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If dinnertime at your house is anything like dinnertime at mine, my hat goes off to you. An 8-hour workday, coupled with three very tired children and a very hungry husband, can make dinner a rather stressful event. On top of all that, our children (like most) are extremely finicky eaters. Mealtime is more like wartime, and eventually I get so weary of the power struggle that the battle becomes a game of bargaining (“If you eat two more bites of this, you can have…” kind of talk).
While I don’t have the cure for dinnertime chaos, I have found a few casserole recipes that my kids (and hubby) enjoy. (That’s right, enjoy.) To ensure they get appropriate nutrition, I sometimes sneak in a few vegetables—they hardly notice the difference. My best is advice to surviving the warzone that is the dinner table? Take baby steps and be thankful for any small wins. Oh, and may the Force be with you!
Cheesy Burger Mac and Cheese
1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen vegetable blend (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower) (3 cups)
1 pkg. (14 oz.) macaroni and cheese dinner
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef, cooked, drained
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
Heat oven to 375°F.
Place frozen vegetables in colander in sink. Cook macaroni and cheese as directed on package. Pour cooked macaroni over vegetables in colander to drain and quickly thaw vegetables.
Return macaroni and vegetables to same saucepan. Add cheese sauce, milk and dressing; mix well. Add cooked meat and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese; mix well. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole; cover.
Bake 35 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining cheddar; bake, uncovered, 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Mexican Enchilada Casserole
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tsp. chili powder
4 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
Microwave meat and onions in 2-qt. microwaveable dish on high 4 to 6 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, stirring every 2 minutes; drain.
Stir in tomato sauce, water and chili powder. Microwave 5 to 9 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring every 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
Place 1 tortilla in same microwaveable dish; top with layers of 1/4 each meat sauce and cheese. Repeat layers 3 times. Microwave 2 to 5 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes. Top with tomatoes and sour cream.
Chili Hot Dog Casserole
2 cans (15 oz. each) chili with beans
5 corn tortillas (6 inch)
1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 425ºF.
Spread chili onto bottom of 8-inch square baking dish.
Place 1 wiener on each tortilla; roll up. Place, seam-sides down, over chili. Sprinkle with cheese; cover.
Bake 25 minutes or until wieners are heated through and cheese is melted.
Ham ‘n Cheese Casserole
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup milk
2 cups chopped cooked ham
2 cups croutons
1-1/2 cups shredded three-cheese blend
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onions
Heat oven to 350°F.
Spoon into 2-qt. casserole.
Bake 35 minutes or until heated through.
Easy Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 pkg. (30 oz.) frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1-1/4 cups shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses, divided
Heat oven to 375ºF.
Cook bacon, onions and peppers in large skillet on medium-high heat 5 minutes or just until bacon is crisp, stirring occasionally. Transfer to large bowl.
Add hash browns, soup, sour cream and 1 cup cheese; mix lightly. Spoon into 13×9-inch baking dish; top with remaining cheese.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until heated through.
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.