Thursday, March 7, 2019

Easy & Yummy Skillets and Mixes

I had someone ask about the Mexican casserole, and someone mentioned they had never made homemade Rice A Roni, so today I will give you both recipes.
We all like easy meals, and homemade, and  frugal.
So here we go - a couple semi-homemade recipes that are just scrumptious.

2 C uncooked rice (not instant)
1 C broken spaghetti - (I place in a bag and smash with a hammer)
6 Tbsp. instant chicken or beef bouillon powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
Mix all together and store in an airtight container.
To use - put 1 cup of mix, 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 cups of water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil,  reduce heat - cover & simmer for 15 minutes until tender.
(This is the original recipe I started with and it's from the Tightwad Gazette.)

**I do things a bit different now - just to give you options.  This tastes good, but it isn't exactly like Rice A Roni as it hasn't been sautéed in butter.
I mix up the rice and broken spaghetti together - and I mix the seasoning up and keep them separate (in a small jar or baggy).  One third of seasoning mix is used for each 1 C of rice/spaghetti.

It takes 1 cup of the rice/spaghetti mix to equal the amount in a box of Rice A Roni.
I then follow the below instructions
I cut these instructions from a boxed mix years ago, and it is taped inside my cabinet door over the stove. (See how yellowed the tape is?)
Tastes just like the real thing and you know exactly what is in it.  Easy to make up in bulk and have on hand.

OK, you all know I am not huge on recipes unless it's a mix like above or baking - but this gives you an idea of how to make it.  You can add or change anything you wish!

1 lb. of ground beef (or turkey/chicken)
Taco seasoning (mix with meat like you would for tacos)
1 can of corn (drained)
1 can of beans - drained (kidney, black, chili - whatever you have)
About 1 - 1 1/2  C salsa
Approx. 1/2 C uncooked rice
Actually cooked on top of stove until rice was tender - then topped with crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese and place in 350* oven until cheese is melted and lightly browning around the edges.
A great one pot meal - serve with a salad.
I cooked in my skillet and transferred it to the oven - super easy clean-up.  I love one pot meals.

3/4 C dried minced or chopped onion
4 tsp. onion powder
1/3 C beef bouillon powder
1/4 tsp. celery seed (crushed)
1/4 tsp. sugar
Mix all together and keep in an airtight container.  2 Tbsp. of mix is equivalent  to one packet of onion soup mix you purchase.
Use as you would store bought soup mix.
I like having this on hand - as we use it a lot for flavoring soups, casseroles and in meat/veggie crockpot dinners.
We are huge onion people (or lets say G is!!!!)

**I buy dried onions in gallon size jars at Sam's club.  It would take me forever and a fortune to dry as many onions as is in a gallon container.  
Sometimes life is just easier to purchase than do it yourself!!! It's OK - we can use store bought when it makes life easier and saves money and time!

I hope these recipes help you stay ahead of the game in your kitchen.  I always like easy dishes and simple mixes to keep on hand.  
I hope you enjoy!


  1. Thanks Cheryl I love rice of any kind and we eat it a lot, We had it last night with beef broccoli.

    1. Welcome. We are having rice tonight with chicken stir fry.

  2. Thanks, Cheryl, I now know how to make my own Rice A Roni and I plan to fix up a container (with your instructions) and gift it to my son who loves the stuff; from the store. I'm looking forward to trying all of your recipes.

    1. Oh how neat - I love that you are going to make for a gift. I hope he enjoys it.
      I love learning new recipes too.

  3. Thanks for all the great ideas. Your posts are always inspiring.

  4. Thank you! These are all great ideas that I will for sure be using. We love Rice-a-Roni, but at $1 per box on sale, this is a huge savings!

    1. It does save a lot. Those little boxes get pricey. Love being able to make my own and knowing exactly what is in it.

  5. Thanks for the great recipes. I had forgotten that I could reply here. I sm ging to make up the onion soup mix.

    1. Hi Laurie! Glad to see you!!!!! Reply whenever you like - love hearing from you.
      I think you will like the mix!

  6. Yum! Sounds great! Can't wait to try your recipes. They will not only save me money, but time as well.
    Have a great weekend.

    1. Hope you like them Kathy. I am all about saving time and money. We love all of these.
      Have a good one yourself!!! ENJOY

  7. All of these look delicious, Cheryl. Thank you for sharing.

  8. that mexican casserole looks good. nancy excuse typing broken arm

    1. Oh no Nancy - so sorry. Hope you are on the mend quickly.
      Blessings to you.