meatloaf for a crowd

My Georgia makes incredible meatloaf. It is one of those things of mine that she has taken and greatly improved upon. We like it best with thickly sliced homemade bread. preheat your oven to 350

you will need

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 diced bell pepper
  • 1 diced onion
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Cups uncooked oatmeal, we use thick sliced non- instant
  • 1 T Cajun seasoning
  • 1 large 1 lb can tomatoes sauce

Add everything except the tomato sauce to a large mixing bowl and get your hands in it and mix well. Then put it all in a baking dish and pat down smooth like a loaf. pour the tomato sauce on top and bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes. It will be done when bubbly and you can insert a knife into center and it comes out clean like when you test a cake, leaving a slice in the top. We like to serve ours as sandwiches, but it is also great alongside cooked pasta.

Italian Pasta bake

This is like a budget version of Spaghetti Pie, I will post that recipe soon. But this is a good one too and lots less expensive. It is very simple and you can just use the amounts for your family size.

  • Cooked pasta, cooked and drained
  • chunky spaghetti sauce
  • grated Italian blend cheese 8 oz or so

Mix your pasta and sauce in a bowl then add to a buttered casserole dish, then place cheese on top and bake until cheese is bubbly. That is all. Super simple but a little better than plain spaghetti.

chicken pasta salad

This is one of our favorite summer dishes and a hit at every pot luck or covered dish supper. You can make it with or without the chicken.

  • 1 box colored spiral pasta and one box macaroni, or two bags of wacky pasta
  • 2 bottles of ranch dressing
  • 1 diced onion
  • diced peppers, any kind you like
  • diced tomatoes, 2 or 3 or how ever much you want
  • 2 chicken leg quarters, boiled or baked and meat taken off bone and diced

Cook your pasta according to the directions. Drain and put in fridge to cool. When cool, in large pot, add all ingredients and stir well.  That is it! Keep cool till you serve. Easy stuff.

ground beef gravy

Since we have all the milk a family could ever use, we do a lot of creamed dishes and gravies. Fresh raw milk is wonderful.

You will need,

  • 1 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • diced peppers, bell, or whatever you like, as much as you like
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • milk, about 1/2  gallon

Add your ground beef, onion, and peppers to a skillet and cook on med high until done, stirring often. When done keep over heat and add flour while stirring constantly. when the meat is well coated slowly begin to add milk. Add enough until it is pretty soupy, keep stirring until gravy gets as thick as you desire. You can add more milk if it gets too thick. This can be varied. Add season to taste, we usually add some Cajun spice.

Ground beef gravy is great over boiled potatoes and carrots, or baked potatoes, or thick sliced bread, or rice or even pasta. It is a great frugal meal.

cheeseburger casserole

Our cheeseburger casserole is one of those “big family” meals. Filling, hearty, easy and frugal. It is similar to a homemade hamburger helper but a thousand times better.

Since all of the ingredients are things I have in my price book (see my site for price book info) I can easily add up the cost of this dish.

here are the ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (I paid $1.37)
  • 3 16oz packages of pasta (I paid 50cents each = $1.50)
  • 1 large onion ( I paid 99 cents for a bag so 25cents)
  • 1 8oz bag shredded cheese ( I paid $1.67) I use the Fiesta Blend Cheese
  • 1 16oz can tomato sauce,  (94cents, if I don’t have it from the garden)


This is super easy, boil your water and cook your pasta in a large pot. While that is cooking, brown your ground beef with your diced onion. After both of those are done, drain your pasta and then add the cooked meat and onions and the tomato sauce and the shredded cheese to the same pot and mix well. You can put in serving bowl and serve as is or you can put in a casserole dish and add more cheese to the top and bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted. this dish easily serves our big family of 10 with some homemade rolls and salad. The main dish should cost under $6 if you shop like I do 🙂 .

easy chili for a crowd

  • 2 pounds ground beef, or ground chuck, or venison, or stewing beef, or sausage, or any combination that amounts to 2 pounds 
  • 3 onions diced
  • handfull of peppers of your choice, diced
  • 6 pound can of tomato sauce
  • 6 pound can of diced tomatoes
  • 6 pound can of pinto beans
  • your favorite seasonings

In a large skillet brown meant and onions and peppers. Then add all ingredients to a very large crockpot or electric roaster. Season according to your preference,  we use lots of chili powder and cajun seasoning. Cook on low about 4-6 hours, or until the aroma makes your stomach growl. Serve with a topping of fresh diced tomatoes, fresh diced onions, shredded cheese and sour cream. Also great to have cornbread muffins on the side.

jalapeno chicken and rice

Ok, before I forget. I stood over Georgia tonight while she made this. Here goes. Remember we like it hot and we feed an army (Beau). First she takes 2 chicken leg quarters and either boils them in a stock pot or cooks them in the crock pot with about 10 cups of water. You will need this. Here are the ingredients.

  • 4 cups uncooked rice
  • 1/2 cup diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2T vegetable oil
  • diced cooked chicken from leg quarters
  • 8 cups hot chicken stock
  • 8oz shredded fiesta blend cheese
  • toppings of sour cream, salsa or diced tomatoes

Put your rice, peppers, onion and oil in large deep skillet that has a lid. Cook on med high until onions transparent. Add chicken, and stock. Stir well. Cover and turn to simmer stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed. then leave covered with heat off for another 10-20 minutes. Serve with cheese on top and a dollop of sour cream and topped with fresh salsa or diced tomatoes.  Don’t forget to bless the cook.