How to Make Fabulous Meals Using a Formula, Not a Recipe (2024)

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Ever feel like a kitchen klutz? Wish you could take that odd assortment of stuff in the pantry and freezer, mix it with leftovers in the fridge to make something delicious without a specific recipe and without having to run to the market? That’s called cooking with a formula, not a recipe.

How to Make Fabulous Meals Using a Formula, Not a Recipe (1)

Well, grab your whisk and shout for joy! Thanks to this Fool-Proof 5-Step Formula you can create fabulous, original, homemade, delicious, and nutritious casseroles designed by You, using the items you have on hand—pantry, refrigerator, and or freezer!

Step 1

Combine an 8-oz container of sour cream, 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper with one item from Group A, which is coming up below (omit sour cream and milk when using tomatoes).

DID YOU KNOW?

Sour cream is sold by weight, not by volume. An 8 oz. container of sour cream is equal to 3/4 cup by volume. A 16 oz. container of sour cream is equal to 1 1/2 cup by volume. Do not be confused with liquid measure and weight measure. Very rarely will they be the same.

This is the digital scale I’ved had for at least decade—haven’t replaced the battery yet! Works flawlessly and keeps my my measurements true.

Step 2

Stir in one item from each of Groups B, C, D, and E (again, no sour cream and milk when using tomatoes)

Step 3

Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish.

Step 4

Sprinkle with one or two choices from Group F.

Step 5

Cover and bake the casserole at 350 F for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 additional minutes. Servings: About 6.

Group A:

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 can cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 1 can Cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
  • 2 cans Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted

Group B:

  • 2 cans solid white tuna, drained and flaked
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 cups chopped cooked ham
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 pound ground beef, browned and drained

Group C:

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 4 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
  • 3 cups uncooked medium pasta shells

Group D:

  • 1 package* chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 package frozen cut broccoli
  • 1 package frozen Italian green beans
  • 1 package frozen peas
  • 1 package frozen sliced yellow squash
  • 1 package frozen whole kernel corn

*amounts should be about 10-ounces

  • MORE:Super Summer Slow Cooker Recipes—Dessert, Entrees, Sandwiches, Too!

Group E:

  • 1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix

Group F:

  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs

MORE:Frugal Food and Grocery Shopping 101

Example Combinations

Chicken Bake

Cream of chicken soup,broccoli, rice, chicken, Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs.

Ham Casserole

Cream of celery soup, Italian green beans, wide egg noodles, ham, garlic, and two portions Swiss cheese.

Turkey Bake

Italian-style diced tomatoes, spinach, medium pasta shells, turkey, onion, garlic, mozzarella cheese, and breadcrumbs.

Vegetarian Casserole

Italian-style diced tomatoes, yellow squash, rice, olives, four portions ( 1 cup) celery, four portions (ditto) bell pepper, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs.

Now it’s your turn! I’d love it if you’d share your ideas and combinations for casserole formulas with us below in the comments.

How to Make Fabulous Meals Using a Formula, Not a Recipe (2)

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5 from 2 votes

How to Make a Casserole Using a Formula (Not a Recipe)

Ever feel like a kitchen klutz? Wish you could take that odd assortment of stuff in the pantry and freezer, mix it with leftovers in the fridge to make something delicious without a specific recipe and without having to run to the market? That's called cooking with a formula, not a recipe.

Grab your whisk and shout for joy! Thanks to this Fool-Proof 5-Step Formula you can create fabulous, original, homemade, delicious, and nutritious casseroles designed by You, using the items you have on hand.

Prep Time15 minutes mins

Cook Time1 hour hr 20 minutes mins

Total Time1 hour hr 35 minutes mins

Course: Entree

Cuisine: American

Servings: 6 servings

Author: Mary Hunt

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sour cream (or the entire contents of an 8-oz container.)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 1 tspn ground black pepper
  • 1 item from Group A below omit sour cream and milk when using tomatoes
  • 1 item from Groups B, C, D, and E below
  • 1 or 2 items from Group F

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F.

  • In a large bowl, combine sour cream, milk, water, salt, and pepper mixing until incorporated.

  • Stir in the item from Group A

  • Stir in one item from each of Groups B, C, D, and E (again, no sour cream and milk when using tomatoes)

  • Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish.

  • Sprinkle with one or two choices from Group F.

  • Cover and bake the casserole at 350 F, for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 additional minutes. Servings: About 6.

Notes

Group A:

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 can cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 1 can Cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
  • 2 cans Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted

Group B:

  • 2 cans solid white tuna, drained and flaked
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 cups chopped cooked ham
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 pound ground beef, browned and drained

Group C:

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 4 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
  • 3 cups uncooked medium pasta shells

Group D:

  • 1 package* chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 package frozen cut broccoli
  • 1 package frozen Italian green beans
  • 1 package frozen peas
  • 1 package frozen sliced yellow squash
  • 1 package frozen whole kernel corn

*packages should be about 10-ounces

Group E:

  • 1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix

Group F:

  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs

Example Combinations

Chicken Bake

Cream of chicken soup,broccoli, rice, chicken, Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs.

Ham Casserole

Cream of celery soup, Italian green beans, wide egg noodles, ham, garlic and two portions Swiss cheese.

Turkey Bake

Italian-style diced tomatoes, spinach, medium pasta shells, turkey, onion, garlic, mozzarella cheese, and breadcrumbs.

Vegetarian Casserole

Italian-style diced tomatoes, yellow squash, rice, olives, four portions ( 1 cup) celery, four portions (ditto) bell pepper, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs.

Now it’s your turn! We wouldlove it if you'd share your ideas and combinations for casserole formulas with us below in the comments.

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