also often be substituted for meat in vegetarian versions of these dishes, one pound of beans for one pound of ground meat.

The following recipes are easy to follow and can save you and your family money at the same time.

Quick Stew For Any Ground Meat

Cook Time: Lightning Fast Stew

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: Serves six people


  • 2 TBSP, Olive OIL
  • 1 Pound You favorite Ground Meat, Beef, turkey, sausage, bison, etc.
  • 1 Pound Sweet or hot Italian pork sausage, Remove casings, if any.
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and minced
  • 1 Large Sweet onion, Chopped coarse
  • 3 1/2 Cups Vegetable broth, (or chicken broth)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped fresh basil
  • 2, 15-ounce Diced tomatoes seasoned with garlic, oregano and basil
  • 1, 15- to 16-ounce Can White kidney or cannellini beans, Rinsed and well drained.
  • ½ Cup Uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 6 Ounces Baby spinach leaves, Fresh and washed.
  • 1/2 Cup Romano Cheese, grated


  1. Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add beef, sausage, and onion to the heated oil and cook until meats are all browned. Add garlic and cook while stirring another 20 seconds to mix ingredients.
  3. Add broth, basil, tomatoes, and beans; stir and heat up to the boil over medium heat. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add pasta and cook until pasta is al dente.
  5. Add the spinach and cook just until wilted while stirring.
  6. Remove the pan from heat, turn off burner, and stir the cheese into the pan. Serve and enjoy.

Please rate our Lightning Fast Stew

5 stars from 1 rating of Lightning Fast Stew

Fast Dishes With Cheese And Meat

Click thumbnail to view full-size
MozzarellaGrated Romano or ParmesanRicotta and Zucchini
Mozzarella | Source
Grated Romano or Parmesan
Grated Romano or Parmesan | Source
Ricotta and Zucchini
Ricotta and Zucchini | Source

Fast 3-Cheese Bolognese

In Italian cooking, Bolognese refers to the people of Bologna and their culinary traditions.


  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 26 oz. Italian Pasta Sauce or
  • 16 oz. tube-shaped pasta (ziti or "sewer pipes"), cooked al dente and drained
  • 1.5 Cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 Cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese


  • Cook beef and garlic in large skillet until beef is browned, stirring to break it up. Drain any excess grease and then add zucchini and cook until tender-crisp.
  • Stir in Pasta sauce and then add ½ cup each Mozzarella, Ricotta and Parmesan cheeses
  • Place into a in 3 Quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses.
  • Bake at 400 Degrees F for 15-20 minutes until hot.

Bologna, Northern Italy

Bologna, Italy:
Bologna, Italy

get directions

How To Make Your Own, Fast Mozarella

Making Fresh Mozarella Cheese

The following video is from The Ohio State University at their University Farms. The film shows the step-by-step process of making mozarella cheese on a large scale. It also provides some of the history behind this popular cheese variety, from back in the older days of rural Italy.

An Unusual, Delicious Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese with Tomato. You can add a tomato slice to your grilled cheese sandwiches in the recipe below.
Grilled Cheese with Tomato. You can add a tomato slice to your grilled cheese sandwiches in the recipe below. | Source

Grilled Cheese Ramen Chili

Makes 2 Servings.


  • 1 15-16 oz. can of chili with beef or turkey
  • 2 Packages of ramen noodles
  • Butter
  • 4 Slices of whole grain bread for grilled cheese sandwiches
  • 4 Slices of cheese, any kind (2 slices per sandwich)
  • Chopped onions, any type


  • Cook ramen noodles and drain.
  • Add seasoning packets and heat chili in another pot or just put the seasoned noodles into a bowl.
  • Make two grilled cheese sandwiches in a skillet.
  • Put one grilled cheese sandwich in the bottom of each of two bowls.
  • Put noodles into each bowl on top of the grilled cheese and then top with chili.
  • Sprinkle the chopped onion on top.

The Cafe Muse in Royal Oak, Michigan is said to make the " Best Grilled Cheese in America."

Cafe Muse, Royal Oak:
418 S Washington Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48067, USA

get directions

Ramen Noodle Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie For One

This is a fast and easy way to use leftovers from a dinner served earlier in the week. This dish makes a tasty hot lunch.


  • One serving bowl of leftover mashed potatoes.
  • One cooked hamburger or ground beef for one serving.
  • One package of ramen noodles (save seasoning packet for something else)
  • Soy sauce
  • Hot sauce or hot sesame oil
  • Teriyaki sauce


  • Cook the ramen according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  • Brown meat in a skillet or warm the hamburger patty in the microwave briefly.
  • Heat leftover mashed potatoes in a pan with butter. They will begin to fry like a potato cake.
  • Mix ¼ cup teriyaki sauce in separate dish with several dashes of soy and hot sauce or sesame oil.
  • Pour the sauce over the frying potatoes blend well.
  • Add the ramen noodles to the mashed potato mixture and sauce, blend briefly.
  • Place hamburger in the bottom of a bowl and place potato mixture on top and enjoy.

Nacho Chips
Nacho Chips | Source

Ramen Nachos

Chili Noodles & Chips

Yields 1 or 2 servings.

This dish is fun and crunch for a change in snacking habits. It is a bit salty, so no additional salt is needed in the preparation. You can also make this dish without the chili or th meat - just ramen noodles, cheese and some flavorful chips crumbled in.if you want something light and fast.


  • 1 packet of ramen noodles, beef or hot chili flavor
  • 1 15-16 oz can of chili with beans (beef or turkey)
  • 4 oz. of any leftover meat you have, including hamburger - crumble it up.
  • 1 serving of corn chips or nacho chips, any desired flavor
  • Shredded cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese
  • Optional - chopped onions (green, scallions, Spanish, Vidalia)


  • Crumble corn chips or nachos.
  • Cook the noodles, drain, and place the pot back on the burner, on medium heat.
  • Quickly mix in chili, leftover meat, corn chips, or nacho chips.
  • Mix in cheese to the desired consistency and sprinkle onion on top.
  • Optional - add hot sauce or jalapenos.

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


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