Frugal Meals You Can Make In One Hour

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You can make frugal meals in one hour every day, you really can. You can mix up the ingredients for 15 minutes, or so, and bake the dish while you fold the laundry. Let it bake for 45 minutes if the recipe has that time period for baking. You can even freeze them ahead of time and then defrost the dish in the frig the day before and then bake them in less than one hour. Life is good when we don’t have to think about what we want to fix for dinner, right?

Of course, if we use our food storage to prepare our dinner that’s even better! These are some really old recipes, like at least 30+ years old. Enjoy!

My Favorite Frugal Meals:

Chicken Enchiladas


  • 4 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1-1/2 pints sour cream or freeze-dried sour cream
  • 1-4 ounce can green chilies
  • 4 green onions, chopped or 2 tablespoons freeze-dried green onions
  • 1 pound grated cheese or equivalent freeze-dried cheese reconstituted
  • 2 dozen corn tortillas cut into bite size pieces

Combine the chicken soup, sour cream, chilies and green onions in a large bowl. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and layer the soup mixture, tortillas and save a little of the cheese for the top of the casserole. Cover with foil and bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Serve with sour cream and salsa. My favorite lasagna pan: All-Clad 59906 Stainless Steel 15 by 12 by 2.25-Inch Lasagna Pan Cookware, Silver

Chicken And Bacon Supreme


  • 6 chicken breasts, uncooked
  • 12 slices ham
  • 12 pieces of precooked bacon, crumbled or 6 tablespoons crumbled bacon
  • 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup undiluted
  • 3 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Sprinkle each half chicken breast with crumbled pieces of bacon, roll each one in a slice of ham. Place the 12 rolls as indicated in the pan. Combine the chicken broth and soup and completely cover the rolls. Cover with foil and bake for one hour.

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Beef Enchiladas


  • 1 large onion, chopped or 4 tablespoons freeze-dried onion
  • 1-4 ounce can green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large can tomato sauce or 2-1/2 medium cans
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • one pound cooked hamburger or 3 cups freeze-dried hamburger
  • one dozen corn tortillas cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 to 3 cups grated cheese

Cook onions in oil until tender. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the tortillas and cheese. Layer the sauce, tortillas, and cheese, ending with the cheese. Cover with foil and bake in preheated 350-degree oven for one hour or until cooked completely. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Poppy Seed Chicken


  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced or 2 cups reconstituted freeze-dried chicken
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1-1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) box Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chicken, soup, and sour cream. Combine the crackers with the melted butter and poppy seeds. Mix half of the cracker mix with all of the chicken mix. Spread in pan and top with remaining cracker mix. Cover with foil and bake 30-40 minutes or until heated through.

Hot Chicken Casserole

  • 2 cups cooked chicken cut into bite size pieces (or 2 cans of chicken drained-12.5 ounces) (or equal amount of reconstituted freeze-dried chicken)
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • ½ chopped fresh onion (or 3 tablespoons freeze dried onion, do not reconstitute)
  • 1 cup fresh celery chopped in bite size pieces
  • 1 can water chestnuts drained, sliced or chopped (approximately 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise or miracle whip
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup almonds, slivered or sliced (Add to the top of casserole the last 5-10 minutes-continue baking)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl, except the almonds. Stir the mixture until blended well. Place in a 9 inch by 13 inches greased pan and bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until heated through. Add the almonds to the top of the casserole during the last 5-10 minutes of baking.

Tuna Casserole


  • Cook a one pound package of egg noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain the noodles.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the following:
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can milk
  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 2 green onions or 1 teaspoon freeze-dried green onions
  • dash of pepper
  • one cup of grated cheese, set aside to put on top of the casserole
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Layer the soup and tuna mixture with noodles and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake covered with foil for 30-40 minutes, or until heated through.

These are the pans that are great for freezing: Hefty E-Z Foil Lasagna/Casserole Pan (Pack of 12). These are great pans to take some frugal meals to neighbors or friends. They are also great for freezing some casseroles to cook later in the month for your family.

PRINTABLE recipes: Recipes by Food Storage Moms

Quinoa Recipes by Linda

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  1. You’re making me hungry, Linda! I love the idea of making the enchiladas with the tortilla pieces. You have all of the flavor without the hassle. I can’t wait to try them! Hugs, Mare

    • Hi Mare, I love enchiladas with tortilla pieces because it’s easier to eat with the cut up tortillas. Let me know when you make them, Hugs! Linda

      • I made the enchiladas, except I used fresh jalapenos. I shared them with my cohorts at work and we all loved it. It was so much easier and faster to make with the tortilla pieces, than rolling them! I, also, made a version of your tuna casserole. Not being a tuna fan, I used home canned chicken in place of the tuna. I found I was out of mushroom soup (don’t know how that happened!), so I used cream of chicken soup. You know me… I had to go pluck a jalapeno off the plant and add that. Okay, I guess it really wasn’t your tuna casserole, at all, but your recipe gave me a basis for a really good chicken casserole! *BG* Thank, again, for sharing your recipes. Hugs, Mare

  2. This looks delicious… and I love the idea of using tortilla strips… I did something similar with flour tortillas… So much easier than trying to roll anything, and even works better than laying them flat…

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